How to Transplant Big Shrubs in Pots

Large potted shrubs might need transplanting since they’re new, recently bought plants grown in ultra nursery containers. Or, they might have been growing in the same big container for a while and it’s time to transfer them into a larger container or into the garden. While awkward, transplanting large potted shrubs doesn’t have to be hard. Timing and care in managing the shrub make the difference between unsuccessful and successful transplanting.

Removing the Shrub

Prior to removing the shrub from the pot, tie the branches up to reduce damage. Attach twine around the back or trunks near the base of their branches and end twine around them in an upward spiral until you reach the top. Knot the twine to store the branches in place. When it’s in a lightweight metallic or plastic nursery pot, then cut it open to publish the root ball. With heavier pots, use a garden knife or sharp spade — depending on the size of this plant to loosen the dirt all the way around the pot’s edge. Grasp plant’s base and tug securely to remove it.

Root Issues

Newly purchased big shrubs and old potted specimens might be root-bound. This occurs every time a plant’s roots stop growing circle and outward around the dirt ball within the pot, girdling it. These roots cannot absorb and deliver nutrients effectively, sapping a tree’s strength. Once the shrub is from the container, then check for girdling. If the girdling roots are small, pull them visible by hand. If the girdling roots are fibrous and tough, use a garden knife or sharp spade to cut through the root ball in four to eight places, spreading the cut segments away from the plant’s center. When cutting the origins, use tools which have been wiped with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol. This helps prevent the spread of disease.

Get a New Pot

When a large shrub is transplanted from the first pot to a larger one, make certain the new bud is at least as deep as the old one and wider than the circumference of this tree’s crown. Before transplanting, water the root ball. Ideally, the new potting medium and the soil root ball soil will be evenly moist. Cover pot bottom with a layer of drainage material, and leading it with dirt. Position the shrub to ensure that the the root ball shirt is slightly lower compared to the pot’s upper rim. Fill in with new potting mix, firming as you move. Always use a container which has at least one drainage hole in it.

Transplanting to the Garden

To transplant a large shrub in a pot to the ground in a garden, spread any girdled roots. Dig a hole deep equivalent to the height of the root ball and 2 to three times wider than its width. Position the cylinder so the top of the root ball is flush with the top of the planting hole. Fill the hole complete and firm soil, then add water to the hole. Finish filling the hole, firming soil as you move. When you finish filling the hole, firm and water the area one more time. Apply a 3-inch layer of organic mulch around the shrub, keeping the mulch at least 6 inches apart from the trunk.

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