How to Transplant Flowers Without Shock


Whether you must transplant seedling flowers in the spring from their small temporary containers or you must relocate perennial flowers to a new growing area, transplanting flowers can cause stress for these sensitive plants. Flowers that experience stress may suffer growth problems and can even die because of the shock. Take steps to minimize transplant shock by moving flowers at a time when the flowers will not experience stress from the move.

Step 1

Prepare the new planting area prior to removing the flowers from their current growing location. Work the soil with the garden spade to a depth of at least 4 inches to aerate the soil and make it loose. Add 2 inches of compost to the soil to improve the nutrients and drainage abilities of the soil. Rake the soil smooth to finish the soil preparation.

Step 2

Dig holes for the flowers with the shovel. Make the holes deep enough to plant the flowers at the same depth as they are growing in their current location. Space the holes in accordance with the mature height of the flowers. Space thin, tall flowers one-fourth of their mature height apart. Space bushy, tall flowers one-half of their mature height apart. Space bushy, shorter plants a distance equal to their mature height apart.

Step 3

Remove the flowers from their current growing location. Flowers growing in temporary containers will release more easily if you moisten the soil before you attempt to remove them. Pinch the temporary containers from the bottom to work the flowers loose and tip them out gently. Dig flowers growing in the soil carefully with the shovel, placing the shovel approximately 3 inches away from the plant to ensure you do not damage the root systems. Angle the shovel blade beneath the plant roots and remove the plant from the soil.

Step 4

Place the flowers into the prepared holes carefully and fill soil in gently around the roots to plant the flowers at the same depth they were previously growing. Tamp the soil down firmly with your hands.

Step 5

Provide a thorough watering of the newly transplanted flowers immediately after you finish planting them. Saturate the soil evenly with water.

Step 6

Apply 2 to 3 inches of shredded mulch around the transplanted flowers to help minimize transplant shock. The mulch will keep the soil temperature cooler and moister.

Step 7

Keep the newly transplanted flowers evenly moist while the roots acclimate to the transplant. It may take up to one month for a plant to adjust fully to the transplant.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden spade
  • Compost
  • Rake
  • Shovel or trowel
  • Shredded mulch (wood chips or bark)


  • North Carolina State University: Transplanting Summer Flowers
  • Ohio State University Extension: Herbaceous Ornamentals
Keywords: transplant seedling flowers, relocate perennial flowers, minimize transplant shock

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.