Transplanting Container Grown Plants

Transplanting Container Grown Plants, How to plant container plants, Transplanting plants

Transplanting Container Grown Plants

Tip and techniques to give you plants a good head-start, right out of the container

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Whether it's from your local landscape supplier, any of the big box stores like Lowes, Home Depot or Walmart, you will most likely be purchasing a plant that has spent its entire life in a container.

Even those of us who like to grow plants from cuttings, seeds or grafting will use a container as one of our first choices in rearing of a plant.

Transplanting Container Grown Plants

Transplanting Container Grown Plants - Check Out Growing Conditions

Transplanting Container Grown Plants - First Search out Healthy Plants.

First a bit about purchasing a container grown plant. In you quest for plants, search out plants that have not been stressed, have wilted foliage, discolored foliage or bugs of any sort on them. After all we don't want to be bringing trouble to the garden from a foreign source.

When you visit a garden center, you can usually tell if the plants have been well taken care of. They should be healthy looking, good leaf color, no spots or brown edges on the leaves, very full leaved, not root bound in the pot and not an excessive amount of pruning to clear away dead and dying leaves and branches.

Transplanting Container Grown Plants - Place Them in Quarantine:

If you have the time, space and means, place the newly purchased plants in a segregated area, away from all other plants in the garden and border. I usually do this for at least a couple of weeks.

Keep a close eye on them, if you spot any bugs, be pro-active in getting rid of them. If the plant starts to look sickly, you may have to investigate the root system, or look very closely for insects or disease. It may mean destroying the plant.

Be aware that the potting soil can harbor insect eggs or a disease that is hidden until the time is right.

After a couple of weeks, if everything look in good shape it is time to transplant container grown plants.

Transplanting Container Grown Plants

Transplanting Container Grown Plants - Search Out Healthy Plants

Transplanting Container Grown Plants - Thoroughly Soak Container Plant:

The first step to prepare for planting is to thoroughly irrigate the plant in the container. I usually lay a hose in the pot and turn the water on with just a trickle of water. This way even clay-based soils will get well watered.

Our goal here is to give the plant as much water and get the roots as thoroughly soaked as possible.


Transplanting Container Grown Plants

Transplanting Container Grown Plants - Go To Nurseries With Great Selections

Transplanting Container Grown Plants - Prepare the Planting Hole:

Proper preparation of the planting hole is the single most important step you can do in this process.

Start by measuring the width and depth of the pot. Dig a planting hole approximately 2 times the diameter and 1-1/2 to 2 times the depth of the pot.

Prepare a compost and soil mixture, along with a couple of handfuls of organic bone meal and mix up thoroughly.

Fill the hole with the mixture so the plant sits about even or just a bit below the surrounding soil.

Transplanting Container Grown Plants

Transplanting Container Grown Plants - Make Sure Roots Are Strong and Healthy

Test the soil depth by placing the plant in the hole and check with a straight edge - a yard stick will do for this.

Now put about a quart to a half gallon of water into the hole and check the ground level again. Adjust as necessary.

Transplanting Container Grown Plants - Remove Plant From Container:

Remove the plant from the container. You can do this by wrapping sharply on the bottom of the pot. If it won't let loose, you may need to run a knife around the perimeter of the pot for it to "let loose"

Inspect the root system. If it was root bound you need to trim off the roots that encircle the plant as they will eventually strangle the plant. Also remove any partially dead or dying roots completely.

Loosen the root system up a bit by carefully working your fingers through the root system.

Transplanting Container Grown Plants - Final Placement:

Set the plant in the planting hole and double-check the depth. I like to set plants about 1" below soil level so I can form a dish in the soil around the plant to catch water and hold it slightly longer. This also prevents immediate water run-off.

Tightly pack the soil around the plant root system and keep checking the plant for straightness as you fill.

Form your dish in the soil and thoroughly water the plant.

Keep the plant well watered for several weeks, or until the plant is established.