Should I Change The Soil In My House Plants

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.

Should the soil in my potted plants be changed?

Growing plants in pots requires potting soil, but it may be very expensive. So I looked into how frequently soil needs to be changed. You’ll be able to save time, money, and effort by doing this for your potted plants as well.

Generally speaking, you should replace the soil in your potted plants every two years. The soil’s quality determines this. You might need to replace the soil with some fast-growing plants after a year. You might not need to replace the soil for a number of years with plants that develop slowly, though.

Based on how quickly the plants use the nutrients in the potting soil, you may estimate how long it will last. Understanding when to change the soil, what kind of dirt to use, and how to change the soil are all important.

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.

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 are indoor plants renewed?

Summer has arrived at last! I’m so eager to air out the house, dig in some dirt, and update the closet after a long, cold winter!

After lying mostly inactive and dusty all winter, my indoor plants are ready to spread their leaves and take up all that extra sun just as much as I am!

I’m working with Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. TM today to discuss quick ways to update your closet and your houseplants.

I bought a new pair of Signature High-Rise Ankle Straight jeans to add summer flair to my wardrobe because I pretty much live in denim.

I like to wear them with a loose, slouchy blouse and a smaller shoe since I adore a laid-back vibe. I believe that small shoes complement the look and have a slimming impact because I am wearing loose clothing on both my top and bottom. Despite the jeans’ adorable raw-edge hem, they also look wonderful cuffed, especially on us short-legged girls.

I’ve been wearing them for activities around the house because they are so comfortable, in addition to wearing them out and about. Which brings me to one of my favorite domestic tasks: taking care of plants.

I’ll be sharing six simple actions with you today to get your houseplants ready for the new season!

(I know this seems like a lot of information, but as you learn more, much of it makes sense.)

1. Take a field trip with them.

So that you don’t shock your plants, pick a day or a time of day when the outside temps are around room temperature. assemble all of your plants, then place them in a spot with indirect sunshine.

With a few exceptions, most home plants do not thrive in direct sunshine. Or, even if they are able to endure direct sunshine, living indoors will make them unused to it. They risk getting sunburned if they are exposed to too much sun at once. When I left my fiddle leaf fig out on the porch for a bit too long, I saw this firsthand. My porch received direct afternoon sunshine, which burned some of the young, sensitive foliage (note: this picture is pre-sun burn).

Take your plants inside to your garage or bathroom if the weather is too hot, sunny, or chilly where you are.

Give them a shower.

At the very least once per year, I prefer to hose my plants. I thoroughly rinse the leaves, the pot, and everything else before giving it a great, deep watering. Then, in the pleasant weather, I let it air dry. If you intend to repot your plant, you might want to postpone this until after you have already done so.

Wipe them down.

Consider lightly wiping down the leaves with a clean, moist cloth if your plants are too delicate to need a good hose treatment. Alternatively, wiping them after rinsing is a good idea if they are very dusty. Ensure that you collect each leaf’s top and bottom. This improves the plant’s appearance in more ways than one. It increases the plant’s capacity to absorb and utilize sunlight, improves airflow around the leaves, which helps avoid rot, and lessens plant stress, which in turn shields the plant from disease and pests.

Although it’s a good idea to dry dust the leaves frequently, your plant will benefit greatly from a nice thorough cleaning at least once or twice a year.

Note: You can mist your plants with a solution of diluted soapy water. I advise using a mild soap like castille soap and only do this when I have an insect problem.

Give them a haircut.

This list is beginning to resemble something you might do to prepare your plant children for school. Ha! To prune and trim them is what I mean by giving them a haircut.

  • Pinch off some of those long legs right after a joint or leaf on the stem if your trailing plants are starting to appear a touch lanky (more stem than leaves, as you can see above) and you want a fuller looking plant. Although the plant will still trail, it will thicken and appear more strong.
  • Any leaves that are dead or unusually yellow or brown should be removed. To ensure that the plant can concentrate its energy on the healthier leaves, it is best to remove any leaves that fall off with little to no resistance.
  • If your leaves have brown tips but won’t budge, trim the brown tips off or, if the leaf is too far gone and brown, trim it off close to the stem. Never remove a leaf by pulling on it as this stresses the plant. The brown tips on my fiddle leaf fig were a result of it getting hit quite a bit during winter. #kids Even if the leaves aren’t completely complete, it looked lot better once I removed the brown tips.

5. Top Dress, Repot, Prune, or Divide.

The best time to determine each plant’s requirements is right now. There are some exceptions to the rule that most plants dislike being root-bound. Your plant may be ready for a change if its roots are beginning to circle back on themselves at the bottom of the pot.

RepotRemove your plant from its container and give the roots a gentle tug to break them up. Place it in a bigger pot with soil that drains properly, but not one that is too big. Because the plant can’t consume all the moisture in the soil before mold develops, placing it in a pot that is too big can encourage rot.

Repotting your plant in healthier soil has proven to be quite helpful if you are experiencing a pest problem. Before repotting, make sure to give your pot a thorough cleaning.

TIP: If you absolutely want to use a pot that is just a little bit too big, think about nesting it within a smaller pot first (like the ones from the nursery) before using the larger pot to plant it in.

PruningThe roots can be cut back if you wish the plant to remain small. Remove them from the pot, shake off the dirt, and then carefully pry open the root system. Trim the roots back until they are approximately an inch from the main root or stem. Replenish it. Only exceptionally strong plants that can withstand this kind of stress should be used for this. (I don’t like to do this personally. It gives me anxiety!)


You can also divide your plant to keep it tiny. You can also grow extra plants using this method of propagation. If your houseplant has multiple main stems grouped together at the base, much like a snake plant, it is growing in a cluster habit. You can pull that cluster apart. You can cut it in half or separate the tiny babies to plant in separate pots. These make excellent gifts if you don’t have place for another plant in your home (pfft…is there such a thing? ;).

Best Dress

Scratch off the top layer of dirt (about 1/2 inch) if your plant is healthy and happy where it is, and then top it over with new soil.

Feed your plants.

The best time to fertilize your plants is right now, especially since the majority of indoor plants don’t require any fertilizer during the winter. The typical goal for indoor plants is to create lush, green leaves, therefore a balanced fertilizer with all the nutrients in equal amounts, like “Typically, 10-10-10 works well. Use organic, natural fertilizers whenever possible, or try compost topdressing.

Using synthetic fertilizers is acceptable, but they could leave your soil with a salty crust that is bad for your plants. If you use synthetic fertilizers, prepare for more frequent top dressings of your plants.

Precaution: Avoid overfertilizing as this can “You can harm weaker plants by burning your own. (Unfortunately, I have firsthand knowledge of this.) Also keep in mind that a lot of soils already contain fertilizer, so you might be able to skip the fertilizer stage entirely for the first several months.

Consider rearranging.

I think about each plant’s health and how well it is prospering in its current environment before re-planting it in the house. Now is a good opportunity to locate a different location for it if it’s not receiving as much sunlight as I had anticipated or if it’s getting knocked into too frequently (my poor fiddle leaf).

I make an effort to pair plants with similar requirements. I am less likely to forget to water plants that require a lot of water if they are all in one place. I also like to place plants that require more attention in the kitchen because I spend a lot of time there and am therefore more likely to notice them.

I now feel completely prepared for summer thanks to my newly refurbished and revitalized plants and closet. Let’s go for it!

It should be noted that Signature by Levi Strauss & Co. sponsored this article. All views expressed are sincerely and wholeheartedly mine. The sustainability practices employed by Signature Jeans, which you can read about here, most impress me.