The Q&A Archives: Transplating plants

Question: I transplanted a number of tree shrubs (I don't know what they are, green leaf bushy) that bordered an old deck, to save them from being cut down. I have watered them, given them vitamin B-1 per the instructions but two weeks later they are all wilted and the leaves are turning brown. Are they dead? Are they in shock? What can I do. Thank you.

Answer: The amount of root damage they suffered during the digging process will show up on the tops of the plants, especially while they are struggling to re-establish their roots. Transplant shock usually won't kill healthy shrubs, especially if they have most of their root systems still attached. There's not much you can do except to deeply water the transplanted shrubs once each week and wait for them to recover. They are likely to look pathetic for several more weeks, but if you water them deeply once a week they will establish themselves and begin to grow. As soon as you see new growth you can prune out all the dead stems and leaves. Until then, just be patient. I'm sure they will recover.

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