October 1, 2017

If you’re into gardening or landscaping yourself, there are a variety of reasons why you may wish to transfer a plant or plants from the ground to a pot.

These could include:

  • Seasonal Changes
  • Plant Not Thriving in Environment
  • Redesigning Your Garden Space

There are other reasons but these are the most common. Whatever your motives, moving a plant from the ground to a pot is not quite as simple as simply digging it up and tossing it in a pot with some soil around it. Like most things, there is an ideal process, and steps you can and should take to ensure a safe move that won’t “shock” your plant and keep it healthy.

Steps to Take Prior to Transplanting

There are a couple of things you should do before you actually begin the physical process of moving the plant. This will ensure minimal hassle and give you the best quality results. Most importantly, it will keep your plant safe.

  1. Check the Soil/Medium.

It might seem obvious, but be sure that the soil you’re going to move your plant to is the same medium it thrives in while it’s in the ground. Also get some form of container aside from the pot itself so that you can store some of the soil. You’ll put this over the plant after transplanting.

  1. Choose the Right Pot

A pot that isn’t relative to the size of the plant you are moving has some drawbacks. Most notably, there is an increased risk that you may accidentally over-water the plant and drown it. To minimize risk, choose a pot that isn’t massively bigger in dimensions than the plant needs.

Properly Moving the Plant

Once you are ready for the move itself, here’s a way to do it safely:

  1. Scoop
  2.  Dig

Use a trowel to scoop whatever potting soil your plant needs into the pot. Be sure to leave room for a root system if necessary. Then, dig around the base of the plant you wish to move. Be sure to do this gently and carefully, so as not to accidentally damage your plant. Once you have dug sufficiently that the plant is not cemented any longer, carefully pull it out of the ground. You can shake the plant gently to loosen the roots a bit or remove excess soil; keep in mind it should be going into a mixture that is similar to said soil, though.


Place the plant into the top with some of the soil already inside. Gently cover the roots with the remainder of the potting soil.

To finish, water the plant so that the soil is very moist, but take care not to overdo it.

While there are some variations to all of this based on different plant types and sizes, this handy guide provides a solid, general overview of how to safely transfer a plant from ground to pot. This will work for most any plant and ensure that all of your plants have a stress-free move to their new ceramic homes.