How to Transplant a Plant

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Q. How do I transplant plants from one area to another?

A. Transplanting plants from one area to another is not difficult, but there are a few steps that should be followed for best results.

TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "Transplanting is best done for plants that are three years old or less. It should be done when the plant is dormant. This could be in the fall or early spring."

Step 1 - Pick a New Spot

Identify the new location for the plant. Be sure that the location will provide the appropriate conditions for the plant.

Step 2 - Dig the New Hole

Dig a hole in the new location that will accommodate the rootball. You want the rootball to sit comfortably in the new hole and be at the same depth as the old hole. Leave the native soil off to the side.

Step 3 - Dig Up the Plant

Circle around the plant with a sharp spade and get as much of the root as possible. Some roots will be severed, this is okay as long as you have gotten a good size rootball.

Carefully lift the plant out of the ground.

TIP: Susan advises, "Do not shake the dirt off of a transplanted rootball--keep some soil to protect the roots."

Step 4 - Set the Plant in the New Hole

Set the shovel with the rootball on it into the new hole. Before removing the shovel fill the hole in with some of the native soil.

Carefully pull the shovel out and pack more dirt around the plant.

TIP: Susan says, "Be very careful of planting transplants too deep. The plant should be at the same level as it was in the old hole. Planting transplants too deep can kill them."

Step 5 - Water and Mulch

Water your transplant well with water from a watering can and add some organic material or mulch around the plant.

TIP: Sisan cautions you. "Do not prune or fertilize your transplant."

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