A Guide to Repotting House Plants
Repotting a plant is a misunderstood act. It isn’t necessarily easy nor challenging though depending on your experience with gardening and house plants, it can be seen as either.
The only truth around repotting house plants is that it’s necessary for survival. In any plant’s life, there comes a time when it must be repotted.
How to choose the right pot is the biggest decision you will make. The wrong planter can essentially condemn your plant to a slow death. How daunting! Fortunately, with a few tips, selecting a planter is a skill anyone can learn as is how to repot house plants.
When It’s Time to Repot A House Plant
You will know your house plant is ready for a new plant planter if you notice these signs.
- If your plant has been in the same container for years, it’s time to replant it.
- If you notice a decrease in soil level or soil quality and you’re noticing it’s hardening or drying out quicker, it’s time to repot.
- If you notice roots growing out the bottom of the planter, over its top edges, or if the planter’s physically cracking open, it’s time to replant the plant.
- If your plant is drying out quicker than normal and is requiring more water, this is a sign
- If your plant is top-heavy or looking overly large for its pot size, it likely means it needs additional surface area to grow.
If it’s a fake plant planter, you have nothing to worry about with drainage because the plant doesn’t need to be watered. If it’s a real plant, try to find a pot with drainage holes. This is the optimized option for a plant container.
That said, if you fall in love with a pot with no drainage holes, that’s ok. It will just mean water accumulating towards the bottom of the pot. If you want to retain more water in the pot, containers without drainage are what to look for. It ultimately comes down to your personal preference on which one is more suitable.
How Often to Repot A House Plant
Plants require repotting once a year and springtime is the best time to repot. This is because a plant’s hungriest for nutrients and room to grow as they come out of dormancy.
If you’re repotting at another time of year, ensure it’s not a hot, dry day. On these days, a plant is stressed and could have a hard time adjusting to new soil.
A stressed plant should never be repotted, unless in extreme circumstances i.e. excessive watering, pests, or fungal issues.
What Size of Pot Do I Need to Repot My House Plant?
It’s a myth that plants will grow larger if they are put into a larger pot. Most house plants want a snugger fit in their plant pot size.
Roots grow when they are motivated to and rather slowly. A larger container means more soil. Roots can’t pull water fast enough which leads to an abundance of water and a drowning of the roots.
Step-by-Step How to Repot Guide
- If your pot has a drainage hole, place a small square of burlap inside to prevent soil from leaking out.
- Ease your plant out of its former pot, tipping it and gently sliding it out. If it sticks, tap it on the bottom.
- Once removed, tease oil soil from the roots. Use a light touch. A few dead roots are normal so don’t panic if you see a few falling off.
- Place the plant inside its new container, holding it by the stem or rootball and positioning it where you like it.
- Fill it in with soil. Do not push down the soil as this can damage the roots. Lightly gather soil around the stems and lightly tamp it down to anchor the plant. Add a little water to settle everything into place. You’re done!
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