How to prevent my plant from wilting after transplanting it

Many factors can contribute to a plant wilting after transplanting, but there are some steps to reduce the risk of this happening.

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Wilting of a plant after transplanting may be due to root damage during transplanting or a sudden change in conditions to which the plant has difficulty reacting.

Optimize care before and after transplanting, and be very careful when transplanting so as not to damage the roots and prevent your plants from wilting.

Root damage

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When repotting your plant try to disturb the roots as little as possible. This depends a lot on the plant and the situation, but many plant roots are easily damaged if they are disturbed too much.

If your plant is very root bound, it clearly has a large root mass to support the plant. These plants will benefit from having their densely packed root ball loosened when transplanted. This will help the roots grow and spread out in the new growing medium and will make the plant healthier in the long run.

Soil change

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Be careful when choosing the soil to transplant. Although plants have different needs, they all adapt to the conditions offered to them. A sudden change in soil composition or pH can affect the root system and cause the plant to wilt after transplanting.

It is best to use a similar mix but add seams such as perlite or coarse sand to increase drainage, ensure the pot has good drainage, and consider a porous potting material such as terracotta to improve the drying characteristics of the soil.

Lack of water

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If your plant wilts after transplanting, it may be due to a lack of water in the soil or the roots being temporarily unable to absorb the water the plant needs. It is advisable to water the plants well a few days before transplanting them. Watering a few days in advance allows the plant to optimize hydration and start the transplant process in good shape.

How to prevent a plant from wilting

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  • Be sure to pay special attention to your plants’ care needs in the weeks leading up to transplanting. A healthy plant will have a much better chance of getting through the transplanting process with ease.
  • Spend time researching the ideal type of pot and soil for your plant so that you can repot in ideal conditions. Don’t forget to think about the size of the pot, as well as the material, as this can have a big influence on the long-term health of the plant.
  • Make sure the new potting mix you use is free of pests or diseases. Be especially careful if you plan to reuse old potting mix.
  • Prepare everything you need to transplant your plant. Put some soil in the new pot so you can place your plant directly in it when it’s ready.
  • Try sliding your plant out of its current pot. If the plant doesn’t come out right away, gently squeeze the sides of the pot to loosen the soil and roots.
  • Avoid pulling the plant by the stem or foliage, as this can damage the roots or foliage, which can increase the risk of the plant wilting after repotting.
  • If the plant is in a clay pot and you’re having trouble getting it out, use a knife and slide it down the side of the pot to separate it from the soil.
  • Place the pot on its side and carefully remove the plant. Pick it up by the root ball and clip the foliage. Place it in the new pot. You will only need to loosen the roots if the plant is very root bound. Otherwise, avoid disrupting the roots as much as possible.
  • Gently add the new potting mix around the sides of the plant until the soil reaches the same levels as it was in the previous pot. Adding soil at a higher level than above can cause stem rot problems, so be careful.

Care after transplant

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Do not make any sudden changes in the care of your plant for several weeks after transplanting, except under the following circumstances.

  • If your plant was previously in inadequate lighting for it, adjust it a bit towards more moderate conditions. This will encourage the growth of the plant, without causing excessive stress.
  • If your plant needs more humidity than you can normally provide, consider taking steps to improve humidity, such as grouping your plants together, using a humidity tray, or trying one of these other ways to increase humidity.
  • Consider monitoring the temperature around your plants to make sure it’s ideal. I use a digital thermometer that records the current temperature, the maximum and the minimum. This helps me move my plants to a place where the temperature range is always in their comfort zone.
  • Avoid fertilizing your plants for at least 2-3 weeks to prevent wilting after transplanting. Repotting is stressful for plants, as is the sudden influx of nutrient salts.
  • Pay special attention to your plants’ water needs after transplanting to prevent wilting. Never water your plants on a schedule. Instead, check your plants’ soil and foliage regularly for signs that they need watering.

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