When Is The Best Time To Repot Houseplants

In order for a plant’s actively growing roots to have enough time to grow into newly added potting soil, the optimal time to repot it is in the spring. There are a number of indications that a houseplant is pot-bound.

Can indoor plants be potted at any time of year?

As they mature, plants prefer to be potted up into bigger containers. More dirt can feed the root systems in larger containers. Years of growing in a pot can cause plants to become root-bound, which can result in death. The opportunity to repot indoor plants in the winter allows the ardent gardener to avoid frostbite on their thumbs!

If you notice roots on the surface of your pots, that is a sign that your plant needs to be replanted. Another indication is the presence of roots emerging from the drainage holes at the base of your containers. Another indication that your plants are root-bound is slow growth. Look to check if the roots are wrapping around the pot’s edge. Repotting your plant is necessary if the roots are swirling around the rootball.

Make sure the pot you choose matches the decor in your house and is the right size for the plant. If you’re repotting, avoid using large pots. Generally speaking, you should make the present container two inches bigger. The roots may rot if the new pot is too large and can contain too much water. To allow water to permeate the soil, ensure that the containers include drainage holes. Choose a saucer that matches the new pot to protect your carpet or hardwood flooring.

As the planting media, use a premium potting soil blend that has been fertilized. For the majority of indoor plants, the potting soils from Espoma Organic are good choices.

Use the following tips to make repotting easy:

  • Remove the plant from its current container. To dislodge the plant, you might need to run a knife or trowel along the side.
  • If the roots are coiled, pull them apart or, if they are very root-bound, trim them.
  • After placing the plant in the center of the new pot and filling it with quality potting soil, add soil to the bottom of the pot.
  • Water deeply to settle the dirt and wet the roots.

After being replanted, it is normal for the plant to experience shock. While the plant heals, try to keep it out of direct sunlight for a few weeks and maintain a consistent moisture level in the soil.

Does it ever make sense to repot plants?

further waterings

The soil dries up very rapidly and requires more watering than usual whenever there are more roots in a container than soil.

Plant emerging from the pot

Repotting is required when potted plants become unstable, unsteady, or start to force themselves upward and out of the soil.

There are roots emerging from the drainage holes.

The roots are probably looking for additional room to grow if they have begun to protrude through the drainage holes in the pot.

  • Your indoor plant isn’t expanding Despite your best efforts, it hasn’t grown for years.
  • The kettle is broken.
  • The growth medium is no longer functional.

It might smell bad, be covered in mold, or have more salt deposits than a takeout order of fish & chips on a Friday night. When this occurs, it’s necessary to repot the plants to give them a fresh start.

“Pot bound”

When the plant is removed from its container, all that is left are its roots. akin to this

Roots are coming out of the bottom of the pot

Take a look at your plant’s base. According to Bawden-Davis, if a plant’s roots are poking out of the drainage hole, it has outgrown its current pot and has to be repotted in order to have more room to grow. Another indication that your pot is rootbound and requires additional room is if you find roots circling the top or bottom of it.

When do you repot your plants?

In order for a plant’s actively growing roots to have enough time to grow into newly added potting soil, the optimal time to repot it is in the spring. There are a number of indications that a houseplant is pot-bound. Check first how often you water the houseplant.

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.

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.

Should indoor plants be potted again?

To maintain their vitality, indoor plants occasionally need to be replanted. For this task to be effective, you obviously need to know how to repot a houseplant as well as when to repot (spring being the best time).

How often should houseplants 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 poop; they have no smell and are rich in trace minerals 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.