Leaves and Transplanting

The nursery worker is concerned with water loss when transplanting— and with good reason. When a plant is taken up from the soil, a significant portion of the root system is lost. The capacity of the plant to take up water is thus much reduced. To combat this, the nursery worker must reduce the amount of water lost by transpiration. For this reason, transplanting is generally done in autumn or early spring, when leaves are not on the plant. This amounts to a compromise, however, because root restoration is most readily accomplished when active photosynthesis is taking place, which, of course, occurs when leaves are intact. An alternative, then, is to transplant when leaves are present and to remove some but not all of the leaves. If the plant is small enough, cutting away half of each leaf is sometimes done.

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