I'm doing some rearranging of things in this corner of my garden, and will be moving a cycad over just a few feet. But there are a couple of things to do before moving day. The most important (which is already here) is that the soil temperature needs to be warm. Moving cycads in cold temperatures just encourages root rot, so this is the time - it's the last week of May, and the air temperatures are hitting the 90s, and the 100s, so the soil isn't hot yet, but it's certainly not cold. The next week or so will be perfect.
Another vitally important thing to do is to wait until the plant has stopped flushing. That is, if there's new growth, to wait until the leaves harden off. This may only be a few days, because cycads flush quickly. Of course they do that only once a year, so you shouldn't disturb a cycad at that time, or the flush will stunt. I figure that I'm a couple of days away from it being safe. The inner leaves still feel softer than the outer leaves, so I'll wait.
The other important step, which I started this morning, is preparing the hole. I determined exactly where I wanted it to be, and marked it with a stick. This morning I went out there and gently poked around. I found a stray watering tubing line, which in my laziness years ago I had just stopped up with a goof plug out in the middle of everything, and I snipped it back closer to the trunk line, and goof-plugged the tubing again, and then tested the line for leaks. It's actually back there behind the plant in the shade to the right, under a rock, and it won't get in the way in the future.
As you can see, my goal is to move as much planet earth over with the transplant as possible. I'm going to dig deep, and essentially slide it just a couple of feet. The less roots I lose, the better. I'm hoping to not shock the plant, and not have it lose its leaves. It wouldn't kill it to do that, but it would look better if the leaves stayed on, and I didn't have to wait until next year's flush. Well, that's the plan.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Update: the next day. It was a good morning for the move, so I went ahead and did it. I hadn't realized that the area would be in shade in the morning, but it was, and since I'd done so much preparation, the actual transplant only took about ten minutes. I put a nice layer of mulch around the plant, watered it in well several times today, and I'm very pleased with the final result.
|Dioon edule var. palma sola - now with plenty of room to grow!|