So you have decided your plant needs a different home in your garden. A little bit of prep work will ensure your plant doesn’t suffer shock from the move.
What is transplant shock?
Many plants suffer from transplant shock more often than you’d think. In fact, transplant shock in plants is an unknown topic for many gardeners. When uprooting a plant and moving it to a different location, whether it be the other end of the garden bed or further, it will soon undergo some degree of transplant shock. This is when a plant experiences a number of stresses within its system. In the process of transplanting the plant, parts of its root system are destroyed or disturbed. With less of an extensive root system, the plant is unable to supply the same amount of water as beforehand. Water is a necessity for a plant to grow and, just like us, when plants aren’t supplied with a sufficient amount of nutrients, their systems become more susceptible to bacteria and diseases, preventing them from functioning properly.
What are the effects of transplant shock?
Transplant shock can have a multitude of effects on a plant. If worried that your plant is experiencing transplant shock, there are a few key symptoms to look out for. These can include:
• Dieback: the canopy or crown of a plant starts to thin, from the tip of the branches, gradually down to the trunk.
• Leaf scorch: the tissue in the leaves, generally on the edges, begin to discolour into a yellow colour and then dry out into a brownish colour.
• Leaf rolling/curling: the leaf will roll in on itself at the edges, generally accompanied by leaf scorch and signalling the plant roots are not receiving enough water.
• Premature colouration/early leaf drop: leaves that change colour between seasons may develop a newer colouration earlier or deciduous plants may lose their leaves earlier.
• Pest and disease troubles. Plants under stress will be more susceptible to pests and diseases. Healthy, growing plants are more robust against pests and diseases.
How to successfully transplant a plant.
Although preventing transplant shock is difficult, a few things to reduce it can include:
• Avoid transplanting at a time that the plant is most vulnerable, such as before they begin to bloom or during extreme of weather. Transplant on a cloudy day or in the evening/early morning so the roots aren’t exposed to those harsher conditions.
• Water plant well before removing the plant from its original position.
• Try to dig out and keep together as much of the root ball as possible. Keep soil moist while in transit.
• Reduce the time between planting out so that fewer of the smaller roots have time to dry out and die off.
• Avoid breaking off some of those smaller roots.
• Planting the plant at a reasonable depth so that the roots don’t suffocate or that the temperature and moisture of the soil don’t fluctuate too frequently around the roots.
• Embed the plant in its new location by watering well and often. Fertilise with SeaMax Organic Fertiliser Liquid to promote new growth.
How to treat transplant shock?
If your plant is already suffering from transplant shock there are a couple of ways to repair your plant and keep it looking as healthy as ever. This can be done by:
• Properly watering your plant appropriate to weather conditions and the conditions of the soil, such as drainage.
• Pruning down larger plants or trimming for smaller plants. This allows the roots to supply to less of the plant and be able to supply a sufficient amount of water.
• Plant it in soil with the appropriate drainage for the plant and weather conditions.