How to Deal with Transplant Shock in Your Home Garden

Growing plants from seeds or cuttings is fun and extremely rewarding. But plant transplant shock loss can ruin the fun when plants don’t grow or exhibit the same vigor. Plants are designed to remain in one location, establishing broad or deep roots and staying there until they die. We are the ones who move them to a new location. Plants find it shocking to move to a new location or area. It’s challenging to watch newly transplanted plants adjust to their new environment. You can even lose your beautiful plant as a result.

In this article, I’ll explain how long transplant shock can last and how to avoid it in the first placinge. I’ll also provide some helpful hints on how to spot transplant shock and how to assist a plant in recovering from this problem.

What is Transplant Shock?

Transplanting Houseplants

Transplantation is the process of moving a plant from one location to another. It is a significant event in the life of every plant, similar to moving to a new home. However, it is not as simple as it seems. Plants may experience stress as a result.

A plant experiences a shock when you move it from one location to another because they weren’t prepared for the sudden change in where they were living. Plants that have just been transplanted won’t have a deep root system. Because the roots are disturbed, they cannot carry out their normal functions, such as water and nutrient absorption. As a result, you are more vulnerable to outside injuries, diseases, and pests.

What Causes Transplant Shock?

The following are some of the most frequent factors that affect plants experiencing transplant shock:

  • Poor or injured root system – Since the roots of transplanted plants are weak or damaged, they do not establish themselves well. Such plants are extremely frail and more vulnerable to additional stresses.
  • Improper planting – Another important factor in this is planting depth. Shallow planting increases root stress, while deep planting suffocates the roots.
  • Insufficient space may prevent the plant’s roots from spreading if you put it in a container.
  • When the roots are exposed to air, the tiny invisible rootlets dry out and die.
  • Whenever a plant is moved from its natural location, at least half of its root system and production systems are lost.
  • Companion plants may influence plants that have been transplanted into their new environment.
  • Soil type – Even within a single garden, the soil type varies from corner to corner. There may be clay soil on one side of the corner and humus-rich, well-drained soil on the other.

What Are the Signs of Transplant Shock?

It can be shocking when a plant you transplanted with the best intentions begins to deteriorate. The following are some symptoms of transplant shock:

  • Wilting
  • Yellowing
  • Dropping leaves
  • Failure to produce fruit or flowers
  • In severe cases, death

How to Prevent Transplant Shock?

Transplanting Flowers

The primary cause of transplant shock is an abrupt change in the plant’s environment, and it is advisable to recreate the natural habitat in the new pot or garden. Even though a plant does not experience shock from being handled excessively, you should take precautions to lessen environmental changes when transplanting.

1. Transplant at the Right Time

The best conditions and safest times to transplant using almost any method are at the beginning of spring or the end of fall. Plants, especially field-grown plants, should not be transplanted during the summer. Experts advise planting in the late afternoon when the sun isn’t hottest and the wind is already calm, whether you’re starting from tiny pots, seedlings in flats, larger containers, or a fully grown tree or shrub.

When it comes to container plants, you can transplant them anytime between freezing and thawing. If you are familiar with the soil and other fundamentals of gardening, container plants can be transplanted more easily than trees, seedlings, and shrubs.

NOTE: I enjoy relocating potted plants into a soilless mix that drains well.

2. Avoid Upsetting the Roots

You will most likely need to disturb the root system a little when digging or moving the plants. Make every effort to lessen the effects of transplant shock. When moving the plant, make an effort to preserve the root system and avoid shaking the soil. Make sure the root ball is kept moist as well. The entire plant will perish if the roots completely dry out.

3. Take As Many Roots As You Can

As we already mentioned, the tiniest roots at the root ball’s outermost point are crucial to the plant’s survival and development. The likelihood that a tree or plant will survive transplant shock decreases as you move more healthy roots with the tree or plant.

4. Keep the Roots Moist While Transplanting

Roots typically stay moist in the soil, so allowing them to dry out before transplanting increases the likelihood of shock and injury to the plant. Avoid this by removing the plant from its original location until the new container or space is ready. In some cases, plants do well when placed directly in a water container, but this is not always the case.

If you remove the plant from its previous spot too soon, you can keep it hydrated by covering the root ball with a well-dampened paper towel. Research transplant techniques specific to your plant to ensure the conditions are just right.

5. Prepare the New Spot for Your Plant

Make sure you dig a hole that is both deep and wide enough to fit the plant into on the first try to avoid having to set it in the soil before removing it to adjust to its new location. Make deep planting holes, and provide good drainage to promote the growth of extensive root systems.

Make sure the location you pick meets the plant’s requirements and is at the right depth in the ground. Pay attention to sun exposure, soil drainage, type, and quality. After that, plant it using the appropriate methods, such as planting it gently and deeply enough in the ground.

6. Give Your Plant Plenty of Water After Transplanting

Plants require water to survive, so water them generously after moving, especially young plants. The plant’s root system will sustain some “damage” after transplanting and will need time to recover. Watering is crucial in boosting your plants’ or trees’ resistance to transplant shock.

After that, water plants and trees diligently according to their watering requirements. A cactus, for example, will not require nearly as much water as an almond tree.

7. Fertilize with a Root Booster

After transplanting and watering your plant, use a root booster to promote the growth of its roots. It is a natural growth supplement made up of enzymes, vitamins, and humic acids that help establish strong root systems and naturally stimulate root mass.

8. Keep An Eye On Transplants

Pests and insects will occasionally attack recently transplanted material. A plant in shock does not require the additional stress that bugs bring. Keep a close eye on the plants you’ve moved, be ready to adapt and do what you can to help them flourish in their new environment. Your plants will experience less transplant shock and continue to enjoy the process of growing if you use these techniques!

How To Revive A Plant In Shock

Despite your best efforts, transplant shock can still happen. Do not lose hope or panic about your plant. Here are some useful hints for revitalizing your plant.

1. Trim the Foliage if the Roots Have Been Harmed.

Trimming some of the plant’s leaves and top growth will enable it to concentrate its nutrients and energy on repairing any broken or damaged roots during the transplanting process.

Removing any dead leaves or stems will also enable your plant to concentrate its nutrients on its living components, strengthening them over time.

2. Avoid Adding Fertilizer

You don’t want to fertilize a plant that is experiencing transplant shock. You want it to concentrate on healing since it is already under stress. Fertilizers will put more pressure on it to grow.

3. Add Epsom Salt to Support the Plant’s Growth

Epsom salt can significantly reduce the effects of transplant shock. Add one spoonful of Epsom salt to one gallon of water to make your salt solution. After transplanting the plant, water it with the Epsom salt solution right away to prevent shock from developing.

4. Use Sugar to Help the Plant

Some plants benefit when their water contains a tiny bit of sugar. Sugar is usually not harmful to plants, so it’s worth a shot. When using Epsom salt, be careful not to overdo it by adding sugar, as too many new and additional substances can worsen shock. You should keep an eye out for bugs in the soil if you give your plants a sugar solution.

5. Be Patient During the Transplant.

Naturally, when being transplanted, some plants must go through the shock phase. Keep your plants well-watered and in optimal lighting conditions; they will eventually turn around.


How Long Does Transplant Shock Last?

The type of plant determines the duration of transplant shock. Larger plants and trees can take longer to recover than smaller plants and vegetables, which may only endure shock for a week or two.

The shock duration in a plant is determined not only by the change in soil and environment but also by how it was removed and managed during the transplanting process.

Does Soil Type Affect Transplant Shock?

Although most plants can survive in various soil types, transplant shock is more likely to happen when a plant is moved to a situation with different soil conditions. For instance, moving a leafy plant from compact, wet soil to porous, sandy soil would be detrimental to its health. It is best to keep the plant in surroundings that it is accustomed to.

Does The Type Of Plant I Transplant Have An Impact On Transplant Shock?

Because plant hardiness varies, so can the likelihood that it will experience transplant shock. For instance, delicate plants, like ferns or orchids, are more likely to experience transplant shock and even die than tougher species, like Peperomia Pilea.

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