The Q&A Archives: my plant was ripped out the ground. will it come back?

Question: My aunt took her delphnium out the soil and it was bare root but the main root was intact. I am trying to nurse it inside. The leaves were comming back and I moved it under my flouresent lighting when the leaves were in the process of falling off. I was told that it is growing a new root system and thats why the leaves are falling. It has like 2 sickly looking leaves. I gave it miracle grow and after I did that it really started going downhill. My mom told me to put it outside. But becauswe it is reaching winter I feel that the light cycle will cause it to forse flower. Then she thinks I should put it back in after 5 days of growing a root system. She thinks that it sucked the water and nutrients out of its leaves to grow roots. Tell me what you think and if im going in the right direction. Thank you.

Answer: I think your plant would probably have done better if you had replanted in the ground immediately. Now that it has been indoors and is in a container, you will have to gradually acclimate it to being outside again. Do this as soon as possible, because being indoors is not good for it in the long run. I would set the container in a spot with some gentle morning sun, gradually increasing the amount of sun it receives until it is in the sun all morning. Water to keep the soil slightly moist, not sopping wet and never dried out. Hopefully it will releaf and you can transplant it to the garden in September. In the meantime, fertilize lightly with a water soluble fertilizer such as 10-10-10 at the lower rate on the label. Do not fertilize it after planting, by fall it is too late in the season to be fertilizing. Good luck with your delphinium!

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