Horticulture and Transplanting


Horticulture has been an important part of the human experience since the time of Alexander the Great. It began when humans moved away from being hunter-gatherers and began to build cities, villages and towns.


Horticulture is the science and industry of plant cultivation. It includes the process of preparing soil for the planting of seeds, cuttings and tubers. Transplanting is the removal of a plant, shrub or tree from one area of soil to reset it in another area of soil. Horticulture covers eight areas of study, which are grouped into two sections--ornamentals and edibles: * Arboriculture * Floriculture * Landscape horticulture * Olericulture * Pomology * Postharvest physiology * Viticulture

How to Transplant

Here are general guidelines for transplanting: *Keep as much dirt around the roots as possible *Disturb the roots as little as possible. Remove the plant gently from the container or soil. *Wrap the root ball in newspaper or burlap, or place it into a pot. *Place the plant into a hole just a bit larger than the root ball. Pull the soil up around the root ball, and pat gently. *Add compost and mulch. Water after transplanting.

Bare-Root Transplants

Sometimes you may purchase bare-root plants. Dig a hole as deep as the root, hold the plant upright in the hole or lay it to one side and pull the soil up around it. Pat lightly. Add compost, mulch and water.


Some plants need staking. This may be accomplished with cages, stakes or support systems, such as tepees or trellises. Add cages while the plant is small. Place stakes alongside the hole prior to transplanting. Trellises should be installed prior to planting.

Removing Plants From Hard Ground

Here are guidelines for transplanting mature specimens: *Water the ground around the plant thoroughly before you dig. *Dig out as far as the roots grow, and then dig down and under as you make your way around the plant. Get as much of the root system as possible, especially the tap root. *Get as much native dirt with the roots as possible. *Place your transplant into a pot or onto burlap or newspaper. Pull your material up around the root ball and dirt and secure it. *Dig the new hole about the same size as the one you took it out of. *Fill the hole around the roots and pat down lightly. *Add compost, mulch and water.

Store or Nursery Transplants

Tilt the pot gently and remove the plant, keeping as much soil as possible. Sit the plant into a hole just a bit larger than the plant root. Pull the soil up around it and tamp the dirt down gently. Add compost, mulch and water.

Difference Between Horticulture and Agriculture

Horticulture refers to the small-scale production of a wide variety of plants, including vines, flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs. Agriculture refers to the large-scale production of one or two primary crops, such as soybeans, cotton, tobacco or corn.

Keywords: transplanting, how to transplant, what is horticulture

About this Author

A professional writer with 20 years of experience, Sally Hansley Odum has been published in over 90 countries. She is currently a contributing writer at Suite101.com, LovetoKnow.com, eHow.com, Travels.com and BrightHub.com. Sally holds a degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College.