How to Transplant Potted Plants & Plugs
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Transplanting Guide: How to Transplant Native Perennials
Unpacking Your Order
- Immediately open the box(es) and remove your plants, along with the excelsior packing materials. Carefully remove the material from around the plant.
- Place your potted plants in a cool place or shaded area indoors and away from direct sunlight or wind
- Check your plants to determine if they need water. If plants are dry, water them thoroughly, giving them enough so the entire root mass is wet and water is draining out of the pots. Plants dry out quickly in small pots, especially if exposed to heat.
- Do not plant your plants immediately upon receiving them. Instead, allow them to re-hydrate for 24 hours before transplanting into your garden. If you are unable to plant them following this 24 hour period, keep the plants in a protected area, out of direct sunlight and wind and check them daily to determine if they need water. For best results, transplant your order within 7 days of receipt, weather permitting.
Weather conditions during our shipping periods in early spring and late fall can be of some concern. Our plants are very hardy and can withstand several hard freezes after they are planted. If inclement weather is present at the time you receive your plants (a hard freeze or storm is predicted), store your plants in a protected area (porch or garage) until the weather improves. During this time water the plants if needed.
The area you are planting should be free of weeds and other vegetation to minimize competition for water, light and nutrients. Planting directly into live, established sod is not recommended. Large clods or clumps of soil should be broken up.
Transplanting Potted Plants
- Dig a hole that is about the same depth as the soil of the potted plant. Remove the plant with the surrounding soil from the pot and position the plant in the hole so that the soil level of the potted plant is slightly below the surrounding soil surface. (This is done so that when the plant is watered, the water flows into the plant, rather than away from the plant). Fill soil in and around the plant completely, firming the soil as you work the plant into position in the hole. Take care as to not leave any air pockets in the hole. Cover the plant’s original soil mix with a little garden soil to help reduce wicking of moisture out of the potted soil mix.
- Water newly installed plants thoroughly. If you received dormant plants (in early spring shipping, mid April, or in October) be careful not to over water them. Remember, dormant plants are “asleep” and won’t take up a lot of water as they are not actively growing and using water. For the first few weeks after transplanting check your plants daily and water only when the soil is dry.
- Use the plastic pot tag included with each plant to identify newly installed transplants. This is especially important for fall orders.
- Cover the area around your new transplants with 3 to 4 inches of mulch (dried grass, dried shredded leaves or clean straw). This will insulate your plants, and preserve valuable soil moisture. When mulching leave a circle of bare soil, about 2 inches in diameter, around the stem of the plant so water can flow directly to the roots.