Your houseplants require a nutrient-rich environment with adequate water, sunlight, and air if you want them to flourish. However, over time, plants eat up most of the nutrients and organic matter in their soil, according to Jeana Myers, a horticulture extension worker for North Carolina State University. The ability of the soil to keep water or nutrients decreases as it becomes impoverished and hard. You must repot your indoor plants with new soil on a regular basis to maintain their health.
Are potted plants’ soils in need of replacement?
If your plants haven’t been functioning well for a long, it might be time to investigate.
Your potted plants’ soil should typically be changed every 12 to 18 months. There are a few situations where this time might shift. For instance, if the soil has become really hard or if you’re shifting a plant into a larger container since it has outgrown its previous one.
It might also be a good idea to add new soil if your plant hasn’t been growing well, has leaf discoloration, or wilts one or two days after watering.
Best Soil for Potted Plants
A nutrient-rich environment with access to the water, sun, and air that plants require is ideal for their growth. The purpose of potting soil is to keep nutrients and moisture around the plant roots while also supplying adequate air for roots to thrive.
To replace the soil in potted plants, however, depends on the plant. Houseplants that grow more quickly could require annual repotting, whilst slower growers might be able to wait 1.5 to 2 years.
In terms of scheduling, spring is ideal because there is a lot of sunshine, which will promote root growth.
- The best potting soil for indoor plants is often made up of peat, chopped up pine bark, and aerating minerals like perlite or vermiculite.
- The best soil for succulents in pots should have good drainage. This typically indicates that the soil contains at least 50% sand or other similiar stuff.
- The best potting soil for plants in pots outside – The soils that are optimal for these plants frequently contain old wood fibers that provide plants with the same advantages as growing beneath forested trees. Some additionally include pellets for moisture control and supplementary nutrients.
You can also incorporate a soil improvement known as biochar to renew the soil in your container. This increases soil aeration and decreases soil hardening and density.
Do I Need to Change the Pot?
Using the same pot when switching the soil is acceptable as long as you keep your plant’s size constant.
However, if you want to offer your plant more room to flourish, pick a pot that is 30–40% bigger.
You should be careful to prevent certain typical blunders when changing the soil in your potted plants. Here are a few accidents that occur frequently:
- not at all modifying the soil. The amount of nourishment your plant receives is limited as potting soil squishes together over time, filling in holes that would typically be filled with air or water. The dirt becomes harder at this time. If you neglect this for too long, your plant can start to suffer.
- Too regularly are soil changes made. Plants get at ease in their container, or house. Avoid switching out the soil too regularly.
- At the incorrect time, change the soil. Utilizing favorable weather, especially for outside potted plants, might help your plant survive the shift and thrive.
- replacing the soil as opposed to repotting. When a plant is still green and appears healthy with fresh development as opposed to stunted growth or wilting leaves, you don’t want to remove the soil from it.
How frequently should the soil be changed for indoor plants?
Although repotting your plants may seem difficult, we have some advice to help you succeed.
First things first: repotting refers to replacing the soil or potting mix, not necessarily the planter that it is now in. The nutrients in new soil are new. This is fantastic news if you adore your present planter, but it’s also okay if you want to get a new one or your plant has clearly outgrown its existing container. Try to choose a planter that is no more than 2″ larger in diameter for tabletop planters and no more than 4″ larger in diameter for floor planters when choosing a new one. Your new container might just need to be an inch larger if you’re repotting a really tiny plant! The size of your plant’s new home is crucial because we tend to give it more water in larger planters. Small plant in large planter with loads of soil and water results in unintentional dying. You want to give your plant some additional room to expand in the coming months rather than drowning it in soil.
Repotting should be done on average every 12 to 18 months, depending on how quickly the plant is developing. Some slow-growing plants, like cactus, can live for years in the same pot with only a soil resupply. The best time to repot your houseplants is typically in the spring, at the beginning of the growing season.
If you notice one or more of these indicators, you’ll know it’s time to report:
1. The grow pot or planter’s drainage hole(s) are being penetrated by roots 2. The plant’s roots are almost pushing it out of the planter. 3. The plant’s growth is significantly slower than usual (different than winter dormancy) 4. The plant is quite top-heavy and is prone to falling over. 5. The potting soil dries out the plant faster than before, necessitating more frequent waterings. 6. The plant’s foliage is larger than its present planter by more than three times. 7. The plant or planter has a pronounced salt and mineral buildup 8. You haven’t repotted your plant in more than a year.
What you’ll need on hand is as follows:
Of course, whether it is a new or existing factory.
The container you’re using for planting (if reusing a container, make sure to thoroughly rinse the inside first)
new potting soil
If your planter does not have a drainage hole, use lava rocks or something similar.
If you’re touching a plant like a Ficus elastica that has unpleasant sap, wear gloves.
a water bottle, a sink faucet, or a watering can
a newspaper, sheet for pots, or surface that is simple to clean
1. Take the plant out of the pot or planter it is currently in. Your plant will slide out of its current container if you grip it firmly by the stems or leaves while turning it sideways and tapping the bottom of the container. With a few little tugs on the stems’ bases, you might need to assist it a little.
2. Take the roots out. Use your hands to gently loosen the plant’s roots. Make sure to keep the thicker roots at the base of the leaves and cut any extra-long threadlike roots. Unbind the roots as much as you can and give them a trim if your plant is root-bound (the roots are growing in very small circles around the base of the plant).
3. Get rid of the old potting soil Remove at least a third of the old potting soil that is encircling the plant’s roots. You should give your plant new potting soil or mix because as it grew, it may have consumed all or part of the nutrients in the old mixture.
4. Include fresh potting soil Fresh potting soil should be added to the empty planter, and it should be packed down to eliminate any air pockets. Before adding the potting mix, layer the bottom of the planter with lava rocks or something comparable (rocks, gravel, etc.) if it has a drainage hole. The idea is to carve out areas for the additional water to collect in and flow away from the roots of your plant.
5. Include a plant. Make sure your plant is centered before placing it on top of the newly added layer of soil in the planter. Then, pour extra potting soil all around the plant to secure it. You want the roots to have room to breathe, so avoid packing the planter with too much soil.
Water and pleasure. The potting soil should be evened out, then water well. It’s important to remember that a plant that has just been re-potted doesn’t require fertilizer.
Do houseplants require special soil?
Like humans, plants have unique preferences and demands. Your choice of potting mix will have a significant impact on the health and happiness of your plant. Look for a blend of soilless mediums, such as peat moss, coir (coconut) fiber, wood fiber, vermiculite, perlite, and/or sand, when choosing or creating a potting mix.
Room in the soil is necessary for houseplants’ root development, aeration, and efficient drainage. Your indoor plant may not do well with a soil mixture if it contains actual dirt from the outside. In order to continue growing and thriving, plants also require a pH that is regulated and regular nutrition. Your plants will appreciate you for taking these combined steps to maintain their home’s health.
Can you repurpose potting soil?
Reusing potting soil is generally acceptable as long as the plant you were growing in it was robust. It’s best to sterilize the mix if you did find bugs or diseases on your plants in order to prevent contaminating the plants for the following year. First, clean the old potting soil of any roots, grubs, leaves, or other trash. The optimum strategy for eradicating insects and germs should then be chosen.
Solarizing is one method of soil sterilisation. It entails placing used potting soil in tightly sealed black plastic bags or lidded five-gallon buckets ($9, The Home Depot) and letting them sit in the sun for 4-6 weeks. Just enough heat is generated inside the buckets or bags to destroy germs and insects.
Old potting soil can also be sterilized in your oven. It should be baked for 30 minutes at 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit in an oven-safe pan with foil covering. (I once tried it, but I didn’t care for the earthy fragrance it produced.) A candy or meat thermometer ($22, Williams Sonoma) should be used to regularly monitor the soil’s temperature to ensure that it stays below 200 degrees. Toxins can be liberated at higher temperatures. When it’s finished, remove the dirt from the oven and cover it while it cools.
Another choice is to microwave. Put quart-sized, microwaveable containers with used, damp potting soil in them. Wrap them in microwave-safe lids. Never use foil that you may puncture for ventilation or leave cracked to let steam out. For every two pounds of dirt, heat for about 90 seconds at maximum intensity. Before utilizing the soil, take out the containers, tape over the vent holes, and allow the soil cool completely.
What happens to my plant if I don’t repot it?
You have therefore joined the trend of indoor plants. You’ve added a few to your workspace and home. Bravo and good luck to you! Literally, plants are good for you and help you stay healthy, happy, and connected to nature. Congratulations from the eco-warriors at your Good Earth Plant Company.
Only the appropriate potting soil needs to be added to your plant containers. Picture: Creative Commons License, SweetLouise
You may have had your plants for a year, 18 months, or even 24 months. Now what? When advancing to the next level of plant care knowledge, one of the most frequent queries raised by plant owners is when to repot their indoor plants.
Fantastic inquiry at the ideal moment. Repotting indoor plants that require additional space to spread their roots and thrive is best done in the spring. Your plants respond naturally to the change in season by beginning to grow when the amount of daily sunlight increases and the temperature rises.
However, if your plant grows too large for its pot and has crowded roots that lack space to spread, the result may be a stunted, stressed-out plant. If it receives insufficient nutrients or water, it may suffer and drop leaves or even perish. You don’t always have to replace your plant’s container when you repot it. Giving the plant new potting soil is the primary goal of repotting. Fresh nutrients in the soil will feed your plants. But for it to grow, your plant may require more space.
How can you be certain? Here are some indicators to watch out for:
- The drainage hole at the bottom of the container is showing roots sprouting out of it.
- The plant itself is being raised out of the container due to the roots, which are becoming so thick inside the container.
- Your plant’s growth has slowed down or ceased altogether.
- Your plant has a top weight that makes it easy to topple over.
- Your plant need more regular watering because it dries out soon after being watered.
- On the plants or the container, you can notice salt or mineral buildup.
- Inside the container, the shrinking of the soil is visible.
Repotting is typically necessary every 12 to 18 months for plants. There are certain exceptions, including cacti or succulents with sluggish growth.
There are great options and something for every taste if you choose to get a new container. Be imaginative! You’ll find some fantastic ideas and trends if you read my blog article from the TPIE show earlier this year.
Avoid choosing a container that is too large! The bigger, the worse. Choose a pot that is only marginally larger than the container in which your houseplant was first placed. For a smaller plant that might be placed on a counter, aim for three inches more in both diameter and depth; for a larger plant that might be placed on the ground, aim for up to six inches.
Verify the plant has effective drainage. Make sure to reduce the watering if you’re transferring a plant whose roots require more frequent watering. Overwatering might harm a plant in a new container with a lot more dirt. You don’t want to destroy your plant in its new home by being kind to it.
You’ve decided on a hip new container, and you’re now prepared to transfer your plant. Water your plant well the day before you intend to repot it. Additionally, you might want to pre-moisten the fresh potting soil.
When transferring your plant from its original container, go slowly and gently. If the object is root bound and firmly fixed in place, patience may be required. Tap the container’s bottom while tilting the plant sideways. Tap the sides and roll the container. Start lightly at the container’s sides if you need to loosen the plant. Here, damp earth can be your ally. Do not pull the plant by the stalks. If necessary, use gravity to your advantage by turning the plant upside down, but be cautious because soil may spill out.
Examine the roots once the plant has been removed from the container. Image credit: CC/Gardening Solutions
Examine the roots once the plant has been removed from the container. Try to gently disentangle any tangled roots and give them some room if the plant has packed roots. In those gaps, you want dirt to fill it. If you need to do a little trimming, that is acceptable and even be beneficial. Avoid harming the plant’s stems or leaves by moving slowly.
The previous potting soil doesn’t have to be completely removed. Fresh potting soil should be added to the planter, leaving between one third and half empty. Purchase the proper potting soil from a nursery or garden center, please. It ought to have an indoor or outdoor use rating. Use only dirt from your garden or yard.
On top of the first layer of brand-new potting soil, place the plant. You might want to add more dirt or take some away so that your plant is seated in soil that is approximately an inch below the rim of the container. Don’t completely fill the container. You need some space so that water can slowly seep into the container.