Dr. Flower: How to Perform a Successful Plant Transplant
Many gardeners, both new and experienced, have fears about transplanting flora. Relocating plants is tricky if you don't take proper care to know your plant's specific needs - be sure to do a little research before beginning the process. For all plants, there are a few key steps that will minimize any shock caused by initial moves. The steps below are not exact rules- all plants have specific needs- but they should help you win most of your battles.
It is best to transplant during the dormancy phase. To know when your plant is dormant, be sure that buds have not yet formed, the plant has finished blooming and the green foliage has turned yellow or fallen off. For example, Iris' greenery will turn yellow and wilt. If you have a bouquet of roses that has grown roots in a vase, transplant these in early spring for best results.
Trying to transplant during the middle of summer is often not a good choice. When a plant is spending its energy producing blooms or sprouting new branches, it won't have the strength to adapt its roots to a new location and new soil composition.
Dig the hole for your new plant during the cooler hours, and be sure to place it in the ground before the area is exposed to the heat of the day. You want healthy soil to welcome your plant, and sun exposure can kill off some necessary soil nutrients. This goes doubly for the plant's roots. When exposed to the air or sun it can take only a few minutes for a root system to deteriorate, dry out or completely collapse.
For those annuals and perennials, a little fertilizer never does harm. These plants will love a little boost that mother nature may not provide, so send them a little growth spurt of manure or fish emulsions. If you happen to be transplanting shrubs or trees, hold off on the fertilizer. Trees and shrubs require root growth after a transplant before they can put their energy into their branches, so wait until the following season.
Pay close attention to any new additions to your garden when watering. Their roots are often stressed, trying to acclimatize to their new environment, so don't give any added stress by over or underwatering. Check the soil (1 inch down) near the base of the plant for moisture. If it is dry, go ahead and get the watering can out. Always water the fauna after initial planting, this is a must.
This article is brought to you by Michelle Farrell and
published by Teleflora.