What can you transplant?
There are a few things that will help you transplant balsam impatien volunteer seedlings, or any volunteer seedling. I have transplanted so many different kinds of volunteer seedlings, I have lost track. A volunteer seedling is something that you grew on purpose one year, but then goes to seed the next in unpredictably locations.
Here is a video where I show transplanting the balsam impatiens. Below that I have listed some basics that will help with any volunteer seedlings.
You can transplant almost any volunteer seedling if you do it at the right time. The right time is most often
- when the seedlings has recently been watered
- when it is a cool day
- when it is evening
Size and maturity
- If the seedling is too small, it hasn’t developed the root system to support it through transplanting.
- If it is too large, there is more risk that it won’t be able to take up enough water to support its leaves.
- The optimal time for most seedlings is when they have just gotten their first true leaves.
- If you do transplant something that is beginning to flower or is producing fruit, pick those off so that the plant can give all its energy to growing.
Keep in mind where the volunteer seedlings are sprouting. This should give you clues about where you might be able to relocate them. However, seedlings have a tendency to sprout in places that may not represent their optimum. They might just be sprouting around the base of the parent plant, where the birds drop them, where they blow, or where it is warming up first. Chances are you will have enough volunteers to experiment with multiple new locations and see where they do best.
The next thing to keep in mind is that disturbing the roots as little as possible is a good thing. Some seedlings will transplant reasonably even if all the dirt falls off of their roots, but some don’t like to be moved. Any seedling will do better if the root ball keeps contact with the dirt that it is originally growing in.
Very soon after transplanting, the seedlings should be watered to help the dirt settle in around the roots and be able to deliver the water and nutrients it needs.
If you have volunteer seedlings, you usually have nothing to lose by attempting to relocate them other than a little time. They can save you money and time. The money part is obvious, but they save you time because you don’t have to start as many things from seed and you don’t have to go shopping. So, go out and save a volunteer.