As spring rolls around, you may find yourself in the nearest nursery looking for some beautiful new plants for your yard.  But too many novice planters misunderstand the delicate nature of transplanting, and find their new purchases shriveling away in the summer sun.

Don’t let this happen to you!  Follow these 4 keys for successful transplants and enjoy your fauna for years to come!

1.     Picking the right Plant

Did you know that where a plant was raised could mean the difference between life and death for a transplant?  Here are some of the most common types and which ones you want to avoid:

  • Container grown: plants that were raised in the pot you buy them in.  These are your ideal.
  • Field grown: plants that grew in the field, then dug up and potted.  If they have lived in the pot for at least one full season, they are probably ok.  But if not – stay away!
  • Balled and Burlapped: larger shrubs or trees dug out of the ground, dirt and all, and placed in a burlap sack.  If the outer roots are still in-tact, they are ok.
  • Bare Root: These are plants with roots exposed – no dirt at all.  These are ONLY acceptable if the plants are moved when dormant (so, late fall or early spring).

2.     TimingSkeleton Pocket Watch

The best time to move plants is when they are in the dormant stage – before any buds have swelled or broken, or after all leaves have fallen away.  By moving these plants when they are “sleeping,” they’ll feel less of the stress of the move, and have some time to recover before they need to work hard at growing.

3.     Food and Water

Newly transplanted plants are very delicate and require special care when it comes to food and water.  ONLY use root-boosting fertilizer for the first year of a new transplant.  Also, make sure the soil always stays moist – not dry, and not drowning.

4.     Patience

Remember that these plants have all experienced a lot of stress.  Keep a special eye on them and be patient.  It could take a year of recovery before you see truly fruitful growth.  But don’t give up – the wait will be worth it!

Photo Credit: viewer765,