How Often To Repot Houseplants

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.

How do you know when to repot a houseplant?

The most remarkable thing about your plant is that it is alive and will grow if given the chance.

It may eventually require a larger container to prevent tipping over or to offer its roots more space and new soil.

Patch houseplants typically stay happy in their pots for at least a year, so you won’t have to get your hands dirty repotting them for a while.

In rather snug pots, many houseplants are quite content. For their roots, they don’t require much room. However, it could be time to think about repotting if you notice numerous roots (rather than just one or two) emerging through the drainage holes in your plant’s container. Upgrade the size only marginally. Your plant may experience shock if you move to a large pot too soon.

Keeping your plant in the same size pot can help slow down growth, but you’ll still need to add new soil after a year or two if the plant starts to appear sickly since the soil decomposes and compacts around the roots. This prevents air from getting to them and obstructs drainage, which may lead to the roots rotting.

Here’s what you need to know when it’s time to give your plant a new container or a fresh batch of soil. Repotting is best done in the spring, before your plant enters its active growing season.

You will need a plastic container (be sure it has drainage holes at the bottom), the appropriate soil mixture for your plant, some drainage material, clean scissors, and gloves — if you don’t want to get your hands muddy.

First, remove the plant from its current pot. Remove it by turning the pot on its side so the plant falls out and rests in your hand while holding your hand over the dirt and plant surface. To remove the plant, you might need to give the container a solid tap. If your plant is too large for your hands, transport it outside or spread down a bunch of newspaper, take it out of its beautiful container, and put it down on its side. Gently move the nursery pot backwards after tapping the sides to dislodge the roots. Repot the plant into a fresh, larger plastic container after using your hands to gently release the roots.

To allow extra water to drain out, the bottom of the plastic pot needs to have holes. You should add some pebbles or broken china for drainage if your pot has just one drainage hole; however, if your pot has many drainage holes, you can omit this step.

If the soil doesn’t already contain fertilizer, add a layer of soil after that and some slow-release fertilizer for an extra nutrient boost.

To lift the top of your plant’s root ball to 1-2 cm below the pot rim, there should be enough dirt in the bottom of the pot. Place the plant gently on top of this dirt, and then add more compost to the area surrounding it. You’re ready to go after giving it a good watering.

Your plant could need some time to adjust to the improvement, so for the next week keep it out of direct sunlight and reduce the amount of water you give it.

After removing your houseplant from its pot, you can use clean, sharp scissors to clip an inch or two off the roots if you don’t want it to get bigger. Then, you can repot it in the same pot with fresh soil.

What occurs if plants aren’t repotted?

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.

How frequently should plants be repotted?

Here in the Pacific Northwest, springtime signs are already starting to appear! When flowers bloom and the days become longer, we spend more time outside. However, when seasonal showers force us indoors, we can still garden by repotting our indoor plants. Repotting indoor plants is best done from March through September, when the plants are actively growing.

Repotting entails updating the potting soil in addition to altering the container. Although soil has all the nutrients your plants require to grow and the ideal levels of oxygen and water for them to survive, with time the nutrients are depleted and the soil becomes compacted. You might even notice that your plants are now positioned in their pots lower than they were before. Burnt leaf tips or a white “crust around the bottom or top edge of the container can be caused by salts and minerals that accumulate in the soil as a result of synthetic fertilizers, tap water, and other sources. This is why it’s crucial to repot your plants every year or so with fresh soil.

We will start by responding to some of your basic repotting queries before guiding you through the process of repotting your indoor plants step by step.

How do you know when it’s time to repot?

  • Through the bottom drainage holes, roots are emerging.
  • Plant is being forced up and out of container by roots.
  • Plant tries to topple over since it is top-heavy.
  • The soil has hardened or dried out so quickly that it has torn away from the container’s sides.
  • Plant development is slower than usual.
  • Mineral or salt buildup on the container’s top or bottom.

When is the best time to repot your plant?

The optimum period for the majority of plants is frequently early spring, at the beginning of the active growing season. To give any new plant enough time to acclimate to its new habitat without being overly affected by other changes like a new container or soil, we advise waiting around six weeks before repotting. To help the soil keep together better when handled, wait at least two days after watering.

How often should I repot my indoor plants?

In general, established plants require fewer repottings than young, rapidly expanding ones. Older plants that develop more slowly may require repottering every two to three years, or as necessary, while younger plants may need to be done so every 12 to 18 months.

How big should my container be?

It’s ideal to keep the diameter of your new container between 2 and 3 inches less than that of the container you are replacing. Some plants may not require a larger container but still require fresh soil. In this case, you should remove about 1/3 to 1/2 of the old soil, loosen and lightly trim the roots, and add fresh soil to the bottom of a container of the same or similar size before replanting the plant and filling the remaining space with fresh soil. Many types of common indoor plants, especially those that are vulnerable to overwatering or root rot, like to be in slightly smaller containers (snake plants). However, to accommodate and promote rapid growth, some quickly expanding plants can be placed in larger pots (monsteras).

Common Potting Soil Ingredients

Peat moss, also known as sphagnum moss, is a mined organic substance made of partially decomposed plant material that enhances air circulation and holds water. To adjust the pH when using peat, add 1/4 tablespoon of lime per gallon of mixture. Although it is made entirely of organic material, peat moss is not completely renewable because it takes thousands of years for wetlands to transform into peat reservoirs; for an alternative to peat moss, see coco fiber/coconut coir below.

Coconut coir, often known as coco fiber or coconut coir, is a popular potting soil element manufactured from finely chopped coconut skins. In addition to being a more environmentally friendly substitute for peat moss and a pH-neutral substance, it has the advantage of not being a mined product and instead finding a use for something that could have otherwise been a waste product. The drawback of using coconut coir as a component of potting soil is that it must be shipped to northern regions where coconuts don’t grow. Consider the environmental impact of bringing coconut coir to your location against an alternative if you live far from where it is produced. Look into what is available in your area and choose what is best for you. Some people decide to combine peat and coir to receive the advantages of both while minimizing the disadvantages.

Compost: can be generated from a variety of materials, including wood fibers, bark, decomposed plant matter, animal dung, or other animal products.

Perlite is a heated volcanic rock that has been extracted and used to soil mixtures to help the soil retain air. Perlite is pH neutral, promotes pore space and drainage, and stores 3 to 4 times its weight in water. Given that perlite is far less dense than the other components of the soil, some of it will eventually float to the top of your plant pot. When incorporating perlite or vermiculite into soil, always wear a dust mask.

Vermiculite is a heated mineral that was mined; some gardeners prefer it to perlite.

Vermiculite, which is used similarly to perlite and also includes calcium and magnesium, is typically darker in color, blending in better with the soil and not floating to the top to the same extent.

Pumice is a volcanic rock that is heavier than perlite and helps soil retain more moisture and nutrients while also improving aeration and drainage. It is perfect for cactus/succulent mixes since it helps stabilize and anchor roots.

Wood chips or bark fines (shredded bark): Shredded wood promotes aeration and absorption but decomposes quickly and consumes soil nitrogen in the process (pine uses less nitrogen). Aeration is provided by chunkier bark, which is less absorbent and takes longer to decompose.

Worm castings (also known as vermicompost) are essentially composted worm dung; they have no smell and are rich in trace elements and micronutrients that are good for the health of plants.

Blend equal parts compost, coarse sand, fine (seedling) bark, and pumice to create a special soil mix for succulents and cacti. Before using, pre-moisten the mixture.

Mix equal parts of fine (seedling) bark, perlite, and coco or peat-based potting soil (we use Baby Bu’s) to create a special soil mix for aroids (Philodendron, Monstera, and ZZ Plant). Before using, pre-moisten the mixture.

Before Repotting, Gather the Following Materials

  • To reduce mess, use gloves, a drop cloth, tarp, or newspapers.
  • Fresh indoor potting soil; we advise using Malibu Baby Bu’s Potting Soil, G&B Potting Soil, FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil, or the correct soil for your plant. It’s beneficial to pre-moisten soil before putting it to the container.