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How Long Does It Take For Plants To Recover From Transplant Shock

by Idris Ya'u
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

The short answer: generally, the duration of transplant shock varies from plant to plant. Some plants like trees can take anywhere from two years or more to recover from transplant shock. However, plants such as vegetables can recover from transplant shock in weeks or months.

Read on to learn a detailed step by step guide on how long does it take for a plant to recover from transplant shock plus tips on how to fix transplant shock.

How long does it take for plants to Recover from Transplant Shock?

Generally, plants are not like human beings who used to move from one place to another. Plants are destined naturally to complete their life cycle in one spot.

But, what if you as the owner want to change a new home and you want to go along with your favorite plants? Or maybe you started some seeds indoors during the hot summer and you want to transplant them to the garden during the cold season.

Uprooting the plants and transplanting them to another garden spot will be the beginning of a new dilemma for these plants and may lead to their wilting, yellowing, and in severe cases death. This is known as transplant shock.

Transplant shock is the physiological response that is shown by plants in response to changes in climatic conditions and soil when they are moved from one environmental condition to another.

But, how long does it take plants to remain in this condition after the transplanting:

As earlier stated, recovering from transplant shock depends on the type of plants you are transplanting. Some plants can take a very long period of time before they can recover from transplant shock while other plants can quickly recover within a week or months.

For instance, vegetables can recover from the shock after 2-4 weeks of transplanting. However, plants such as trees can take up to two years or more before they can recover from all transplant shock stress.

Eventually, for some plant trees, it can them up to 5 years before they can fully recover from transplant shock.

Another important factor that controls how long plants take to recover from shock stress is the way the plants are handled during uprooting and transplanting.

Generally, plants are very sensitive to changes in climatic conditions and soil. If you transplant a plant from a rich-loamy soil to a slightly rich sandy soil, there is a high likelihood that the plants will go to shock.

Therefore, if you want to reduce the risk of transplanting shock, you need to mimic the natural environment of the plants on the new spot you want to transplant your plants too.

As you can see, in this case, you can reduce or avoid the transplant shock when the plants’ are transplanted the right way.

Here are some ways to help you reduce the occurrence of transplant shock:

Ways to Reduce Transplant Shock

Get everything Ready before Transplanting

Before you ever uproot any of your plants, make sure that you neatly and correctly prepared the new plot where you want to move the plants too.

Ensure that the garden plot is near or similar to their natural or original plot. Male sure the soil quality is the same thing as that of their old spot. You can simply do this by taking soil from the old garden spot to the new garden spot.

Water the new Spot Correctly

You need to moisten the new garden spot with water for at least 2-3 days if not for one week. The main thing is to make sure that the spot is moist and cool. But, avoid damping up.

Related: How To Take Care Of A Garden (Vegetables & Flowers)

Uproot the Plants alongside the Root bulbs

Do not just uproot the plants with your hands. This way you are stressing plants’ roots and this can lead to wilting or plants’ death. Use your hand shovel and remove the plants alongside the soil and dirt that surround the plants. The roots will not suffer if you uproot them this way because they will be receiving water and food from the soil and dirt that surround the plants.

Reduce the Number of Leaves

If the seedlings or plants are too leafy, consider reducing the number of leaves. This way, you are reducing the stress that is on the roots for feeding the leaves. Cut the leaves but avoid injuring the plants.

Related: How To Prepare A Garden Plot With Pictures

Dig holes that will Fit the Roots Bulbs

Make sure before uprooting the plants you dug holes that can accommodate the size of the root bulbs of each plant.

When you first dug holes, you do not need to wait for digging holes after uprooting the plants. You simply need to put them into the new holes.

Water the Plants Regularly

During this time your plants require more water more than any time. But, just because your plants require water during this time that does not mean you should make the soil too soggy or damp. Just water wisely in such a way the ground where the plants are transplanted will remain moist.

You need to keep an eye and whenever the ground is dry, moisten the ground by wisely watering the ground.

Additionally, during the transplant shock, avoid giving your plants fertilizer. This is because fertilizer can increase the growth of plants’ leaves and this also increases more load or pressure on the plants’ roots, which in turn leads to transplant shock.

But, what if after so much effort the plants still go into shock?

Here is what to do to fix plants from transplant shock:

How do you Fix a Transplant Shock?

If your plants go into a transplant shock, you can only reduce the severity of the symptoms but you can’t cure it completely. The best remedy is to avoid it.

However, if all efforts you put into avoiding transplant shock fails, try lessening the symptoms by keeping the plants’ roots moist so that the transplanted plants can get enough water to survive. Water by Paying extra attention to the soil and apply a little water when the topsoil begins to dry out.

Another way to reduce the effects of transplant shock is to mix water and sugar in a container and then put the mixture around the base of the transplanted plants. Also, mix the soil that surrounds the transplanted plants with this solution.

This helps provide immediate energy to the plants’ roots and helps them recover quickly from the transplant shock.

During this time, you need to exercise patience and water the plants regularly at least for the first two weeks after transplanting.

Tip: Learn more about transplanting and transplant shock here

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for plants to wilt after transplanting?

When plants are transplanted, especially those plants that are well established on the ground, it is common for those plants to show abnormal symptoms. And one such symptom is wilting.

What you need to do is to water the plants too frequently and much in order to help the plants recover back to normal.

Can plants recover from over water?

It depends on the severity of the symptoms. Some plants that are affected by overwatering usually do not recover.

However, if your over-watered plants are going to survive, you can see some signs. You can take the plants back to a new spit and resume giving them water as recommended.

Can plants recover from under watering?

Yes, you can recover plants that are suffering from water stress by watering them normally with water. The plants can recover within some hours after receiving this water.

If the plants’ leaves are wilted too much and sift, this can likely take the plants a day or so before they fully recover after receiving the water.

How do you tell if underwatering vs overwatering?

You will know that your plants are underwatering when you touch the leaves and you feel crispy and light.

The leaves will also turn brown in color as a result of water deficiency. On the other hand, overwatered plants are characterized by leaves falling, yellowing of leaves, and rotting of roots.

Should you water plants at night or in the morning?

The best time that is known to be normal for watering is morning and evening.


Transplanting is one of the threatening moments that can sometimes lead to their death especially if not handled correctly.
Common problems that may arise during transplanting are wilting, stunted or poor plant growth, falling of leaves, and in severe cases death. All these symptoms that may result from transplanting are collectively known as transplant shock.

In this article, I looked at how to reduce or avoid transplant shock. I also discussed how to fix the transplant shock in case you transplanted your plants wrongly.

I hope the article will be of excellent help to you in understanding transplant shock and how long it takes plants to recover from transplant shock. Let know if you have any question in the comments section below.

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