Transplanting From Hydroponics...Help!

aveo5April 3, 2010

Hi all. I need some help/advise on how to transplant my 3 very valuable and perfectly grown pepper plants,into soil. They are going to run out of room to grow soon,they are in an AeroGrow garden. I used it to start seeds of some VERY expensive and VERY hot peppers. They are hard to get to germinate as it is in soil. So I tried my Aerogrow, and I got 3 to sprout in less than 2 weeks. That was amazing. they can take up to a month to sprout,if at all!

So now I have 3 perfect plants,and they look great,but they only have 12in of height to grow in, till they hit the lights, they are only 3in right now,but they are taking off now,and growing very fast!

I will need to transplant in the next month or sooner. Does anyone have any experience in transplanting from this garden? Or from a hydroponic garden in general I guess?

The plants are growing in a growing medium,and the roots are bursting through the plastic grow cups just wonderfully! I drilled many extra holes in the plastic cups, to give the seeds/plants, more access to the water/fert., and the roots are taking full advantage of my little trick:) they are growing through all the holes.

So..how do I transplant them,without killing them? Should I leave the plastic grow cup on the plant to spare the roots any shock? I assume since they have been grown in water, the roots are more 'tender',so planting them into soil is going to be shock enough. But how do I do it.

I know this is a hydroponic site,and you want to grow in water, but now that I have had my success in getting some pepper plants, I need to move them into soil. I only have 12in of height to work with, or I would leave them in the garden. They are perfect plants.

Any hints would be great. Has anyone else done this?

Should I do it now while the plants are small and try to get the plastic cup off the roots, or let them grow till they cant fit anymore under the lights, by then the roots will be a tangled mess and I wont be able to remove the cup. But with all the holes I added to it, I dont know if it will stunt the growth or not.

Any idea would be appreciated. These are very expensive plants and I dont want to loose them. I lost all my other ones that were growing in 'Jiffy pots pellets', one night they just all up and died! I lost all my super hot peppers. But my hydroponic ones are alive and well, and if I CAN transplant them, I need to know how, or I am out of luck.

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urbangardenfarmer

Sooner the better. I've done this plenty of times with success. You need to get them out of the plastic grow cups for sure, otherwise they might hurt your plants root growth in the future.

1. Get your pots ready to go with a quality potting soil. This is key! I recommend going to the container gardening forum on this site. They have a 5-1-1 mix consisting of 5 parts pine bark thins, 1 part peat and 1 part perlite. It seems to be the bee's knees for growing plants in containers.
2. Wet your soil and make a hole for your plant.
3. Carefully take each plant out of the aerogarden.
4. Hold the base stem with one hand and hold the plastic pot with the other.
5. Slowly wiggle and pull the plant away from the plastic pot. If some of the roots break off in this process, it's Ok. A trick is before you wiggle and pull, try unbraiding the roots from each other. They will come out of the holes better.
6. Plant the plant in it's new home and gently cover the roots with potting soil. Don't push down and compress the soil.
7. Water with pure water and a mild nutrient containing vitamin B-1. I use liquid karma from botanicare. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 6:48PM
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aveo5

I thank you for the help. So now,while they are so perfect and small is the best time to transplant them? Have you done this out of an AeroGarden? Is that what you meant? And you had success? Or just out of hydroponic growing? I am really terrified of doing this, it is a one shot deal, it either works, or they die.

After I transplant them...should I keep them under the AeroGrow lights? Or start to get them on sunlight? Thank you again. Anyone else have input or agree/disagree?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 7:36PM
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urbangardenfarmer

"So now,while they are so perfect and small is the best time to transplant them?"

-Yes

"Have you done this out of an AeroGarden?"

-Not out of an aerogarden, but a turbogarden(same method of growing) and other hydroponic systems.

"I am really terrified of doing this, it is a one shot deal, it either works, or they die."

-If your that worried, transplant just one plant and make sure it takes, before doing the others. I really doubt they would die. The worst thing that would happen would be transplant shock and they can recover from that.

"After I transplant them...should I keep them under the AeroGrow lights? Or start to get them on sunlight?"

-Keep them under the aerogrow lights until they show new growth. Then introduce them to the sun, starting in the shade, for a couple hours a day, for a week or so. Increase the light/time every couple days. This is called hardening. After a couple weeks, they'll be ready to grow outside, permanently.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 8:52PM
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hydro_esox

Im gonna assume your growing Bhut Jalokia (sp?). I have a friend who has done this as these seeds dont have the best germ rate. He transplanted them to soil with no problems, his main concern was not compacting the soil around the roots. In addition when transplanting be careful about satuarating the crown you dont want rot and the plant may go into shock... he did "indirect" watering off to the sides of the plant until he knew they took to the ground. Some plants looked terrible, near death, but he maintained what he was doing and they all came back.

hope this helps, previous poster has a good plan, dont think youll have too many problems. Are you going into containers or a garden?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 9:07PM
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mrpepper

I have done this many times. The hard part is getting the plant out of the plastic net pots as to not damage the roots too much. Just take your time doing that, and all should be well.

What I do is create a hole in my pot about 3" in diameter. Then I create a "cone" like mountain in the hole. The top of the mountain or cone is the height of the bottom of the spounge or the media. The roots then go down the mountain and spread out instead of just bunching them up together.

I make sure the potting soil is damp, but not very wet. To do that I take the potting soil, mix in a lot of Perlite, then add water in small amounts in a mixing bowl until its just damp.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 9:24PM
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lucas_formulas

I have transplanted many species and in many ways from hydro to soil (just for information purpose).

In your particular case, I wouldn't even try to get them out of the cups, but transplant them with the cups. But to insure later root expansion, use cutting pliers, to carefully cut the cup in half (from both sides) vertically in several steps between holes. No need to fully cut it open in case this may look difficult or not be possible. I would ONLY remove it completely IF i could do so without even stressing plants and roots. The remaining cup doesn't do any harm or cause any trouble if cut open as described.

Mostly I use a two step method. Firstly the strong and healthy transplant goes to a smal pot with a mix of perlite, some coarse sand, coco ships (washed) and while I use rice hulls here as well, you would use more perlite instead - and finally only 10-15% of potting mix and just a pinch of compost. After transplant you irrigate with the same nutrient solution you used previously. A little weaker or same strength, both are fine. Just be careful about not overdoing it and end up with "wet feet"... Nutrients don't need to be fresh all along, it could be second hand or alternatively used solution later on. From there, after a few weeks or so, as soon as roots have accommodated and taken in the transitory mix, you may transplant to a bigger or final pot - or soil. Here you use your preferd potting mix I suppose. If transplanting to actual soil, you may use some more of your "special mix media", to create another transition zone on site. You may also use nutrient solution as a fertilizer for some more time.

Good luck with the... what are they now, Capsicum galapagoense, Capsicum baccatum var. praetermissum, tovari, lanceolatum?

Btw: If you have got Capsicum galapagoense, I wouldn't mind getting some seeds by occasion, as I loved them but have no viable seeds left since a while ;-)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 11:07PM
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aveo5

Yes, I am growing Bhut Jolokias and several other super hot peppers, they have such a low and hard germination rate it is annoying. This is my last shot at growing them. Just a tiny chip off of a pepper is enough to burn your mouth for days! Touching the seeds burned my hands for hours!! Man I want these pepper so bad:). I'm odd.

Thanks for all the hints and advise...yes I am planting into seperate small pots. So i can use a clean soil-less mix. The soil here in South Florida is nearly 100% sand and has little else in it. Except bugs and snails, waiting for fresh seedlings to eat to the ground! These go in the ground,if they survive, when they are at the blooming stage, and coming out of a gallon size pot. THAT is a few months away...I hope.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 1:01AM
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hiddenleaf

Get SuperThrive http://superthrive.com/. It will reduce the shock of transplanting, and will help your plants establish better. I use it at every waterring.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2010 at 1:47AM
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aveo5

Well I just potted the super hot peppers into soil,and now I will see if they live or not. The Naga Morrich had a massive root system,but I manage to cut away the plastic cup from all 4 plants and do next to no damage to any of the roots/plants, so they are in the shade outside and the next week or so will tell me if I have any hot peppers this year. Thanks all.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 7:11PM
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vic01(z4MN)

All of this information seems to apply to moving a smaller plant from hydro to soil. Have any of you moved a huge plant successfully? We have a 7 pot that has reached the ceiling for the second time. it's is in a 5 gallon bucket hydro setup, our first time. It has flowered but we decided to put it outside once it warms up and see if that will get it to producing peppers.

I know moving a plant this size is going to be a job. Can it be done without killing the plant? We would hate to lose it after this long.

Thanks for any help you can give. Jackie

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:48AM
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