Watering new plants properly is the best way to ensure successful transplanting and reduce shock from changes in the plants’ environment. When you transplant a seedling or move a plant from a nursery to your house, the plant usually goes into a kind of shock. Plants show this by wilting, yellowing, slowing their growth or dropping leaves. Sometimes shock can kill a new plant. Good watering ensures minimal damage to roots and helps the plant acclimate to its new environment as quickly as possible.
Give new plants a chance to harden off before putting them into your garden. When you move a plant from an indoor greenhouse or nursery, it needs a few days to get used to the outdoors. Place the plants in a sheltered area for up to a week. Reduce the amount of water you give them, but don’t let them dry out completely.
Water plants well before and after transplanting. Right before you transplant a seedling into the ground or into a larger pot, soak its soil very well. This helps the plant lose less water in the move, and protects the fine root hairs that need to take up water from the new location.
Soak peat pots before planting them. Peat pots go into the soil along with the plant, but they must be very wet and completely buried or they will draw moisture away from the plant.
Water the new location well before transplanting a new plant. If you’re transplanting to a larger pot, water the soil in the new pot the day before you transplant and again right before transplanting. Soak garden soil a day before transplanting. When you dig the hole for a new plant, fill it with water and let the water soak in before putting the new plant into the hole.
Water plants well immediately after transplanting, and keep them moist for several days. After that, keep them watered according to their individual needs.
Keep newly planted trees and shrubs deeply watered for a year after transplanting. Make sure they never have a chance to dry out in either summer or winter. Their winter watering needs are reduced, but they should be deeply watered after a drought of more than two weeks.