Plants that grow in containers require occasional repotting to provide adequate root space for future growth. Repotting a large plant can cause transplantation shock, a condition that may lead to numerous symptoms. Proper care can help restore the health of your potted plant, while taking certain precautions whenever you repot plants can help prevent this occurrence.
Transplantation shock can occur in landscape plants and potted specimens. Moving a large plant from one container to another can cause damage to the roots and foliage. Transplantation shock usually causes the large plant to stop growing and developing new leaf nodes. The existing leaves and branches may lose strength, causing them to droop and curl. Transplantation shock often leads to leaf drop, especially after the leaves begin to turn yellow.
Planting at the wrong time in the growth cycle, such as when the plant is forming blossoms, can increase the risk of transplantation shock. Using a different kind of potting soil or placing the plant under different lighting conditions may also contribute to a reduction in vitality following transplantation. Leaving the roots exposed to the air during the repotting process may also shock the large plant.
Avoid further stress to your injured plant by keeping the soil evenly moist, according to the specific requirements for your individual plant. Check the bottom of the new pot for drainage holes. A lack of adequate drainage can increase the risk of root rot. Place the new pot in the same location as the old pot to provide the same lighting and temperature conditions that your plant previously experienced. Feed your plant a general houseplant food, following the instructions on the package label. Prune off any dead leaves and stems.
Avoid transplant shock by properly repotting large plants. Use a large pot that contains several drainage holes in the bottom. Select the same type and texture of potting soil that is in the original container. Remove the plant from the existing pot by loosening and lifting out the root ball, rather than pulling out the plant by the stems or stalks. Place the root ball into the soil as quickly as possible. Keep the level of the root ball at its prior depth, and avoid shaking or jarring the plant during transplantation.
Laura Wallace Henderson
Laura Wallace Henderson, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear online at Biz Mojo, Walden University and various other websites. She has served as the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." She continues to empower and encourage women everywhere by promoting health, career growth and business management skills.