How to Transplant Seedlings into the Garden {Without Killing Them!}

How to Transplant Seedlings from OneCreativeMommy {Tricks to avoid shocking the plant and accidentally killing it}

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has ever done this:

  • Buy a plant. 
  • Transplant plant into the garden. 
  • Watch plant die a few days later. 
  • Start over.

Sound familiar?  If it does, I’ve got some great tips to show you how to transplant seedlings into the garden.  My uncle is a Master Gardener, and I learned these tips from him.  (You can see a small portion of his garden in my DIY Garden Trellis post.)

How to Transplant Seedlings from OneCreativeMommy {Tricks to avoid shocking the plant and accidentally killing it}

The instructions are simple:

  1. Water your soil and prepare a hole for the new seedling.  (Leave plenty of room–maybe double the size of the root bulb.)
  2. Immerse the seedling’s entire pot in water (above the dirt line), and keep it under water until no more bubbles rise to the surface.  (Just my opinion, but I think this is the secret.)
  3. Turn the pot upside down and carefully dump the plant into your hand.  DO NOT pull on the plant to get it out.  Instead, gently shake or squeeze the pot from the bottom.
  4. Tear off a portion of the bottom of the root bulb.  (If your seedlings are really small, and the roots aren’t tangled into the shape of the pot, you can skip this step.)
  5. Gently place the seedling in the hole and fill it in with dirt.  DO NOT pack the soil super tightly.
  6. Add another spray of water, and you’re done!
  7. Sit back and enjoy the garden!

How to Transplant Seedlings from OneCreativeMommy {Tricks to avoid shocking the plant and accidentally killing it}

I hope this works for you.  I am not a gardening expert, but while using this method, I haven’t lost a single plant.  (I cannot say the same about my transplanting skills before I learned this!  Let’s just say that there was a lot of senseless death!)

Interested in gardening?  You might like these posts, too:

#Companion #Planting--Which #Garden Plants Grow Well Together?  {Free Printable from}

Companion Planting–What Plants Work Well Together in the Garden?

Gardening for Dummies--Funny Tips That Every New Gardener Should Know

Gardening for Dummies {And I’m the Dummy!}

Watering Can from Milk Jug {Simple Upcycle from}

DIY Watering Can From Milk Jug Upcycle

 Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you’ll come back when you’re done working in the yard!

Click here to see the places where I have been known to link up my projects and recipes.



  1. I would love for you to share your favorite posts and link up at my TGIF Link Party.
    The party opens Thursday night and closes on Wednesday night at midnight.

    Please, invite your friends to party too! The more the merrier!

    Hugs, Cathy

  2. Great tips. I like to start my tomato and zuchinni plants as seedlings and transplant. The major struggle with that is the squirrels like to dig them up!

  3. Hey Heidi, great post! I’m so glad I found you at Waste Not Want Not Wednesday. I usually go from “buy plants” to “watch plants die” I’ve pinned this in case this latest batch survives.

  4. Hi Heidi, I found you through Happy Hour Friday. SO glad I did, I’m constantly killing plants when I transplant them (I suck as a gardener but really want to learn). Hopefully your water trick will help me out this weekend when I fill my big planters. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  5. Great tips! Thanks! I’ve had many a plant die a few days later, so hopefully this will help. Thanks so much for linking up at the Real Family Fun link party! Hope to see you next week.

  6. What great tips Heidi. Thanks I need all the help I can get in the garden. Thanks for sharing at Transformed Tuesday.

    Peggy~PJH Designs

  7. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says

    Great tips, Heidi! Thank you so much for sharing at last week’s All My Bloggy Friends :) I can’t wait to see what you share this week!

  8. Great tips, Heidi! I’m featuring this tonight on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday (I’ve been a bit behind these past two weeks :( ) Thanks for sharing!

  9. These are some great tips! Thanks for linking up with Hump Day Happenings. See you next week!

  10. I really want to start a garden once I have the space. Thanks for the tips!

  11. How did you know I was looking for information like this? The past couple years I have started plants inside to have them die on me not too long after transplanting them. I love this info and I copied it to keep for when it is time to plant outside. Thanks so much! I would love if you would share this at Celebrate It, Blog Link Party! It opens on Thursday at 9pm and runs through Monday at midnight. Thanks again!

    • So glad I could help, Teri! Happy gardening! It’s spring in my area, and I just transplanted my first plants this weekend. Yipee! I’ll try to remember to pop over to your party tomorrow.

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