Ten Steps To Transplanting A Container Plant

How to transplant a container plant in ten simple steps, preceded by information on the benefits of transplanting and how to ensure a successful transplantation of your container and household plants.

When the roots of your plants have begun to outgrow their containers, it is time for them to be transplanted. Transplantation is necessary to the health of your plant's roots, and is therefore a necessity for the overall health of your plants. When a plant becomes rootbound(where the roots outgrow the container they are contained in) it can result in sickly, slow growing and very unhealthy plants.

Transplanting can be a traumatic experience for your plants and there are precautions that need to be taken before transplanting and immediately after to ensure a successful transplantation. After an explanation of these precautions, a ten step guide on how to transplant your container plants will be given to help you through your first transplanting.


Transplanting can be a very traumatic experience for your plants. As the roots begin to come into contact with the new soil, they have to adjust to its nutrient content, mineral content and new pH levels. Although most people tend to like transplanting healthy plants, I've seen it cure more than one sickly plant.

First, you should water your plants with a good water-soluble fertilizer, that is intended for transplants. Three commonly recommended fertilizers are Vitamin B1, Ortho Upstart and Miracle Grow All-Purpose fertilizer(they should be mixed, and applied, according to their individual instructions).

During your transplantation you should disturb the root system as little as possible. After transplanting, your plants will need time to adjust and re-establish their root systems. They need low levels of nitrogen and potassium, but will require large quantities of phosphorous. During the period after transplantation, your plant can only absorb so much water and nutrients at first, and as a result they should have subdued light.

Your plants should be transplanted late in the day to give them all night to recover and put a somewhat shady spot for a few days. If you have a few fluorescent lights handy, you can place your plants under them for several days until they have begun to re-establish their root systems.

You should also make sure the pot you are transplanting into is large enough for the roots of your transplants to grow and expand in. When the root systems are disturbed little, fertilizer is properly applied, and light is kept at a minimum for a few days your plants should show few signs of tranplanting shock, or wilting.


1) First, you should water your future transplants with a good transplanting fertilizer such as Miracle Grow All-Purpose, Vitamin B1 or Ortho Upstart, about one to two days before you intend to transplant.

2) Fill your container, or pot, with a commercial potting soil, up to approximately 2 inches below the top of your container.

3) Saturate the soil, of the container in which you intend to transplant, with water containing the transplanting fertilizer of your choice. Make sure the soil is completely saturated with your water-fertilizer solution, leaving no pockets of dry soil.

4) In the container in which you are going to place your transplant, dig out a hole the approximate size of the container from which your transplant will come.

5) Now that your container is prepared for your transplant, you are ready to transplant your plant from it's old container, to it's new one. Roll the transplants old pot in your hand to loosen the dirt an roots from the side of the container. Next, grasp the base of the plant, covering the top of the container with your hand, and turn the container upside down, and pull the root ball out, being careful to keep the roots in one integral piece.

6) Carefully place the root ball in the hole in your prepared container. Make sure that all the roots are pointing down.

7) Now that the root ball is in place, you can fill in the space around it placing soil gently, but firmly around the top of the roots. Make sure the top of the soil line is intact and isn't cracking apart in lines, exposing the roots.

8) With your transplant in it's new container,ypu can now water the plant once again, lightly, with your fertilizer solution. Make sure the soil is saturated, but not soggy.

9) Place your new transplants in low light conditions. You can put them in filtered sun or under fluoresents, if available. The transplants should be able to handle full light within a day or two.

10) With the combination of being placed in new potting soil and having been fertilized, your transplants should be fine with their usual watering schedule for about a month. After that you will need to find a fertilizing schedule that fits your plants individual needs. When your plants have outgrown their new containers, simply follow these ten, simple steps again to transplant to a larger container.

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