Transplant plants


If you see yourself in the situation that you need transplant a plant, but you don't know if it's the best time or if you should wait a little longer, you're in luck. Today we will talk precisely about this: when plants can be transplanted, all. Depending on the climate, depending on the type of plant, even depending on the time that we ourselves have, we will transplant at one time or another.

In addition, we will give you some tips for aftercare after transplanting plants and that are necessary to recover.

Why do plants need to be transplanted?

The transplant is very important, since it depends on it that they can continue to grow. But there are still more reasons that we explain in this video:

When to transplant plants

daphne smells

Plants are not adapted to transplantation, because in their natural habitat there is no one to go, take them out of the ground and put them elsewhere. Therefore, it is important to observe them to know when they decrease their activity.; that is, when their growth rate drops, because when that happens, then we can transplant them. There are "exceptions" (rather than exceptions as such, what happens is that there are some very resistant ones that will allow us to skip the rule), but in general we will have to follow the calendar that they have inscribed in their genes to know when we can do it and when not.

  • Garden plants: Garden plants planted in seedlings should be moved to larger pots or to the ground as soon as they have a minimum of two pairs of true leaves. If you are in the fall and live in a climate with cold winters, they should not be transplanted until spring arrives or you have a heated greenhouse.
  • Perennial / annual / biennial plants: With these plants you will follow the same advice as with those from the garden, that is: transplant when you have a couple of true leaves, putting them in full sun or semi-shade (depending on the species).
  • Trees (deciduous and evergreen): Trees should be transplanted in late winter, before spring sets in and begins to grow. In the case of deciduous, they can be transplanted in autumn, when they have already lost all the leaves.
  • Shrubbery: Shrubs will be transplanted before spring.
  • Cacti and succulents: These plants can be transplanted in spring and summer, as long as special care is taken to remove the root ball without it falling apart.
  • Carnivorous plants: Carnivorous plants are recommended to be transplanted in spring before they awaken from hibernation, but it can also be done in summer.
  • Palms: The ideal time to transplant is in spring.

If you find yourself in the obligation of transplanting a plant out of season, especially if it is a plant that you want to go from pot to soil or vice versa, be very careful not to crumble the root ball.

How to transplant a plant?

Switching from pots to plants seems very easy, but in reality it is not so easy. You have to think that transplantation is totally unnatural for themSince the seeds germinate until their end, they remain in the same place day after day. Then, by changing the container, they are forced to spend an energy that, in their natural habitat or if they were planted in the garden, they would not have to do.

Therefore, transplantation involves a change that, if not done well, can greatly weaken them, to the point that they could be lost forever, without remedy. To avoid this, it is highly recommended to follow this step by step in which we explain how to transplant a plant:

Choose the pot

It is, perhaps, one of the most important things and to which we must pay more attention when it comes to knowing how to transplant a plant. A pot that is too narrow will not help us, but one that is too wide will not either, since the plant could suffer from overwatering. So how do you know which one to choose? By looking at the plant itself and how it is developing. To have more or less an idea, I can tell you that:

  • Plants that are going to be big (palm trees, trees, bamboos, etc.) require a container that is always at least 4cm wider and deeper.
  • Bulbous, herbaceous and similar they can be planted without inconvenience in pots that are considerably wider than they are deep.
  • Cactus, succulents and the like It will depend on the species in question, but in general they usually need a pot that is 2-3cm wider than the previous one.
  • The bonsai they should be planted in trays intended for them, wide enough so that their root system can fit well.
45cm terracotta pot model
Related article:
How to choose the pots for plants?

Plastic or clay? That is a very good question. As they are two very different materials, we are going to see what are the advantages and disadvantages of each type:

Plastic pots

plastic pots

  • Advantages: they are very inexpensive, light and therefore easy to transport or move around.
  • Drawbacks: over time the sun's rays weaken the material, causing it to break. Also, if you live in an area where the summer is very hot, it overheats a lot, which can endanger the roots. Another important issue is that it is not porous, so your root system will have a lot of trouble rooting well.

Clay pots

clay pot

  • Advantages: allows the roots to develop correctly, and they are very resistant. They are also very ornamental, and have the right weight to withstand the wind better than plastic pots.
  • Drawbacks: their price is higher, and they break easily when falling to the ground.

Prepare the substrate

Substrate for plants

Once we have chosen the pot, it's time to prepare the substrate. As there are many types of plants and each of them has its own needs, we recommend that you read this guide so that you know what mixture you should put on your plant.

As soon as we have the earth ready, we will fill the container with it, up to a little less than half.

Plant extraction

plants to transplant

Now comes the trickiest part: removing the plant from its old pot. As we have mentioned, you have to be very careful so that the root ball (earth bread) does not crumble, otherwise it will then have more difficulties to overcome the transplant. To make it easier and to minimize the risk of problems, we will water thoroughly, soaking the entire substrate well.

Then, we will give some blows to the pot to try to make the earth `` detach '' from it, we will take the plant by the base of the trunk or main stem, and we will pull it up. It should come out easily, but if it doesn't, or if we see that it has roots outside the pot, what we will do is cut the container with scissors.

Introducing the plant into its new pot

After we have removed it from its old '' home '', we will proceed to place it in its new one. To do this, simply we have to ensure that it is well in the center, and that it is neither too high nor too low on the edge of the pot. The ideal is always that it is a little below, about 0,5cm; In this way, when we irrigate the land, it will be able to filter all the water we pour.

Finish planting it

plants in clay pots

Almost ending, what remains is fill the pot with more substrate. It is necessary to exert a little downward pressure, for example with a closed hand, each time we add soil, since this is how it compacts and we will be able to know if we are adding the right amount or if we have, on the contrary, to remove a little.

Irrigation and relocation

watering can

Finally, we will water thoroughly and place our beloved plant in a very bright area but protected from direct sun. Although it is of a heliophilic species (sun lover), having undergone a transplant it is highly advisable to have it a little pampered in a semi-shaded place until we see it growing.

After a month, we can pay it. Now that you know how to transplant a plant, let's see the care that exists after the process of transplanting plants.

Organic compost on the ground
Related article:
All about fertilizers

Care after transplanting plants

Transplant Succulent Plants

A transplanted plant is must observe for a few days to see how it continues. You will usually recover in a short time, but there are some that have a harder time. That is why we must maintain control over irrigation, avoiding waterlogging.

We will not pay until at least one month has passed since the transplant, as long as we see any sign of growth.

All in all, you will see how in a matter of time you will have your plant strong and healthy. Have you had any difficulty when it comes to transplant plants?

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  1.   JOYFUL WAKE said


  2.   wrestler said

    Thank you very much that data of the two real leaves give the transplant signal
    I did not know whether to do it or not ... thank you very much

  3.   Monica Sanchez said

    Thanks to you 🙂.

  4.   Luis Alberto Argañaraz said

    Very good inform me of the transplant problem thank you very much. Toad.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      We're glad it was helpful to you, Luis. Greetings 🙂

    2.    Silvia said

      Hello, I have a kokedama to pot, how do I follow the common procedure?

      1.    Monica Sanchez said

        Hello Silvia.
        Yes, the steps are the same. The only thing that first of all you must remove the coconut fiber that covers its roots.

        If you have doubts, ask 🙂


  5.   diego said

    when I can transplant a vine I live in the south here it is cold and I have to move my plant

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Diego.
      The best time to transplant is in spring.
      A greeting.

  6.   protection said

    trees acquired in greenhouses can be planted at any time

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Amparo.
      In winter it is not recommended, especially if frosts occur as they could damage them.
      A greeting.

  7.   The Beaver said

    When can a geranium plant be transplanted?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello The Beaver.
      You can do it in spring, before it blooms, or after.
      A greeting.

  8.   Sari said

    Good morning my seeds have germinated and several fine stems and some small leaves have just come out. I guess these are not the "true leaves", how could you recognize them? Is there an approximate time for them to hatch?
    I still have them in the seedbed covered with transparent film, when would it be advisable to remove the film and be able to water them?

    Thank you very much and congratulations for the blog.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Sari.
      The first leaves, the cotyledons, are usually rounded in shape. They are very simple leaves that have a very short life (2 weeks on average).
      The true leaves appear shortly after the seed has germinated. As soon as they begin to emerge, the cotyledons begin to wilt.

      You can remove the film from them now, because as they already have leaves, even if they are primitive, they can already photosynthesize and grow.

      By the way, if you haven't, I recommend spraying the little plants with fungicide, because at this age fungi are capable of killing them in days. Do it at sunset, when the sun is setting.

      Greetings and thank you. We are glad you like the blog 🙂

  9.   Adelaide said

    good afternoon I would like to know what time is the most appropriate to transplant a bush for example flirtatious

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Adelaide.
      It can be transplanted at any time of the day, in a place protected from direct sun.
      The most recommended time to transplant the plant you mention is in spring, before it blooms.
      A greeting.

  10.   George said

    Hello, I bought a tipa tree in a nursery and planted it and its leaves fell off but that was 2 months ago, it is already going to the third month and it still does not sprout but its stem is still green how long you think it takes or I already lost it something?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Jorge.
      As long as the trunk remains green, there is hope.
      Water it two or three times a week in summer and a little less the rest of the year.
      In spring it sure sprouts well.
      A greeting.

  11.   Richard Rodriguez said

    Hi Monica, a query from Venezuela. I have a Physalis peruviana (ushuva; chuchuva; alquequenje and a thousand other names) that by chance grew in a pot where I planted an oregano plant. I didn't pluck it when it started to grow because I thought it might be tomato or pumpkin. To sum it up, it grew a lot and when I was going to get rid of it my son identified it as the plant mentioned at the beginning. It is currently bearing fruit. It is in a conical pot 16 cm deep and 16 cm in diameter, it was too small for both plants! It is apparently fine and full of "lanterns" (many). I was thinking of transplanting it to another pot, but I am afraid of irreparably damaging it. Can you guide me on this? Here we only have two seasons: a not very rainy winter and a very hot summer.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Richard.
      When it is bearing fruit, it is not advisable to transplant it, since it would be forced to spend an extra energy that it does not have at this time, since all it uses, apart from staying alive, to the fruits. A change of pot now would be very detrimental to her.
      What you can do is wait for these fruits to finish maturing, and then yes, change the pot. How do you do it? With great care and patience:
      -First, water the plants, so that the soil is well soaked.
      -Second, extract the plants from the container.
      -Third, identify the roots of the Physalis (simply dig a little soil from the surface of the root ball, where it is growing).
      -Fourth, remove as much dirt as you can from the roots of the Physalis.
      -Fifth, untangle the roots. To make it go well, you can place the root ball or earth bread in a container with water. This way you can remove more soil without damaging the roots too much.
      -Six, plant the plants in individual pots. For the specific case of Physalis, I advise you to water it about three to four times a week with homemade rooting hormones (here! explains how to obtain them).
      A greeting.

  12.   Carlos Estrada said

    Good morning, taking advantage of the usefulness of this site, I want to consult: two months ago I raised two avocado trees after being born in two containers with water, to this date, one of them only changed the color of its leaves, which were purple and now they are green and bright; but the other one has sad, opaque leaves and the seed is turning pale, the stem is darkening. What can I do, or will it be normal?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi carlos.
      It is very possible that a fungus is harming you. You can sprinkle it with copper or sulfur, but when the stem is darkening… it's a bad sign.
      Treat the other one too, just in case.
      Do not put them in the sun after the treatment, as they could burn.
      A greeting.

  13.   Beatriz said

    Good night! I just bought a pachuca tree, I live in Madrid and I wanted to know if I have to wait for spring to be able to transplant it, how often it is necessary to do it and if each time I have to put it and a bigger pot. Also when to prune it and if it is necessary compost or fertilizer.

    Thank you very much!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Beatriz.
      To transplant the Pachira you have to wait for spring. You should always move to a somewhat larger pot (about 3-4cm wider each time).
      It is not necessary to prune it, but you do have to pay it in spring and summer with liquid fertilizers, such as guano, following the instructions specified on the package.
      A greeting.

  14.   alfonso perez said

    Hi Monica, I have a plant in a pot, it's called wax flower, I want to plant it in the ground, how long have you advised me and what do I have to do to transplant it; Thank you.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Alfonso.
      You can do it in spring. But do you mean Hoya carnosa or Chamelaucium uncinatum? I ask you because the first one does not resist frost.
      A greeting.

  15.   Carla said

    Hello, I have transplanted my anthuriums after two years, but when putting them in the new pots I have noticed that they are not draining. I do not know if that is because the prepared soil is still very dry, but I feel that I have poured enough water on them and I am afraid of drowning them. That I have to do? I see them sad, it makes me sad

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Carla.
      I recommend you take the pots and put them in a container with water for 30 minutes. Thus the earth will be completely moistened.
      A greeting.

  16.   Ingrid S said

    Hello Carla, I sowed a carambolo 2 days ago already born, what should I do to keep it so that it does not get damaged?
    Another question, should I spray the plants that I transplant every day until they turn on? The weather is very hot

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Ingrid.
      I think you got the wrong name. We don't have any Carla as editor 🙂
      To prevent it from dying, you can sprinkle copper or sulfur on the surface of the substrate once a month.
      I do not recommend spraying them as they could die as a result of fungus.
      A greeting.

  17.   Adrian Garcia said

    I have an iresine and I want to ask myself if it has grown a lot, can the transplant be done? : v

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Adrian.
      Yes, you can transplant it in spring.
      A greeting.

  18.   Graciela said

    Hi! I sowed two medlar seeds, when they were about 10 cm, this Saturday I transplanted them into two individual pots. One of them is perfect and the other has some leaves a bit weakened ... I thought I would cover it to help strengthen it. Is my idea correct?
    I would appreciate very much the answer since the seeds have a very special affective value and it was an achievement to see them grow !!

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Graciela.
      No, what happens to your little plant is that it is being attacked by fungi. It is very normal in young plants (more info here!).
      Sprinkle copper or sulfur over the substrate and water.
      A greeting.

  19.   Moses said

    excellent article

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Great, we're glad you liked it 🙂

  20.   Walter Suarez said

    Good afternoon,
    I have germinated chili seeds and watermelon seeds separately in containers with wet napkins.
    What is the transplant process?

    Thank you.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Walter.

      It is the following:

      1.- Fill a small pot -may be 6,5cm in diameter- with substrate and water.
      2.- Make a hole in the center of the substrate.
      3.- Insert the germinated seed carefully, leaving the root buried.

      The next transplant will be when the plant already has roots that come out through the holes in the pot. Then you can plant it in the garden or in a larger pot.

      Meanwhile, that day arrives, put it in a place with a lot of light but without giving it directly, since it could burn. When it has 2-3 pairs of leaves, gradually accustom it to the sun.

      If you have questions, contact us.


  21.   Elsa Guarded said

    Why is it so important to transplant the plant with a large part of its soil? Which has benefits?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Elsa.

      This is done so as not to damage the roots. The less they are handled, the better the chances of overcoming the transplant.


  22.   Claudia said

    After transplanting a sunflower, how long should it take to put it in the sun?

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Claudia.

      If it has never had the sun, you have to get used to it little by little so that it does not burn. For a week one or two hours you have to be in the sun early in the morning or in the afternoon; the following week it will be two or three hours; the next 3 or 4 hours, etc.


  23.   Light and Shade said

    Hello good day and how and when I transplant the ferns please at my mother's house she told me that she has not done it for more than 10 years and I think the same thing happens with the fertilizer can you tell me please and thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello, Luz.
      You can change the pot in spring, or if they are indoors, at any time of the year except the coldest. The new pot has to have holes in its base, and be about 7 centimeters wider than the one you have right now.

      The steps to follow are explained in the article:

      After a week, it can be fertilized with a liquid fertilizer for plants, following the instructions for use.

      A greeting!