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When To Apply Fertilizer After Transplanting

Sometimes it's necessary to move your plants to give them more room to grow. However, this process sometimes damages plants and stunts their growth. Are you considering applying fertilizer to feed the plant and ease the shock? When should you apply fertilizer? We have researched and compiled all the information you may need.

Fertilizers should be applied 4 to 6 weeks after transplanting to avoid burning the new roots that will grow in the new soil. Fertilizing is one way to lessen the shock and replenish the lost nutrients during transplanting.

Knowing when to fertilize your transplants is just part of the equation, though. What are the best fertilizers you can use after transplanting? How can you avoid transplant shock? Read through this article because we have the responses to your questions.

Woman gardener potting new plant, When To Apply Fertilizer After Transplanting

When Should You Apply Fertilizer?

It is all right to apply fertilizer immediately after repotting, but it is not required. Potting soil sold on the market contains some fertilizers already. You can add organic matter to potting mix to avoid burning new roots after repotting.

The ideal time to use strong fertilizer on your plant is 4 to 6 weeks after repotting. This period is needed to provide enough time for the plant to grow new roots and build them up. Newly formed roots are delicate, and strong fertilizer can burn them quickly, so it is necessary to give them time to strengthen before application. You can use a specialized fertilizer for transplanting to minimize shock. There are available transplanting fertilizers you can buy for your plant.

Spent grounded coffee applied onto potted plant as natural fertilizer

Best Fertilizers To Apply After Transplanting

Your plants need to improve their root system after repotting. Applying fertilizers will help to strengthen the roots. Listed here are some of the best fertilizers for transplanting.

Young adult woman hands holding opened plastic bag with gray complex fertiliser granules on dark soil

Bonide Rooting Powder

Bonide Rooting Powder promotes root development from cuttings and transplanting. This fertilizer stimulates the plant's growth hormone for root production. Dip the tip of the clippings or the roots directly into the rooting powder and place the plant in the new pot. There is no need to dilute in water.

Click here to check rooting powder on Amazon.

Hormex Rooting Hormone Powder

Hormex Rooting Hormone Powder promotes healthier roots for easy cutting and faster transplanting of different plant varieties. This hormone powder is free from preservatives, alcohol, and dye—perfect for edible plants. Prevent root rot, and provide stronger roots for cuttings and transplanting success.

Click here to check rooting powder on Amazon.

Miracle-Gro Quick Start Planting & Transplant Starting Solution

This planting and transplant starting solution by Miracle-Gro provides nutrients for plants to thrive. This solution works best for all flowers, trees, vegetables, transplants, seedlings, and shrubs. It helps prevent shock in transplanting and stimulates the growth of roots for faster bloom.

Click here to check the transplant starting solution on Amazon.

Monterey Fish & Guano Liquid Plant Fertilizer

This liquid fertilizer is organic and specially made for transplanting. It works for flowers, vegetables, and trees. It promotes big blooms and growth in all plant varieties. You can apply it in the morning directly to the soil and base of the plant or use a sprayer.

Click here to check liquid plant fertilizer on Amazon.

Dr. Earth Transplant Fertilizer

Dr. Earth Transplant Fertilizer is 100% organic and made from natural ingredients. Provide nutrients essential to plants, and eliminate chemical fertilizer needs. This fertilizer is safe for transplanting.

Click here to check transplant fertilizer on Amazon.

FoxFarm Happy Frog Jump Start Fertilizer For Transplants

This fertilizer is formulated for transplant and repotted containers. It prevents end rot and boosts cell walls, supporting plants to fight diseases. This Jump Start Fertilizer supplies essential nutrients for flower development and tasty fruits.

Click here to check jump-start fertilizer on Amazon.

Myko Start Paks Organic Fertilizer

Myko Start Paks Organic Fertilizer is ideal for staggering and transplanting in soil beds, ground gardens, and containers. This fertilizer provides a strong root system and gives more nutrients to produce healthy crops.

Click here to check organic fertilizer on Amazon.

Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome Root Stimulator

This root stimulator is good for transplanting to reduce shock. You can also use this in planting trees, roses, shrubs, perennials, and annuals for the formation of the early development of roots and vigor.

Click here to check the root stimulator on Amazon.

BioAg VAM Endo-Mix

This fertilizer is best for transplanting, seed growing, and stronger roots. It helps improve the structure of the soil and supports root development. Ideal for seed and root inoculation.

Click here to check Endo-Mix on Amazon.

Superthrive Liquid Solution

Superthrive Liquid Solution reduces transplanting shock and helps in the development of roots. It brings back the plant's vigor and boosts chemical balance. This product works best for maintenance and transplanting.

Click here to check this liquid solution on Amazon.

Why Does My Plant Wilting After Transplanting?

There are a few reasons why your plant may be wilting after transplanting.

Shock

One reason the plant wilts after repotting is not using transplanting fertilizer to minimize shock from repotting. Transplanting may cause damage to the roots. Adding transplanting fertilizer will help support the root system and reduce shock.

You should also try to keep the plant in the same spot as before. If you move it to another area, differences in temperature and light might also mess with your plant.

Water Deficiency

Sometimes the plant could not absorb enough water after transplanting. You should manage and monitor the water supply and regulate the potting mixture to ensure your plant is hydrated. The roots need to adjust to cope with the new environment.

Nutritional Problem

Imbalance nutrition is also another factor why plant wilts after transplanting. You should check the condition of the new potting soil and the pot itself. Add compost to replenish the lost nutrients from transplanting. Also, ensure the pot or container has proper drainage.

Pot Issue

If the plants and roots are too big, you should also get larger pots for the roots to breathe; it will cause them stress and shock if the root system is cramped in small pots.

Should You Water Before Or After Transplanting?

Mother and daughter taking care of plants together at home

Pulling the plant from the soil will cause damage to the roots, which can lead to transplant shock. Watering them before and after will help the plants increase shock resistance. The plant will also absorb the water immediately after being removed and placed in a new pot for them to replace the old roots with new ones. Water your plant adequately to maintain enough moisture for the roots to suck up.

What Are The Signs Of Transplant Shock?

Woman's hands transplanting plant a into a new pot

These are the signs that a new transplant may have:

  • The leaves are falling.
  • Some leaves are drying, some are turning yellow-brown.
  • Branches are dying or becoming brittle.
  • Flowers or fruits are hasty falling.

When Does Transplant Shock Occur?

Transplant shock happens not only during topdressing or repotting the plant. Shock also happens when you move the plant around the house or garden, transplant seedlings, or plant shrubs and trees straight from a garden center.

How Long Does Transplant Shock Take?

Plants can have a transplant shock for as short as 2 weeks, lasting up to 5 years. This may cause problems in fruit production and flower growth. The plants could also die if the shock is neglected.

How To Avoid Transplant Shock

There are ways to protect repotted plants from transplant shock. We have the list below: 

  • Prevent shaking the plant or bumping it while removing the dirt to avoid disturbing the roots.
  • Make sure there is already available new space for the plant. Dig a deep and wide hole for the plant to settle on the first try of transplant.
  • Ensure that the roots are moist while transplanting.
  • Water the plant after successful transplanting.
  • It is best to transplant at the start of spring and the end of autumn.

Summary

Transplanting needs extra care, especially with the roots. You need to remove the shallow soil, waterlog, and rot roots before placing them into the new soil—with minimal damage to roots. When the transplant is successful, let the plant settle for 4 to 6 weeks and establish the roots in their new soil before adding fertilizer to prevent burning.

If you want to learn more about fertilizers and gardening, you may read these posts:

How Long Does Fertilizer Last In Soil?

What Does Full Sun Mean In Gardening?

Can You Dissolve Fertilize In Water? Should You?