From talking with customers in the shop, we know that the prospect of re-potting your plants is intimidating. Rather than thinking of re-potting as some abstract, scary thing you may have to do sometime in the future, think of it as just a regular part of plant maintenance.
All plants will benefit from re-potting, even if you aren't changing the container. Replacing the soil yearly will ensure your plants are receiving all of the nutrients they need to be healthy. It also gives you the opportunity to learn more about your plants, their health and growing habits.
If you decide yearly re-potting is not for you, then there are some signs you should look for when you are doing your regular maintenance. Let's examine what you should be looking out for below.
When Should I Repot?
There are several signs that can indicate when your house plant needs repotting:
Roots growing out of the drainage holes: If you notice roots growing out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot, it's a sign that your plant has outgrown its current pot.
Soil dries out quickly: If you find yourself having to water your plant more frequently than usual, it could be a sign that the roots have taken up most of the available space in the pot and are in need of more room.
Plant is top-heavy: If your plant is leaning to one side or appears to be top-heavy, it could be an indication that the roots are overcrowded and need more space to grow.
Yellowing leaves or stunted growth: If your plant is not growing as quickly or as healthily as it once did, it could be due to overcrowding in the pot, which can cause the roots to become stressed and limit the plant's ability to absorb nutrients.
Roots are visible at the surface: If you can see the plant's roots at the surface of the soil, it's an indication that the plant has outgrown its pot and needs to be repotted.
If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to repot your house plant to give it more space to grow and thrive.
How Do I Repot My Plant?
1. Choose the right pot
Select a new pot that is one size larger than the current pot (typically 1" - 2" larger for a tabletop plant. See our blog post on choosing the right plant pot). We recommend the new pot has drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom and causing root rot.
2. Prepare the new pot
Add fresh potting soil to the new pot, leaving enough room at the top to accommodate the plant's root ball.
3. Remove the plant from its current pot
Gently loosen the soil around the plant's roots and carefully lift the plant out of its current pot. If the plant is root-bound, you may need to use a knife or pruning shears to carefully cut away any circling roots.
4. Inspect the roots
Check the roots for any signs of damage, disease, or pests. Trim away any damaged or dead roots with clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears.
5. Place the plant in the new pot
Centre the plant in the new pot and add potting soil around the roots, pressing it down firmly to remove any air pockets..
6. Water the plant
After repotting, water the plant thoroughly to settle the soil and help the roots establish themselves in the new pot.
Remember to take your time and be gentle when repotting your house plant to avoid damaging the roots or plant itself. With the right care, your repotted house plant should thrive and grow.