En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Removal of leaves before transplanting

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
8 ratings

Saturday - April 05, 2008

From: Opa Locka, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Removal of leaves before transplanting
Answered by:

QUESTION:

Before transplanting a plant, is it a good idea to remove leaves?

ANSWER:

No, you don't ever remove all the leaves, unless they're dead. The leaves on any plant are their manufacturing plants, making the food on which the plant lives. What you are probably thinking of is pruning back some of the branches on the plant when it is transplanted. If you had to cut or prune back some of the roots to get it out of the ground or the pot it had been growing in, then you will need to prune it a little more. Most plants will do better if they are pruned back about a third when they are transplanted. The important thing is to keep the liquids flowing through that plant. Don't leave it out of the pot or out of the ground a minute longer than you have to. Try to work early in the morning or late in the evening when the drying effects of the sun won't be quite so severe. Get the plant in the hole, get the dirt back around it, and then push a hose nozzle down into the soft soil. Turn the water on just a tiny drip and let it run until you can see the water. Turn it off, let it soak and settle, and then run some more water in the same way. A new plant, especially trees and shrubs, will need this kind of watering every couple of days until they have gotten settled in. All this is to prevent transplant shock. A newly transplanted plant can simply shrivel and die if there has been too much damage done to the roots or if too much top growth was left for the roots to get water to.

Here is a good article from The Gardener's Network on Transplanting Bushes, Shrubs and Trees.

 

More Transplants Questions

Salvia, geum transplant shock symptoms
July 21, 2006 - I need some help. I transplanted 2 xeriscape plants and they are not doing well. 1 is Pitcher Sage-sorry I don't know botanical name; the other is White Avens. The've grown a lot but all the leave...
view the full question and answer

Why is my Mountain Laurel in distress?
November 26, 2008 - We have planted our 2nd Texas Mountain Laurel in the same spot (after fresh berm built with sandy loam) and it is not looking good in less than 2 weeks. We have an identical berm on the other end of...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in pecan tree in Garner NC
July 19, 2012 - I transplanted a pecan tree about 3 weeks ago & been watering it 3 times a day. The leaves are turning brown & crumbly before I water it. After I water it, the leaves are brown but I can scratch the t...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on non-native Betula pendula
July 03, 2008 - I live in Puyallup, Washington. I purchased and planted a weeping birch on June 21, 2008. For the first few days all seemed well and the tree seemed to be settling in to its new home. Less than e...
view the full question and answer

Survival possibility of transplant of sucker from oak tree
May 15, 2006 - My neighbor has a young oak tree in his front yard. It has small leaves and round acorns and once a year sprouts shoot up at its base. The neighbor was kind enough to let me dig some up to try to tr...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center