I want to redo a flowerbed on the side of the house I bought. I have two viable azalea bushes in red that get burned by the southern exposure they get. I want to clean out the bed for flowers so it matches the one on the other side of the door. How do I move the azaleas with out killing them. I have heard azaleas have deep roots and are very difficult to remove...I am not that strong and have no help. Can they be attached to a Jeep Liberty Sport and pulled up? Would it hurt the Jeep?
Transplanting Azaleas, particularly mature specimens is not an easy task. You have to be very careful and you certainly need some help if they are big plants!
The best time to transplant azaleas is during the winter. To do a good job you need a sharp spade. Cut around the azalea with the spade and push the spade against the root ball gently before pulling it out of the ground again. Try to get as far under the plant as you can. Once you have dug around the plant try to lift it out gently and put in onto a sheet of plastic or something similar. Carefully move the azalea plant to its new place. The goal is to leave the root ball intact and not have it falling apart!
Prepare the new planting hole. It should be about twice the size than the root ball. Add plenty of ericaceous (lime-free!) compost or peat to the soil and replant the azalea bush at the same hight as it was before. Water the roots in well with lots and lots of water! Very important is to keep your newly transplanted azalea well watered during the season until it is established.
If you feel that the plant has lost a lot of its roots in the process cut back the shrub as well to balance the root to the shrub.
I would not recommend to pull the plant out with the Jeep if your aim is to transplant your azalea bush successfully. You won't be able to uproot the plant with an intact root ball which is critical for success.