Thinning, Transplanting & Moving Plants
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Gregory Furan
Posted on: June 30, 2005

Two years ago, I bought echinacea, bergamot and several other plants from Richters, and while they survived, they didn’t really do much until this year. This year everything looks really healthy, and is splitting and expanding. I’ve probably left splitting and transplanting to other areas of the garden too late into the season now.

But, I want to ask, what is the best time of the year to split up large clumps of plants and transplant them to other areas of the bed?

Since your plants took two years to do well, you probably have some serious weather patterns to deal with.

For most areas, early spring is the best time, because the soil tends to be moist and porous, the temperatures are moderate and the plants have plenty of time to make new roots before summer droughts or winter freezes.

If you live in a climate without these hazards, such as certain parts of Vancouver Island, BC Canada, no such restrictions apply and the best time then is when the plant is making roots.

If you have seeded plants and wish to thin the seedlings, the best time is as soon after germination as the first true leaves have formed. Pulling the weak and extra plants at this time will disturb the other plants minimally. If you have sown them very much too thickly, you can also just snip the excess plants off close to the soil and this way not damage the ones chosen to stay. The roots at this point won’t be strong enough to sprout again.

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