How to Cure Transplant Shock

gardener transplanting green plant
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  • Beginner
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What You'll Need
Pruning shears
Moist burlap
Diluted sugar water
What You'll Need
Pruning shears
Moist burlap
Diluted sugar water

When moving a plant from one location to another, your plant is almost guaranteed to go into transplant shock. While some plants strike for a few days, others are affected until the following growing season. Though there isn’t much you can do to prevent transplant shock, there are a few easy steps that you can follow to help cure the shock more quickly.

Before Transplanting

Step 1 – Adding Sugar

To get your plant’s roots working again, add diluted sugar water the soil. While this doesn’t help all plants, it can’t hurt the plant. Boil a few cups of water, and then dilute a few tablespoons of sugar into it. Let the mixture cool before applying it to the root area just before or after transplanting it.

Step 2 – Trimming the Plant Back

You can help the plant save more energy by pruning the plant or tree before transplant. Trim about 1/3 of the plant back. Do not trim too much, or it could make the transplant shock worse.

Step 3 – Learning About Transplantation

Before transplanting your plant, research how your plant should be transplanted. Although the basics of transplantation remain the same from plant to plant, some tips and tricks vary depending on the species. For instance, lavender is best transplanted in the fall or spring.

During Transplantation

When you are digging up the plant to be transplanted, do as little damage to the root ball as necessary. Do not shake the plant or knock any of its roots if possible while transplanting.

After Transplanting

Step 1 – Keeping the Roots Moist

If the root ball is allowed to dry out, it’s likely the plant could go into permanent shock. Keep the root ball from drying out by wrapping the ball in a wet burlap cloth, and spray the plant every few minutes it isn’t in the ground.

Step 2 – Watering It

Water a transplanted plant well after it is first re-planted. This will help to settle the plant and roots into its new home by pulling the roots down and spreading them out.