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Moving Hostas and Ferns in Late May

4 years ago
last modified: 4 years ago

Yesterday, the arborists came and removed a 50 foot black walnut and a 20-30 foot kwanzan cherry from the front of my house. (I liked the shade, but the walnut made a dangerous mess in the street each fall, and the branches hung so low when in fruit that you couldn't walk up the path. The cherry I adored, but it was almost 40 years old, splitting down the middle of the trunk, and lying on my garage roof.) I thought I had planned ahead by removing all of the shade loving plants directly under the walnut. Except, I didn't take into account that the bed directly in front of my bay window which is full of hostas and ferns and one recently acquired Nikko Blue hydrangea, would now get a full blast from the afternoon sun. My previous shade study showed that only the far end of the bed got light sun after 3, and one small corner of that small end got a bit of morning sun for about an hour. Yesterday, I got home at three after the trees were gone and realized that the trees, not the angle of the house, were creating all that shade. The bed is now in glaring sun from the time the sun passes over the ridge of the house at 1 until sunset.

It's already going be in the 80's for the rest of the week in my area, and while it may dip back to the 70's, we are definitely headed into summer. Should I move the hostas and ferns now, or would it be better for their long term health to leave them alone (despite the fact they will probably get some ugly browning on the leaves) and move them in fall or spring?

Thanks! The picture of the house without trees was taken in the morning, but you can see how the bed under the bay window is now exposed:

And the hostas in the afternoon:

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