How to Treat Transplant Shock in Shrubs


No matter how careful you are when you transplant a shrub, no matter how gentle you are with the roots, there is almost always an element of transplant shock once the shrub has been moved. Although transplant shock is virtually guaranteed, take these steps to minimize its effect on your plants and speed their recovery.

Step 1

Transplant your shrubs in late winter or early spring while the plants are still dormant. Transplant shock is reduced if the shrub is dormant when moved.

Step 2

Choose a location with sufficient sunlight and soil drainage for the shrub you are transplanting. Dig a hole for your shrub at least twice as large as the root ball of the shrub you are transplanting.

Step 3

Place the shrub in its new hole and carefully press the soil around its roots, being careful not to break any roots. Plant the shrub at the same depth as its previous location.

Step 4

Water the shrub well. The soil should be damp but not soggy.

Step 5

Add an inch of organic manure to the soil around the transplanted shrub and water one more time. Keep the soil damp but not soggy until signs of new growth appear.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Water
  • Organic manure


  • Perdue University Department of Horticulture: Transplanting Shrubs
  • Washington State University: Myth of Vitamin B1
  • Do It Yourself: How to Cure Transplant Shock
Keywords: shrub transplant shock, cure transplant shock, transplanting a shrub

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.