Transplanting is a term that refers to removing a plant from the soil in which it grows to plant it in another place. Although said like this it seems simple and irrelevant, it is not so much. If we do not do it correctly we can cause excessive suffering to the plants.
That is why it is convenient that you learn certain techniques to transplant your specimens without them hardly noticing it.
Encourage their growth
The reasons for transplanting can be diverse: perhaps the plant is in a pot that it has outgrown, or perhaps you want to modify the design of your garden. The transplant always has to have a reason for being; usually it is an improvement in their development.
It may also happen that the substrate has depleted its essential nutrients and a change is necessary. Or maybe you’ve planted seeds in seedbeds and it’s time to take them to the garden. In any case, it is necessary to know ‘how and when to transplant’.
Transplant your plants in the garden
Choosing the right time depends a lot on the type of plant in question. As a general rule, and for the operation to be successful, it is convenient to do it when the plant is in rest period. In other words, it is not actively growing.
In any case, general rules could be established depending on whether they are potted plants, or if they are plants that are in the garden soil. Specimens planted in the ground are usually transplanted from late fall to mid-winter, when temperatures are cool and there is no strong sun or heavy frost.
In case of very sudden changes in temperature, and this works for any plant and location, it is best to acclimate them little by little. You can, for example, move the pots to a warmer place for a few days before planting them in garden in full sun.
From pot to pot
Plants that grow in containers can be transplanted at any time of the year, unless they are very delicate plants. Since the roots barely lose contact with the soil, they don’t tend to suffer from the transplanting process.
In any case, you should avoid making the changes too radical (such as taking a plant from a sheltered interior to an outdoor location in full sun and very hot).
If they are recent seedlings, don’t repot them until they are big enough and have a few new leaves.
At bare root
When we transplant plants from the soil of our garden, either for reasons of an aesthetic change in the design or because we want to relocate a specimen, we do it bare root. That is, the plant is extracted without soil around the roots.
This carries a risk of dehydration, especially if transplanting on dry, sunny days, so do so in late fall and before extreme cold.
Bare root transplanting is the one that is carried out when we move the seedlings from the seedbeds to the garden soil. Or when we plant fruit trees purchased in a nursery.
Carrying out a bare root transplant does not have to end in failure, as long as you take into account some recommendations that will help you minimize the stress that your plants may suffer.
- To start, prepare everything you will need in advance. Find the most suitable place, the tools, the substrate you are going to use, etc.
- When removing the plant from its current location, be very careful not to break the roots, which will remain completely unprotected.
- If you are going to plant in the garden soil, make a hole big and deep enough. It should be similar in size to the outside of the plant. You can add a drainage layer to prevent the irrigation water from stagnating.
- Place the plant and fill with soil or substrate, pressing with your hands to prevent air pockets from remaining in the soil.
- Water it generously and keep an eye on it for a few days to check that it adapts correctly to its new location.
Are your seedbeds full of seedlings that you have to place in the garden? This type of transplant must be done with caution, when three or four new leaves have already emerged and the plants are large enough to withstand the change.
After transplanting, it is necessary to intensify watering and protect the seedlings with adequate mulch.
A piece of advice
It is a good idea to transplant them for a while in an intermediate pot, to control that they do not get the sun and keep them safe from drafts and cold.
Choosing the right pot to transplant
Before performing a transplant from pot to pot, or from soil to pot if we want to rescue a plant from our garden to place it on the porch or terrace, we must choose the container in which we are going to relocate it. And for this it is important to consider the type of plant.
- If it is about specimens that will reach a considerable size (around one meter in height), we have to choose for them a much larger pot than the one they have, wider and deeper, with about 50 cm of diameter.
- Cacti and succulent plants do not need a large pot, as they tend to be slow-growing species. Find a container with a larger diameter (about 3 cm more than the current pot).
As for the material, the most common pots are made of plastic or terracotta. While the former are cheaper and lighter, they have the drawback that in summer they can overheat a lot in the sun, which is not good for the roots of your plants. In that regard, clay pots are better.
What to do in the event of a traumatic transplant?
Sometimes, and even if you have taken the appropriate measures, the plants suffer excessively due to a transplant. For this reason, it is convenient to monitor them for a while to verify that they are in good condition.
If, on the contrary, you notice that the growth of the plant stops, that its leaves wrinkle or have a deteriorated and yellowish appearance, that its vigor decreases and withers, then it may be that the transplant has been traumatic for her.
Water it more than usual, place the pot in a place in the house where it does not get direct sun. And if it is on the ground in the garden, protect it from the wind which can blow the water evaporate quickly. You can use straw, leaves or pine bark to mulch the substrate.