Gardening Tips

Transplant a plant: when and how to do it

Transplant a plant: when and how to do it

There are various reasons for transplanting a plant. Whether for space, for health or simply for aesthetics, transplanting our plants is something that we must do from time to time to strengthen and improve their growth. Despite the fact that it is carried out to improve its conditions, transplanting is a process that is always traumatic for the plant and, therefore, it must always be carried out with great care and with the appropriate knowledge and materials.

In this EcologíaVerde article we will give you some basic tips for transplant a plantto know when and how to do it right.

When to transplant a plant

When choosing the time to transplant a plantthe most important thing is that you should take advantage before the plant begins its flowering or growing season. It is not advisable to transplant flowering plants because due to this you are already making a great effort, but there are situations in which it should be done even if there are flowers, for example if it has just been bought and its pot is very small. However, it is also not advisable to do it in a very cold season due to the risk of further weakening the plant.

Bearing this in mind, the ideal season for transplanting most plants is between late winter and early spring. However, here it is convenient that you inform yourself of the specific cycles of the plant that you are going to move to heal yourself in health. The latter is especially important if the transplant is going to be done outdoors, since planting times are more rigorous in some areas than in others and different depending on the species.

Regarding the time of day, it is better to carry out the transplant always away from the hours of sunlight to save the plant from fighting against the heat while it is done in its new location, so the ideal is to do it on a cloudy day or at dusk .

Finally, the frequency with which it should be done varies according to the speed of growth of the plant in question. Most of them need to be transplanted every year, but some slower growing ones may take up to 2 or 3 years to require a new transplant.

Transplant a plant: when and how to do it - When to transplant a plant

How to transplant a plant step by step

follow these steps to transplant a plant successfully:

  1. The first thing will be, as always, to prepare the garden tools properly. A sterilized pruning shears and a shovel will help the plant not suffer from serious injuries, and if you are going to transplant thorny species, such as a rose bush or a cactus, you will need some thick leather or gardening gloves to avoid injuring yourself with the spines.
  2. Before removing the plant from its pot or location, it is advisable to do a general sanitation. Check its leaves and stems and remove those that are dry or in poor condition. Since the plant will be weakened by moving it, you’ll be glad you don’t have to keep diseased parts.
  3. Choose the pot of destiny. It should always be larger than the previous one, and must be prepared with a suitable substrate. If the pot does not have drainage holes, it is advisable to leave a layer of several centimeters of coarse gravel at its base.
  4. Extract the plant. If the pot the plant was in was too small for it, you may have a hard time getting it out. You can help yourself by turning the pot and gently tapping on its sides, or even turn it upside down and carefully tap the edge, always avoiding the plant falling to the ground. If it is outdoors, dig around it to extract the root ball, leaving a certain distance. You may have to cut some roots.
  5. Loosen the roots of the root ball if they are very tangled or compacted. If it was in a pot that is too small, it is likely that the roots will maintain their shape, and taking advantage of this to clean them of soil debris and untangle them will help the plant to better absorb the nutrients in its new space.
  6. Place the plant in its new location and cover it with substrate until its roots are completely buried. Water it now to moisten the soil and give the plant the water it needs, and leave it for two or three days in a bright area but not directly exposed to sunlight. After this adaptation period, you can now put the plant in its new definitive location.
Transplant a plant: when and how to do it - How to transplant a plant step by step

Other tips for transplanting a plant successfully

It’s advisable water the plant a few hours before transplanting, but you have to avoid flooding it, you just have to moisten the soil. This will help the soil to be softer and the root ball to come out more easily.

After a transplant, you should watch carefully plant response to your new environment. If it shows signs of weakness or worsening, look for what may be causing it. Sudden variations in humidity, the type of substrate or the amount of light it receives can be fatal for many species.

If a plant’s roots stick out of the pot’s drainage holes, it’s a sign that the pot has outgrown it and it’s time to repot. In the case of the orchid, which has aerial roots, you will know that the pot is small when many of these come out of the container in excess.

As they are two very common types of plants in homes, we recommend that you read these other more specific articles on How to transplant a cactus and How to transplant an orchid.

Transplanting a plant: when and how to do it - Other tips to transplant a plant successfully

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