Saturday Share: How to Repot a Houseplant

Since Spring seems to have finally come to most of the country, I thought I'd share some houseplant tips.

How do you repot a houseplant, and how do you know if you need to undertake this task?

Why Repot?

Some plants actually thrive when they become rootbound, but others do not.

The best thing to do is look up information for the specific plant you think needs to be repotted. It the best thing to do is leave it alone, then leave it alone. If your particular plan isn't one that grows well rootbound, then it's time to repot.

There are several reasons a plant might need to be repotted.
Photo by Huy Phan from Pexels

(1) If you bought a potplant in a small pot, and you find you're having to water it every day, that probably means the soil mixture is too porous to hold water. The answer is to repot it.

(2) You may have received a gift planter with several individual small plants in it. Those need to be repotted into their own pots while they're young and the roots haven't grown entangled.

(3) You see roots growing out of the drain hole of the pot. Time to repot.

(4) The plant is growing spindly or not at all. It needs a larger pot.

(5) Check any plant that's been in the same pot for 2 years or longer. It probably needs to be repotted.

How to Repot

(1) First, don't water the rootbound plant so the soil will dry out. You don't want it dripping wet.

(2) Select the right size of container. It should be no more than an inch larger in diameter than the previous pot. Some people think it's a good idea to put a plant in a large pot to begin with, but that's not true.

(3) Use a good-quality potting soil mixture that's designed to hold moisture without being soggy.

(4) Cover the pot's drain hole with broken clay pot fragments or a 1 inch thick layer of coarse gravel.

(5) Grasp the base of the stem with one hand, turn the pot upside down, and whack the bottom of the pot. The plant should come out with the root ball intact. (This is why you let the plant dry out a bit.)

(6) Place the plant in the center of the new pot and fill the space under and around the root ball with the potting soil mix. Press the soil down around the plant so that it fills in the air pockets. Add more soil if needed. The soil should be 1 inch below the lip of the container.

(7) Water well when finished. Set in a sunny spot, but not in direct sun. Keep it there for a couple of weeks  to avoid transplant shock.

Baby it a little and check to see when it needs watering.

Takeaway Truth

That's all there is to it so check your plants at least every year to see if they need more growing room.

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