A smooth transplant is a beautiful experience for a plant. The plastic walls limiting its root growth are graciously replaced with more soil, and the roots will quickly expand to new territories, promoting a burst of new growth! With a proper transplant, there is no such thing as “transplant shock” at all, rather it is quite the opposite, your plant will immediately become happy and grow faster than before, even overnight!
When to transplant? When your plant has outgrown its container, which I consider to be the point when the plant needs a full watering every single day. The roots have filled the container and it’s time to put it into a bigger one. The larger the pot you put it into, the more space the roots will get to grow into, and the faster your plant will grow. Plastic containers are actually designed to keep plants small and constricted. You should use the largest containers you can, based on the space available and number of plants, in order to get fastest growth. If you want slower growth, such as maintaining many plants in a small space, choose a pot that is only one size bigger with each transplant, and you’ll slow things down. Wider pots also promote wider, branchy, faster growth.
If you plan to transplant again later, use a plastic pot. If you plan to flower the plant in the container you are transplanting into, use fabric pots for best results. These are better for the roots, but you do not want to transplant out of them later as you’ll rip the roots in doing so. The roots should be treated as a delicate living thing and you’ll want to avoid any damage.
Put some new soil in the bottom of your new container. You’ll want to fill it so that once your plant sits on top of it, the soil level is near the top of the container, being slightly under the very top so you can water it without spilling easily. If you would like, add a light dusting of Optiveg and Myco product like Great White, right where your new plant will sit. This is not at all necessary, but increases root growth. Hold the plant by the bottom of its pot, and put your other hand on top of the soil, with the stem of the plant between your fingers. You will then carefully flip the plant upside down, and slide it out of its pot. You shouldn’t be losing big clumps of soil, the roots should be grown enough to hold it together, or soil should be slightly moistened to help keep it together. Now, after removing the old pot, put your free hand back on the bottom of the root mass, flip the plant right-side-up, and place it into the new pot. Fill the pot with soil around the plant, lightly pat down, and then give your plant a full watering. This is important, because the roots will only adventure into new moist soil, and will not initially start to grow through dry soil. You should have a small amount of runoff at the bottom to know you are fully saturating the medium.
You’re done! Over the next few days, and weeks, you will see much faster growth in your plant, happy in its new home!