transplanting

transplanting

[v. trans-plant, -plahnt; n. trans-plant, -plahnt]
transplanting, in horticulture, the process of removing a plant from the place where it has been growing and replanting it in another. The major requirement in transplanting (especially of larger plants) is a sufficient water supply, since the roots are almost inevitably injured in the process. In most cases the roots should be pruned well before replanting, both to stimulate new and compact growth and to eliminate the injured portions. The "balling" of tree roots improves the chances of survival of the plant when transplanted. Topping (see pruning) is usually also required to balance the amount of foliage with the reduced root surface, otherwise more moisture is lost in transpiration than can be absorbed by the roots. Transplanting at a time of minimal evaporation (e.g., an evening or a cloudy day) or of minimal growth (e.g., the dormant season) can help minimize the stress on the plant. Crop and garden plants as well as trees are often started in greenhouses or nurseries under conditions carefully controlled to ensure maximal sprouting and vigorous early growth; they are then transplanted as seedlings or young plants to their permanent environment.

See N. Taylor, ed., Encyclopedia of Gardening (4th ed. 1961); bulletins of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

In agriculture and gardening, transplanting or replanting is the technique of moving a plant from one location to another. Most often this takes the form of starting a plant from seed in optimal conditions, such as in a greenhouse or protected nursery bed, then replanting it in another, usually outdoor, growing location. Botanical transplants are used infrequently and carefully because they carry with them a significant risk of killing the plant.

Transplanting has a variety of applications, including:

Different species and varieties react differently to transplanting; for some, it is not recommended. In all cases, avoiding transplant shock—the stress or damage received in the process—is the principal concern. Plants raised in protected conditions usually need a period of acclimatization, known as hardening off. Also, root disturbance should be minimized. The stage of growth at which transplanting takes place, the weather conditions during transplanting, and treatment immediately after transplanting are other important factors.

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