'Until established' question

Something I've been curious about when buying plants is for instance, "water well until established". How long does it take a plant to become established? If it hasn't withered after a couple weeks, is it established? Thanks.
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Paul O.


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On 10/17/2009 2:52 PM, Paul wrote:

It depends upon the plant. Annuals already in bloom might take a week. Fruit trees might take an entire growing season.
--
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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On Sat, 17 Oct 2009 17:01:44 -0700, "David E. Ross"

Also depends a lot on whether transplanted to a container or in the ground... plants establish much more readily in the ground. And "water well" doesn't mean to water heavily, it means to "water properly"... most newly planted nursery stock does better by watering sparingly and not every day (less is more). If they are to flourish plant roots require air, do not drown... very important not to tamp/compact soil.
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Yes, if you mean don't walk on it after transplanting. But it is important to press down the soil lightly around newly-transplanted plants to help the tiny feeder roots make good contact with the soil around their new home. Nota bene "LIGHTLY".
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I think most responses to this question are seriously underestimating the amount of time involved. 'Establishment' with regards to plants defines the period of time it takes the plant to develop and spread out a proper root system so that the plant can support itself and derive what it needs from the existing soil conditions - water and nutrients. The larger the plant, the longer it takes to establish. Annuals typically establish in a matter of weeks, perennials are usually considered established after one FULL growing season in the ground (if you plant in summer, that means the following summer) and larger woody plants - vines, shrubs and small trees - are generally considered established after 3 seasons. For larger trees, the rule of thumb is one year of establishment for every inch of caliper. Climate and soil conditions will influence the exact amount of time involved, but these are typical guidelines followed by horticulturists and the nursery industry.
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This sounds like the most valid answer. There are so many variables. I have a large beautyberry that was professionally transplanted. They did a poor job & the soil was not properly prepared. It's about three years and the bush isn't established yet. We have very sandy soil & if I don't water it every day, it wilts & doesn't produce berries. But that is an extreme case. My Japanese maple became established very quickly. Iris
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Paul wrote:

I would look for signs of new growth to determine if most plants had become established. It does depend on the type of plant, however.
gloria p
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It will depend on the plant and conditions. In general, it is a good idea to water immedately after a transplant and then again the following day. Some plants may rot if overwatered.
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Paul wrote:

It's established when it is visibly making significant new growth and shows signs of having a well functioning root system, ie does not wilt when it shouldn't. This could be days to months depending on the plant.
David
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