Transplanting Potted Plants

5 Tips On Transplanting Potted Plants Successfully

terracast Blog

Transplanting potted plants simply means to move a plant from one container to another location. There are a number of reasons why you might need to transplant your potted plants. Perhaps your plant has grown and it needs a larger space to continue developing properly. If you purchase plants at a nursery, you will have to transplant them out of their plastic containers and into your own landscaping. In nature, plants don’t transplant themselves. That’s why it’s so important to conduct the process carefully to avoid damaging the plant or causing excessive stress. Here we provide some of the greatest tips on how transplanting potted plants can be done properly.

Transplanting Potted Plants: How To Avoid Root Shock

Transplanting potted plants is not tricky but it must be done carefully to avoid your plants going into transplant shock. Being transplanted is a big change and so all plants will experience some shock after being planted into a new pot. This shock can vary from minimal changes in plant growth to the actual demise of the plant. The most important part of the roots is furthest from a plant’s blossoms. A plant heavily relies on the very tiny tips of each root. Here, tiny hairs dot the roots, working to suck up the water necessary to sustain plant life. If they do become damaged, the plant goes into a state of shock because it is not getting the same amount of water or nutrients.

Feeder roots are small and delicate; they must be handled with extra care while transplanting potted plants. These fundamental roots can die if they are exposed to the air for too long; some say it only takes a few minutes for them to dry out. Roots can also be destroyed if they are cut off or left behind in the previous planter.

If the location of a potted plant changes along with the transplant, this can also impact the level of shock a plant undergoes. Say for instance, weather patterns, sun exposure, or precipitation levels change, plants can go into serious shock. If your plant appears droopy, stops growing, or does not sprout any bulbs, it might be under shock. Also, if you suspect insect damage or disease, but your plant has recently been transplanted, it might actually be transplant shock. (Learn more about transplanting potted plants)

Transplanting Potted Plants

How To Properly Transplant Potted Plants

Trees, shrubs, flowers and plants don’t transplant out in nature. Instead, they remain in the same spot all of their life. Since the process is not natural, it is especially difficult on plants and requires careful work. For starters, find out if the plant is suited to the area you plan to move it, and then pack your container planter with the appropriate soil type.

Once you have a new container waiting and ready, it’s time to remove the plant from its former residence. In order to do so, you do not want to yank on the actual plant. Instead, dig out around it so that you remove it with a large swath of soil on all sides. This helps the roots remain intact and undamaged because they are protected by the soil surrounding them. When you insert the plant into its new home, pack the soil firmly enough to provide sufficient support, but not too tightly. (More on transplanting potted plants and flowers)

5 Tips For Successfully Transplanting Potted Plants

The state of a plant before it is transplanted, including how long it has resided in its current location, can make a big impact on its future well-being. Here are 5 key tips for successfully transplanting potted plants.

1. Dormant Plants For Transplant Success
Plants should be transplanted while they are still dormant. Either just before spring, when the buds have yet to swell and bloom, or in the fall when the buds have already fallen away for the year.

2. Don’t Buy Plants That Are Already In Shock
Be careful what type of plants you purchase at the nursery. You want to look for plants that have grown in the same container for at least one full grow season + winter in order to ensure the roots have had sufficient time to develop. You don’t want plants dug up that very same season; these will not behave well because they are under a lot of shock already just sitting in the store. You can see how durable the roots are by trying a little trick. Gently tug on the plant to see if the roots slide up or if they seem firmly implanted into the soil.

3.Go Easy On Root Boosters
Immediately after transplanting your plant you may be tempted to give your plants a root booster but be careful, especially if you are dealing with trees or shrubs. If the roots have been compromised, they will need time to grow back and heal. If the plant is suddenly growing faster, it will require more water and the roots may not be developed enough to sustain a larger plant.

4.To Prune or Not to Prune Newly Transplanted Plants
There is a long standing rumor that pruning your newly transplanted plants is good for them because it reduces the amount of foliage the roots have to support. Many tests have been conducted to try and unravel the real answer to this plant mystery. Turns out, there is nothing conclusive to state that pruning newly transplanted plants helps. Some even argue it can hinder your plant, by cutting off parts of its healthy foliage you may only be causing a different type of stress.

5. Don’t Forget the Extra Attention!
Newly transplanted plants also need a lot of attention; within the first year the plant is working against many changes. If anything else goes wrong to further stress your plant out, the results can be disastrous. Make sure to keep a close eye on fresh transplants for a year, reacting immediately to any signs of damage.

Transplanting potted plants into containers help them thrive. TerraCast Planters offers a wide selection of top-quality planters for projects big and small!