Transplanting a plant: when and how to do it

There are a number of reasons to transplant 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. Although it is carried out to improve its conditions, transplantation 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 article we will give you some basic tips to transplant a plant, to know when and how to do it correctly.

When to transplant a plant

When choosing the moment to transplant a plant , the most important thing is that you should take advantage of it before the plant begins its flowering or its growing season . It is not advisable to transplant flowering plants because because of 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 you have just bought and your 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 of the plant.

With 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 in health. The latter is especially important if the transplant is to be done outdoors, since the 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 transplant always away from sunny hours to save the plant from fighting the heat while moving to its new location, so it is best to do it on a cloudy day or at dusk. .

Finally, the frequency with which it must be done varies according to the growth speed 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.

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 gardening tools properly. A sterilized pruning shears and shovel will help the plant not suffer from complicated wounds, and if you are transplanting thorny species, such as a rose bush or a cactus, you will need thick gardening or leather gloves to avoid hurting 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 weaken when moved, you will appreciate not having to maintain diseased parts.
  3. Choose the destination pot . It should always be greater than the previous one, and it must be prepared with a suitable substrate. If the pot does not have drainage holes, it is advisable to leave a layer of coarse gravel several centimeters at the bottom.
  4. Extract the plant . If the pot that the plant was in was too small, you may have a hard time getting it out of there. You can help yourself by turning the pot and tapping its sides, or even turning it upside down and carefully hitting the edge, always preventing the plant from falling to the ground. If it is outdoors, dig around it to extract the root ball and leave some distance. You may have to cut off some roots.
  5. Loosen the roots of the root ball if they are heavily tangled or compacted. If it was in a pot that is too small, it is likely that the roots will maintain the shape of the same, and taking the opportunity to clean them of dirt 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 that does not receive direct sunlight. After this adaptation period, you can now put the plant in its new final location.

Other tips for transplanting a plant successfully

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

After a transplant, you should carefully monitor the plant’s response to its new environment. If it shows signs of weakness or worsening, find out 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 the roots of a plant stick out of the drainage holes in the pot, it is a sign that the pot has outgrown and it is time to transplant it. In the case of the orchid, which is aerial-rooted, you will know that the pot is small when many of these are left in excess of the container.

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