Transplanting Time

It’s that cooler time of year in our mild sub tropical zone. The plants are not growing so fast any more, and don’t need as much water. So it’s the perfect time for transplanting those plants you want to move around the garden.

Firstly, it’s important important to mention that not all plants will transplant. So forget about eucalypts, grevilleas, callistemon, tibouchina; the list could go on. Also the larger the plant the less your are likely to have success transplanting your plant. Anything bigger than 2 – 2.5m forget it.

Do your research. Search for the plant you want to transplant and see if it is possible. Common ones I have transplanted are things like gardenias, crotons and ixoras.

Now we are at the process of transplanting get out your post hole shovel for the digging, and secateurs. Get the secateurs and cut the plant to ⅓ of its current height. Make sure you keep a few leaves on the plant, just so it has something to produce some food for itself.

gardenia pruned with a few leaves for photosynthesis and placed in a bucket of water waiting transplant

gardenia pruned with a few leaves for photosynthesis and placed in a bucket of water waiting transplant

Next we  dig the plant. Since you have reduced the height of the plant you can pierce the roots. Dig out the plant making sure you have a sufficient root ball, and roots. It should be no less than 30cm round and 30cm deep. The bigger the plant the bigger the root ball should be.

Dig the hole for the new position of your plant. Make sure the soil is loose where you are planting it. If the soil is dry, throw a bucket of water in the hole beforehand and let it drain through.  Loose soil is important because soft roots do not penetrate compacted soil very easily, so the quicker the roots can spread out the better it is for the plant.

Make sure the plant is planted deep enough so it won’t fall over, other wise stake it for the meantime.

The last and most important thing, is provide it more water than you would usually. In winter, twice a week in clay and 3 times a week in sand.

You can provide it liquid feed once a month in winter just to move it on, but no solid fertiliser as the roots are sensitive.

Best of luck with your big move.

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