Can You Transplant Plants From Fabric Pots?

After your plant reaches a certain size, you may need to transplant it into a larger container or an outdoor garden. But if you use fabric pots, you might wonder if this makes the process any harder.

You can transplant plants from fabric pots into other planters or the ground. Moving a plant out of a fabric pot is easy because you can roll the fabric down. Plus, you don’t have to break up the roots as they were air-pruned.

If you have to transplant a plant, you can do so easily from your fabric pot. This article will teach you more about moving plants and the benefits of fabric pots. Let’s begin!s

Transplanting Plants From Fabric Pots

You can transplant plants from fabric pots easily. Many gardeners find that removing plants from a fabric grow bag takes less effort than removing them from hard planters. You can fold the bag down to get the soil out of the way, so you don’t need to pull the plant out by the base of its stem. That means you’re less likely to damage it.

While you can transplant your plants out of fabric pots, you’ll still need to be careful. If you don’t take the correct steps, you could accidentally cause transplant shock to your plants.

Transplant shock occurs when you cause your plants stress while moving them. It can happen to any plant, no matter how large it is. Most plants that have this condition will show the following symptoms:

  • Yellow or brown edges appearing on leaves
  • Drooping leaves
  • Stunted growth

It’s much easier to transplant a plant from a fabric pot than from a solid one. It reduces the odds of causing severe shock to your plant. However, there’s still a chance it could happen, so you’ll want to know how to take the right precautions.

How To Avoid Transplant Shock

Preventing transplant shock will allow your plants to thrive in their new container. Cornel CAL recommends that you transplant the plant and keep it well-watered. Then, you should fertilize the plant using a mixture rich in phosphorus.

During the transplant, you also need to ensure that you don’t damage the roots too much. While the plant can recover from minor damage, you shouldn’t over-prune its roots. You’ll want to gently detangle the roots to avoid ripping them out.

Finally, you’ll want to keep the root ball wet before re-planting. Doing so encourages the root system to spread into the new soil, which prevents shock.

Benefits of Transplanting Plants From Fabric Pots

Gardeners receive many benefits when moving plants out of fabric pots. First, it’s much easier to transplant plants grown in grow bags than the ones raised in hard planters. You can unfold the pot as needed, making it easier to remove.

You also won’t have to worry as much about damaging the roots. Since you can unfold the fabric pot, you don’t need to dig into the soil using a tool, which could cause you to accidentally cut the plant’s roots.

The plant’s roots are much easier to manage once you get them out of the fabric pot. Since the plant experiences air-pruning, it’s not likely to become root bound in the grow bag, so you won’t have to untangle or prune the roots. This benefit can save you time and energy while drastically lowering the chances that your plant experiences transplant shock.

Lastly, fabric pots are light and very portable. You can quickly move them to your transplant location. If you need to carry your plants outside to your garden, fabric pots make things more convenient. Plus, most modern fabric pots come with carrying handles.

How To Transplant Out of Fabric Pots

Now that you know you can transplant plants from fabric pots, you’ll probably want to know how to do it. You must follow the steps carefully, so your plant doesn’t experience shock.

Here’s how to transplant plants from fabric pots:

  1. Grab a bucket and place the fabric pot on top of it.
  2. Unfold the fabric down and over the pot.
  3. Remove the plant from the soil and gently shake it until it all falls off.
  4. Inspect the roots closely and untangle them if needed.
  5. Let the root ball soak in water while you complete the rest of the steps.
  6. Fill a new container with soil and dig a hole.
  7. Place the roots in the hole and cover them with soil.
  8. Push the soil down gently to impact it.
  9. Water the transplanted plant well.
  10. Keep the soil moist for a few weeks so the roots can spread easily.
  11. Watch the plant over the next few days for signs of transplant shock.

You can generally use the same steps as transplanting a plant from a ceramic pot. However, knowing how to properly unfold the fabric pot should make the task easier for you. Since fabric pots offer the benefit of air-pruning, you shouldn’t have to do much to the plant’s roots either.

If your plant goes into shock, it can take around two to three weeks to recover. That said, the type of plant, its soil, and its condition before the transplant can impact the recovery time. You can help it heal by watering the soil often and trimming back dry or discolored leaves.

The plant will recover on its own, and there isn’t much you can do outside of giving it plenty of water and cutting damaged leaves.

Can I Reuse Fabric Pots?

You can reuse your fabric pots after removing your plants from them. Many fabric pots have cleaning instructions you’ll need to follow after transplanting the plants. Usually, you’ll need to rinse the pot and allow it to air dry.

Your fabric pots will last much longer when you care for them well.

Reusing fabric pots is easy and is better for the environment. Plus, you won’t have to spend as much money since you’re not buying a new one after each transplant. Some fabric pots will last longer than others, but you should be able to get quite a few growing seasons out of them.

It’s a good idea to clean the grow bags between plants because it removes salt and other mineral deposits from them. If the previous plant had any diseases or pests, cleaning the pot also helps prevent them from passing to the next plant you’re growing. I’ve written an extensive guide about how to clean fabric grow bags. Don’t miss it: How to Clean Fabric Grow Bags (Complete Guide)

According to VIVOSUN, handwashing your fabric pots in a large container is the best way to clean them. You’ll want to let the pots soak in a solution of baking soda and dish soap to remove mineral deposits and kill bacteria. Lastly, you mustn’t put the pots in the dryer as the heat can ruin them.

In short, fabric pots are reusable. You won’t need to replace it until it wears out. Even then, you might be able to patch up some small holes with a sewing kit.

How Long Can You Keep a Plant in a Grow Bag?

You can keep a plant in a grow bag for as long as you want, but most fabric pots last between seven and eight seasons and will wear out over time. You’ll need to transplant the plant if it outgrows the pot or you see holes. Any plant that you’d keep in a planter, you can keep in a grow bag.

If you keep your plants in grow bags for a long time, the roots usually become crowded and poke out of the bottom of the pot. However, that doesn’t happen with fabric pots because of air-pruning. 

Instead, you’ll need to watch for other signs that your plant needs to be transplanted out of the grow bag, as the roots won’t come out of the soil. 

Some signs that a plant needs transplant are the leaves turning yellow, the plant not growing at the rate you’d expect, or water not soaking into the soil as fast as it did before. If you start noticing these conditions and the plant is getting big, you may want to move it into a larger pot.

You can keep a plant in a grow bag until it outgrows it. These fabric pots come in tons of sizes and are quite affordable, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding a larger size.

However, the time it takes your plant to outgrow the container depends on several factors, including the type of plant and its growing conditions. It could take anywhere from a few weeks to months for the plant to get too large for the fabric pot.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, you can easily transplant anything you’re growing in a fabric pot. The process is more straightforward than moving a plant you raised in a conventional planter for several reasons. You’re sure to appreciate these benefits when you transplant your plants from fabric pots for the first time.

You might appreciate transplanting plants from fabric pots more than standard planters. They’re very convenient, so it’s no surprise that more and more gardeners are using them.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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