Avoid The Transplant Shock

What is Transplant Shock:

Well First of all it usually happens to newly transplanted shrubs and trees when they are dug from the ground.

Its almost unavoidable and its the plants way of reacting to being moved.  It is generally caused by damage to the roots of the plant during the transplant. The most important roots, those that actually “do the work”, are located the farthest away from the plant. These tiny roots are covered by even tinier hairs which absorb most of the water that is eventually carried to the top-growth of the plant. Sadly,  this is where the damage is mostly done. Either from cutting them so you don’t have so many roots or allowing them to dry out. The “tiny hair like roots” do not Like exposure to Air.  The loss of these feeder roots, mean the plant is not able to draw the amount of moisture it requires to live and grow. Besides major effects on the roots, plants can also sense the smallest of  changes like wind, sun light  and temperature, It may take time to adjust to the new environment. 

You can lessen the damage from transplanting by cutting a plant back to balance the top with the remaining roots.

Transplant shock has a way of appearing in others ways. It can cause strange development of leaves and stems. Leaves can produce and then quickly start browning along the edges or at the tips. Also transplant shock can mimic other troubles like insect damage or disease.

trees in pots









The best Way to Transplant:

Maas Nursery  Almost always uses Container Grown Plants- The plants have been growing in a container or pot for at least one full growing season and winter. Most of our plants have been growing in containers all their lives These are the very best kinds of transplants, and are the least likely to experience transplant shock.  


Here are some helpful hints for transferring plants into your garden 

1. Check compatibility.

Most potted plants can survive in the ground, but only if the conditions are right. Look up your particular potted plant online to see what temperature range, sunlight and soil/water conditions it prefers. 

2. Prepare the soil.

Our biggest challenge here is our clay soil. Things can drown.

If you don’t already have a flower bed prepared, and are digging up untilled soil, it is a good idea to mix in some compost or a bag of garden soil around the surface. You don’t want a big wide hole that can hold water until the plant drowns.

3. Dig the hole.

You want to make sure the hole is dug so it fits the root ball tightly, and is a bit too shallow so the plant is sticking out of the ground a bit.  

Fill around with new soil on the surface so the plant or tree is in a raised bed when you are done.

4. Carefully remove the plant from the pot.

To do this, place one hand around the base of the plant, on top of the potted soil. With your other hand, tip over the pot so that the plant and soil slide out together. You’ll likely need to tap the pot to loosen the soil from the edges. You generally don’t want to pull the plant out, especially from a larger pot, as it may rip out part of the root system, cutting off the pot works too.

5. Loosen the edge of the root ball.

If the plant has been in the pot for a long time, the roots will start to wrap around and match the shape of the container. You now want those roots to grow outward into the surrounding soil. So, gently tease out thetips of the roots using your fingers, a pencil or a toothpick.

6. Place the roots in the ground.

You don’t want to bury the plant itself, so if the hole is too deep, you can scoop a few handfuls of dirt in to provide a base. Then, carefully fill in loose dirt around the roots until the hole is filled, and pat the soil down to eliminate gaps. You don’t want to pack the soil too tightly, but it needs to be solid enough to support the plant and hold the roots in place. Remember, do not dig the hole too big.

7. Water and care for your plant.

When finished, thoroughly water the plant to help recover and get established in its new surroundings. Then follow the regular recommended care for your variety of flower.