Parenting Tip: Beware Deadly Transplants

Lisa Cherry —  July 18, 2011

By Lisa Cherry

Image courtesy of Niels Timmer

I am most assuredly not gifted in horticulture.  In fact, I have been informally diagnosed as having a purple thumb.  But I have not given up hope.  Someday, I still believe I could crack the code on what many of my friends make look easy.

This summer I daringly attempted what I have always dreamed of:  an indoor herb garden.  Just the thought of harvesting those fresh herbs and instantly dropping them into my culinary creations makes my homemaker heart swoon.  So when I saw the little start-up plants of basil and parsley marked down on clearance, my fantasy pushed me to the check out line.  Never mind those annoying little wilted spots and the plants already pushing to flower.  With some careful transplanting and mindful watering, I was hopeful for a come back.

Today, I have faced my reality.  The plants are dead.  They succumbed quickly to the shock of new soil and atmospheric conditions.  Too bad.  I so wanted them to thrive!

As I mourned their demise, I was reminded of the other precious “seedlings” still in my house—my kids.  I had a new sense of respect for the concept of transplantation.

As my children are nurtured here in our family greenhouse, I am thrilled when I see fresh growth that indicates healthy roots.  But as each of them move through the inevitable process of growing up, transplantation to other environments must be handled with great wisdom and care.

Transplant them too soon, and their delicate, immature roots can be shocked causing them to wither.  Wait too late to transplant...and the plant can get pot bound and fail to thrive in its new larger habitat.

No doubt about it.  Expert gardening is essential for our children.  It is a good thing we have access to the master gardener!  So the tip this week:  BEWARE DEADLY TRANSPLANTS.  Consult your master gardener for wisdom.  Be willing to make an accurate assessment of your plant's strength and readiness.  Do not "follow the pack" just because Johnny down the street made the transplant in his life this year.  Your Susie may need another year of seedling growth!

As the new school year is just around the corner, I encourage you to seek the Lord for every new transition decision you will be asked to make.  Trust your heart as He leads you.  And remember, gardening is your anointed job.  Till your seedlings, water them, and fertilize them with the Word.  And God will bring the needed growth.