How To Replant House 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.

When ought houseplants to be replanted?

The majority of houseplants can thrive for years in the same container. However, some quickly expanding species, like philodendron or pothos, may overflow their container and require repotting every few years. When the roots of a plant start to protrude through the drainage holes, it is usually time for a new pot. If water flows straight through the pot and out the drainage holes whenever you add moisture, that is another warning indicator.

Of course, some plants, like orchids and snake plants, don’t mind small spaces, but even they eventually require a new location as their roots entwine.

In general, the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing are the optimum times to repot your houseplant. Although it’s best to do it at least three to four weeks before bringing the plant indoors for the winter, you can also transplant plants in the fall. Your plant should adjust to its new container while it is still enjoying its summer break.

Check the roots of the plant after gently removing it from the pot. It’s time for an upgrade if they are knotted, firmly encircling the interior of the pot, or if a lot of the dirt is disappearing. Choose a container that is an inch or two wider than the one your plant is now in.

Pick the new pot wisely. Clay (terra-cotta) pots have a lovely appearance but are permeable, causing the soil to dry up more quickly. They are ideal for plants like succulents, cactus, orchids, ponytail palms, and snake plants that prefer quick drainage. In order to prevent them from sucking the water out of the soil, it is best to soak them in water for a few hours before planting. Use plastic containers with tropical houseplants like ferns, African violets, anthuriums, and spathiphyllum because they retain soil moisture longer. However, regardless of the kind of pot you use, make sure it has a hole in the bottom to let extra water drain out. Use a pot that is approximately two inches wider than the one your plant is currently in.

Use a high-quality commercial potting soil made for indoor plants; some soil blends are even available for particular plant species, such cacti or African violets. Useless to utilize garden soil. The ideal soil should be fluffy and light, with plenty of sterilized organic matter and compost to help retain moisture. Cheap potting soil may be excessively heavy and retain too much moisture, so it’s not always a good deal.

Soil should be added to the pot until the plant’s crown (where the roots meet the stem) is at the same height as it was growing before. To remove air pockets, gently compact the dirt around the roots and water. After planting, include a saucer to collect runoff. At this time, don’t feed your plants. In fact, you might want to wait until early spring to fertilize if you are repotting in the fall. Additionally, remember that a lot of potting soils already contain fertilizer, so you shouldn’t worry too much about feeding your plants right immediately.

Can indoor plants be replanted?

Repotting your houseplant into a larger pot will become essential as it becomes bigger and the roots either start to grow through the drainage holes or become pot-bound.

Remove the plant from the current pot.

Take your plant now, tilt it sideways while holding the stems firmly, and tap the bottom of the container it is currently in until the plant slides out. With a few of mild tugs on the stems’ bases, you can assist it a little.

Gently unbind any loose roots.

If your plant has roots that are tightly circling its base, try to untangle them as much as you can and give them a trim. If you can’t finesse them apart, you could find yourself tearing them a little. Try to be as gentle as you can.

Add mix.

Around the plant, add fresh potting soil until it is stable (sitting upright). You want the roots to be able to breathe, so avoid packing the planter with too much soil. For larger planters, leave approximately an inch or more of room below the lip. Do not fill the pot with soil all the way to the top. Water will rush out the sides of the pot without ever getting a chance to soak in, making it impossible for you to water it adequately.

When repotting, should old soil be removed?

Although repotting houseplants may seem like a straightforward process, there is always a chance that the plants won’t thrive in their new environment. Making sure the plant’s roots are free of old dirt can prevent transplant shock.

When repotting, removing the old soil from the roots will eliminate salt buildup and guarantee that the roots are surrounded by fresh soil that is rich in minerals and nutrients. Before repotting, exposing the roots will provide a chance for root sterilization to get rid of any unwanted fungus or disease.

Plants growing in containers need to be occasionally replanted to maintain their health. Both the right time to repot a plant and the right way to do it safely should be understood.

How can you tell whether a plant requires repotting?

Unfortunately, there is no set rule for how often houseplants should be repotted. It varies based on the type of plant, its age, and the environmental factors in your home. Although timing might eventually vary, immature plants often require more frequent repotting than mature, established plants.

Checking to see if the roots are growing out of the pot’s drainage hole is one of the simplest ways to determine whether a plant needs to be repotted. If so, this is a sign that your plant needs a bigger pot because the roots have outgrown their current container. Another indication that your plant needs extra room to grow is if you start to see that its roots are progressively pushing it upward out of the pot.

While yellowing leaves and leaf loss can be symptoms of many various issues, they are also warning indicators that your plant may be rootbound. Both times, the plant starts to sacrifice foliage to conserve energy because there isn’t enough soil for the roots to support a robust, healthy plant. Before repotting, it’s crucial to make sure that your plant is not exhibiting these symptoms as a result of another problem, such as overwatering, underwatering, or a lack of light. Unfortunately, repotting a stressed plant can occasionally make its situation worse.

When repotting, should the roots be disturbed?

Most healthy plants grown in containers eventually outgrow their containers. Repotting a rootbound plant is a fantastic approach to give it new life. Repotting container plants was something I did a lot of while I managed a greenhouse.

The first step is realizing when it’s time to repotted. Roots that are densely packed inside of a pot or sticking out of drainage holes, soil that dries out rapidly, soil that has degraded, and water that remains on the soil’s surface for an excessive amount of time after watering are all warning signals. Most of the time, a plant just appears top-heavy or as like it might burst through the container. The optimal time to repot the majority of plants is in the spring or summer, when they are actively growing. However, when the need arises, plants can typically manage repotting.

When a plant is prepared for repotting, the soil should slide out intact. The plant might not require repotting if a large portion of the soil separates from the roots. If it does, there will probably be a substantial soil and root mass that resembles the pot that was just removed. The roots ought to be white or light in color. Roots that are black, gloomy, or smell bad are typically indicators of a major issue, such a fungal illness. The removal of a plant from its pot is the next phase. It is beneficial to adequately hydrate the root ball in advance if a plant is rootbound. Invert the pot and use one hand to hold the top of the root ball for plants in small to medium-sized pots. With your other hand on the pot’s base, pitch the pot downward before stopping abruptly. After one or two throws, many plants will escape. If not, while still holding the pot in both hands, tap the edge against a solid surface, such a potting bench. To free the plant, you might need to give it a couple solid blows; take care not to crack the pot.

Roots that are tightly packed in a pot don’t absorb nutrients well. Trim the roots and loosen the root ball before replanting to encourage good nutrient absorption. For this task, use a sharp knife or pruning shears, and if required, remove up to the lowest third of the root ball. If you chop off a dense tangle of root tissue, don’t be shocked. Additionally, cut the remaining root ball three to four times vertically, about a third of the way up.

To assist prevent the plant from strangling itself as it develops with its own roots, cut through any circular-growing roots. Remove the outer layer by shaving or peeling it away if the roots are thick along the sides of the root ball. Or use your fingers to gently detangle the root ball as if you were mussing someone’s hair. The upper border of the root ball should also have this done.

The new pot’s size should be determined by the plant’s potential growth rate, how well it is now developing, and the intended final size for the plant. rely on your own perception of what a specimen of a specific species should be like in good condition. When in doubt, choose the next larger size of pot.

Cover the pot’s drainage hole(s) with a paper towel, coffee filter, mesh screen, or pot shard to prevent soil from dripping out the bottom. To avoid sealing the hole, if you use a pot shard, place it convex side up. Although it’s customary to place pebbles or charcoal in the bottom of pots, I don’t advise doing so because they obstruct drainage and take up valuable space.

Put a few inches of damp soil in the pot and lightly push it down to repot a small, manageable plant. Set the plant inside the pot, centered. The top of the root ball should ideally rest approximately an inch below the pot’s rim. Gently lift the plant and add more soil if it is buried too deeply. Remove the plant and remove some soil if it is sitting too high, or just throw the soil out and start anew.

Now add soil to the area around the root ball. There are two methods for doing this work, stuffing and filling, as I’ve observed. Stuffers enjoy packing soil tightly around a plant. Fillers prefer to completely fill the pot and allow the soil to settle in over the course of the first few waterings. Although I typically fill in, I occasionally do some work, especially when it comes to top-heavy plants that need to be steadied. Leave some space at the top, whether you pack it or fill it, so that the pot can contain enough water during each watering to completely hydrate the soil.

Receive our most recent advice, training, and tutorial videos in your inbox.