Moving Indian Hawthorn Shrubs – How To Transplant An Indian Hawthorn

Moving Indian Hawthorn Shrubs – How To Transplant An Indian Hawthorn

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By: Teo Spengler

Indian hawthorns are low, mounding shrubs with ornamental flowers and berries. They are workhorses in many gardens. If you are thinking about transplanting Indian hawthorn plants, you’ll want to read up about proper technique and timing. For information on how and when to transplant Indian hawthorn and other tips on transplanting Indian hawthorn, read on.

Transplanting Indian Hawthorn

If you want a low-maintenance evergreen shrub to form graceful mounds in your garden, consider Indian hawthorns (Rhaphiolepis species and hybrids). Their attractive dense foliage and neat mounded growth habit appeals to many gardeners. And they are ideal low-maintenance plants that don’t demand much to keep looking nice.

In spring, Indian hawthorn shrubs offer fragrant pink or white flowers to ornament the garden. These are followed by dark purple berries eaten by wild birds.

Moving Indian hawthorn successfully is possible but, like all transplants, should be undertaken with care. Be sure to follow these tips on when and how to transplant an Indian hawthorn.

When to Transplant Indian Hawthorn Shrubs

If you are thinking of an Indian hawthorn transplant, you should act in winter or early spring. Although some say it is possible to transplant these bushes in summer, it isn’t usually recommended.

If you are moving Indian hawthorn from one garden location to another, you’ll want to be sure to get as much of the root ball of the shrub as possible. With a mature plant, consider root pruning six months before the Indian hawthorn transplant.

Root pruning involves digging a narrow trench around the plant’s root ball. You slice off roots that are on the outside of the trench. This encourages new roots to grow closer to the root ball. These travel with the shrub to the new location.

How to Transplant an Indian Hawthorn

The first step is to prepare the new planting location. Select a site in sun or partial sun that has well-draining soil. Remove all grass and weeds as you work the soil, then dig the transplant hole on top. It must be about as deep as the current root ball.

The next step in moving Indian hawthorn is to water the shrub well in its current location. The entire ground around it should be saturated one day before the move.

Dig out the trench around the hawthorn. Continue digging down until you can slip a shovel under the root ball and lift it out. Transport it by tarp or wheelbarrow to the new planting site. Settle it in at the same soil level that it had been established.

To finish your Indian hawthorn transplant, fill in soil around the root ball, then irrigate well. It is useful to build an earth basin around the hawthorn as a way to get water to the roots. Irrigate frequently during the first few growing seasons.

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Can I cut Indian hawthorn to the ground?

All this is further explained here. Simply so, can Indian hawthorn be cut back?

Indian hawthorn can be pruned to form a small hedge, mounding plant or other shape. All pruning should be done with a hand held clippers as using shears will damage the leaves and the result will be unattractive. Regular pruning will be necessary to maintain the desired shape.

why are my Indian hawthorn shrubs dying? Verticillium wilt is a serious soil-borne plant disease that causes the foliage to fade to yellow or brown. To combat the disease, prune out dead branches and keep the shrub vigorous by watering it regularly. If the entire shrub dies, avoid planting an India hawthorn in the same spot.

Keeping this in view, when can I transplant Indian hawthorn?

When to Transplant Indian Hawthorn Shrubs If you are thinking of an Indian hawthorn transplant, you should act in winter or early spring. Although some say it is possible to transplant these bushes in summer, it isn't usually recommended.

How do you remove Indian hawthorn?

Rid a landscape area or border of an Indian hawthorn through a combination of techniques to ensure the planting does not return over time.

  1. Remove any leaves, mulch or other ground clutter and debris from around the base of the plant.
  2. Remove longer branches from the hawthorn with pruners.

Indian Hawthorn Care

The genus Rhaphiolepis belongs to the family of Rosaceae and includes some 15 species of evergreen shrubsfrom Japan and Korea. The main species are: Rhaphiolepis indica, Rhaphiolepis umbellata.

They are shrubs that can reach 3 meters high. They have alternate leaves , ovate, coriaceous and bright dark green. The flowers , pink or white, appear in terminal clusters and have 5 petals. They bloom in early spring. They produce fruits similar to small apples.

They can be used as isolated specimens in small gardens or to form groups.

The Rafiolepis needs a sunny exposure and protected from wind and cold.

The soil can be a substrate for pots with a good supply of organic matter. In case of transplant, it should be done in the spring or autumn.

Water enough so that the earth is always wet but not waterlogged. It is important to note that it is better to water with water without lime.

These shrubs are somewhat demanding with the subscriber : an annual contribution of organic matter and 3 contributions of mineral fertilizer that we will make in the plantation, before the flowering and at the beginning of autumn.

They are plants that are not usually attacked by the pests and diseases common in gardens.

They multiply from seeds sown in spring or cuttings at the end of summer.

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Often, when leaves are yellow with green veins it is a symptom of iron cholorosis, (iron deficiency).

Do you know the pH of your soil? Iron deficiency is more common in alkaline soils (those with a pH above 7) but sometimes you can find it in neutral to slightly acidic soils because the iron in those soils may not exist in a form that is easily taken up by the plants' roots.

Did you feed your plants when you planted them. Perhaps with a good starter solution or liquid seaweed or anything? Sometimes yellowing leaves simply indicate a lack of nitrogen. I think if it is a lack of nitrogen, though, that the yellowing leaves wouldn't necessarily have the green veins.

I'm going to find a link and attach it below. Look at the leaves in the link and see if yours look similar.

I am not sure it mattered who planted them, esp. if you planted them at the same time into the same bed. I hope you planted them in the same depth in the ground that they were planted in the containers. If you plant too deeply, that can cause problems, although it usually is worse with trees than with shrubs.

So, look at the attached link and tell me what you think. Do you see photos that match your plants?


Thanks so much for the info.

I used Miracle Gro garden soil for trees and bushes when I planted them. I have fertilized once with Miracle Gro.

After checking with the link you sent, I examined the leaves again under a magnifying glass. My leaves definitely look more like the top photo, except under the magnifying glass I see that my plants' veins are yellow rather than green. It is the "cells" of the leaf that have some green in them.

There are other plants thriving in the bed: false hollies, dwarf nandinas, mondo grass, carpet roses, verigated boxwood. None of them have yellow leaves.

The hawthorns are in two different beds the beds are divided by the entrace onto my porch. I fear I planted my three too deep and perhaps should consider replanting them.

Would it hurt to add a little iron along with using Miracle Gro?

Okiedawn OK Zone 7

It wouldn't hurt to add a little chelated iron along with the MG. In fact, MG has a product called Miracid that helps acidify the soil and provides iron. Just follow the directions. I'm not totally convinced it is iron deficiency, but it might be, and a little iron won't hurt. It could be transplant shock or a little nitrogen deficiency. Just feed them, keep an eye on them, watch for the tell-tale spots that indicate a foliar disease, and be patient and give them time to get better. Shrubs don't show improvement as fast as annuals and herbaceous perennials.


Thanks for all your input. I will follow up on your suggestions and will try to be patient.


I have 4 relatively new plants (dwarf I think) planted in May. They were doing well for several months and then started looking badly. First it was just one or two of them and now they are all looking like they are on their last leg. I thought it was lack of water. now am wondering if it could maybe be too much water? I have read that they are fairly drought tolerant once established, but felt that being newly planted in a hot desert environment, they would need more water. Yet, lately the temp has been cooling off a lot, and they seem to be doing even worse. The leaves get brown spots in the center that quickly grow larger until the majority of the leaf is brown and the rest turns a pale minty green color vs the deep green it was when it was alive and well. The spots don't look like the entomosporium leaf spot on Raphiolepis I have seen lots of pictures of, but is much larger, and one solitary spot instead of multiple smaller ones. It strangly (to me) doesn't turn completely brown, but the minty green part is as dead and crunch as the brown part. Also strange to me is that the dead leaves do not fall off. I have been knocking them off, as well as breaking off the brittle branches. Often only some of the plant will have the branches affected in this way and the other branches will have healthy looking green leaves. Any thoughts on what my problem could be? I am afraid that it may be too late to save my beautiful shrubs. :( I would be happy to email pictures of my troubled plants and leaves if it would be of help. Thank you so much in advance!

Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Because your climate there is so different from ours here, I don't know if your plants encounter the same diseases and pests we see here in Oklahoma, or if y'all have different ones. So, I googled and found some Indian Hawthorn info from UC-Davis and have linked it below. Maybe something in it will help. It does seem to have a lot of useful info. I do want to share with you a couple of thoughts that crossed my mind as I was reading your post.

First of all, I would say that when a plant has browning or yellowing of the foliage AND the plant was planted within the last year, it very often (probably 75% of the time) is suffering from transplant shock. It is not unusual for transplant shock to show up many weeks or months (up to a year) after a plant was planted. With transplant shock, though, you'll see foliage discoloration but it doesn't usually show up as a circle in the middle of the leaf. So, it might be transplant shock, but I don't necessarily think it is.

Secondly, alarm bells started going off in my head when I glanced at your user name and saw that you are in the southern California desert. I don't think of Indian Hawthorne as a desert-type plant. To me, Indian Hawthorne is the kind of plant that thrives in a "typical" southern USA or southeastern USA location--an area with well-drained soil that has high organic content in the soil, lots of rainfall, moderate to high humidity and a soil (and water) pH that is somewhat acidic, like in the 6.0 to 6.8 range or thereabouts. I've never lived or gardened in the desert, but I would assume your soil there is alkaline to very alkaline, has low-organic content in the soil, and has a pH in both the water and soil that is too high for an Indian Hawthorne to do well. However, IF you added tons and tons of organic material to your soil, you might be able to overcome your soil's shortcomings and get an Indian Hawthorne to do well.

Third, because desert soil is sandy, I wonder if nematodes are a problem there? In our county in Oklahoma, we have two predominant soil types--very, very thick, heavy, slow-draining red clay and extremely well-drained sandy soil that does not hold moisture very well. In those sandy areas, nematodes are a big problem. Nematodes COULD cause problems for your plant because they damage the roots and interfere with the uptake of moisture and nutrition.

Fourth, have the plants grown well since they were planted, or did they start going downhill when they were planted and then never rebounded? Here, if leaves from Indian Hawthorn fall because of drought stress or disease, you normally have new leaves come out pretty quickly to replace them. If that's not happening, something pretty serious is probably going on.

Fifth, I assume desert soil is low-fertility. Thus, you would need to fertilize regularly with a good balanced fertilizer in order for the plant to grow and remain healthy. Have you fertilized?

Sixth, in the cooler, wetter, more humid south, a lot of gardeners have problems with anthracnose on their Indian Hawthorn shrubs. Your brown circular spots sound sort of like anthracnose, but without seeing those spots, it is hard to say. Anthracnose spots would be brown with alternating light and dark brown concentric rings--sort of like a target.

Finally, you didn't say if there is any sort of a pattern. For example, are the brown leaves up higher on the shrub? Down lower? All over? Are the affected leaves newer growth or older growth? It is happening all over the plant at one time, or does it start on one limb and then advance limb by limb?

We can discuss this more if the questions made you think of anything else you observed that might help us to figure it out.

A couple of more suggestions. Although we're a friendly bunch here at the Oklahoma Forum and are ALWAYS happy to hear from gardeners who don't live in Oklahoma, you might get more helpful info from someone who lives there in California and gardens in a climate and soil more similar to yours. So, you might want to ask this question at the California Forum here at Garden Web.

Also, you might want to take photos (and maybe even a small limb with both sick leaves and healthy leaves on it)to a full-line nursery (NOT a big box store that just happens to have a "garden center" and sells plants) and see if someone knowledgeable there can help you. OR, you could contact your county agricultural/horticultural extension agent. OR, if you can find a listing for your county's Master Gardener program, you might try to get in touch with a master gardener and see if they can help you. (In many states, master gardeners staff extension helplines.)

I don't know if anything I said was particularly helpful, but I tried. I just feel hampered by the knowledge that your conditions are so different from ours.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC-Davis Indian Hawthorn page

Watch the video: Indian hawthorn - grow, care u0026 eat Rhaphiolepis indica


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