Potted Plants Planting Guide

When you receive your potted plants, you may find some of the leaves appear to be yellowing or; perhaps, even dead. But that doesn't mean the plants are dead. As long as the root system is healthy, upper foliage will soon regenerate itself.

Your potted plants require little attention before transplanting:

  • Check to make sure the planting medium is still moist, and water if the top is dry.
  • Groom the plant by pinching off any less-than-healthy leaves (for example, leaves that are yellowed or withered).
  • Transplant potted plants to their new home as soon as possible after your shipment arrives.
  • Remove plants from their shipping pots by lightly squeezing or tapping the sides of the container to loosen the planting medium in which the plant has been growing. Then, invert the pot, gently shake the plant loose, and proceed with planting.

Plants which seem to be tightly bound to their pots may be "rootbound." However, they are easy to remove and prepare for planting:

  • First, squeeze the container to loosen the compacted root ball inside.
  • Invert the pot and shake the plant out of the container.
  • If you find a mass of tightly woven roots into the planting medium, cut or tear off the bottom half-inch of the root ball.
  • Then, using a knife or trowel, score a vertical mark on all four sides of the root ball. Even though you will be cutting some of the roots by scoring, loose ends will have a tendency to grow outward into the surrounding soil, while unscored roots would continue to grow in the root ball itself after planting and may cause decreased vigor.

To transplant a potted plant to your garden, first trowel a hole slightly larger than the pot in which the plant arrived. Then remove the plant from its pot as described above and place the plant in the center of the hole with the foliage at the same distance above the soil line as it was in the pot. Fill the planting hole, working soil around the root ball with your fingers, press firmly to remove any air pockets, and water thoroughly.

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