The reputation of succulents as being “easy. There is still a lot to learn about these oh-so-Pinterest-worthy plants, even though they would make decent starter plants for someone with a less-than-green thumb. Your succulent’s luscious green leaves could turn mushy, wilted, and brown if it doesn’t receive enough sunlight, water, soil, and container. If one of your summertime projects involves repotting succulents, be sure to read these six suggestions first.
Understand your plants before repotting succulents
Your local garden center was your first stop for an equally colorful assortment of succulents after you pinned a picture of a trendy combination of succulents in a stunning container. You then ordered our Large Mixed Material Terrarium to replicate the Pin. Understanding each plant’s needs for heat, water, and sunlight is crucial before beginning the job. Many people believe that all succulents require the same types of growing circumstances, however each species actually has different requirements. Only a few succulents will grow if you place several of plants in a pot with different requirements. You can repot your succulents into communal containers once you’ve assessed your plants and determined which ones would thrive together. More advice on how to do this may be found in our piece on repotting succulents into terrariums.
Beware of glued-on accessories
You recently purchased a cute prefabricated succulent garden from a big-box retailer, and you now want to repot the plants. You might be surprised to learn that these ready-made succulent gardens frequently contain “On the soil and the plants, there are embellishments like rocks and imitation flowers. Your succulents will benefit from being repotted because the glued-on rocks may be preventing them from accessing the water they require. While removing each glued-on ornament can be time-consuming and tiresome, your succulents will appreciate it once they are free. If you like prepared gardens’ convenience, you might consider our DIY Terrarium Kit, which comes with everything you need for repotting succulents but without the soil “glued-on decorations!
Don’t skip the drainage rocks
You undoubtedly already know that succulents require adequate drainage, and you may have also heard that adding rocks or stones to the bottom of your planter will facilitate this. A drainage layer is required if a container lacks drainage holes, but it can also add a lovely ornamental touch to a glass container or terrarium. You need a well-draining soil in addition to a drainage layer to assist shed excess water, which avoids root rot. This brings us to…
Supplement with perlite
When it comes to giving your repotted succulents a well-draining soil, you’re halfway there if you bought a succulent potting mix at your local garden center. Your plants will prefer a 1:1 ratio of succulent soil and perlite, despite the fact that many potting mixes promise to have all the nutrients and characteristics you need when repotting succulents. Perlite helps with water drainage when well included with your potting soil. You may get it from any garden supply store.
Don’t water right away
Your first reaction after rehoming a plant might be to water it. However, it’s recommended to wait a few days before watering succulents after repotting. If you attempt to water your plants too soon, the roots will not have had time to heal and will be vulnerable to root rot.
Make cautious to protect your succulents against sunburns the same way you protect your skin from sunburn! A freshly potted succulent will frequently develop wilted, mushy leaves and brown blotches, also known as a succulent sunburn, if placed in direct sunlight. It’s crucial to gradually acclimate succulents to direct sunlight when repotting them.
After repotting, how frequently should succulents be watered?
Succulents need to be watered sparingly after repotting. This is due to the fact that the roots shouldn’t have established themselves in the new soil mix yet, and watering them can instead cause them to rot in their new environment.
As long as they are in decent sunshine, it would be better to let them go without watering for the first week following repotting.
New roots should be able to swell into the earth as a result. It should be okay to water only till the soil becomes wet and then let them dry out again if the soil is still moist after a week.
Wait a week after the initial watering after repotting before starting to water whenever the soil seems dry.
Depending on how long it takes for their new environment to dry up, succulents should only be watered once per week or two after repotting.
Temperature, light exposure, and humidity are a few more elements that may have an impact on how frequently you should water your plants. Nevertheless, these are less significant than making sure the roots have properly taken hold before resuming routine watering.
The most crucial thing after repotting is to avoid overwatering your succulents.
In order to determine exactly how frequently to water them after being repotted, there should be a very evident difference between when they are wet and when they are dry.
With time and the establishment of new roots, everything should become simpler, but during the first month or two of their existence in their new soil, it is preferable to check on them sparingly rather than soaking them with excessive water straight immediately.
Do I need to water right away after repotting?
- A day or two before you intend to re-pot your plant, give it a good soak. This will lessen the chance of shock and make it easier to remove your plant from its pot. It will also keep it well-hydrated.
- Remove the plant’s pot gently. You might need to tip the pot on its side or ask a buddy to hold it while you grab the plant, depending on its size and how much it is root-bound. Slide a butter knife along the pot’s edge to loosen roots for plants with dense root systems.
- Loosen the root ball slowly. Shake off any extra soil being careful not to bruise the delicate roots. Sharp shears should be used to prune off any brown, black, or obviously injured roots. Trim up to 2/3 of the root mass beginning at the bottom and edges of the plant if you have plants that are heavily root-bound or if you only intend to repot them without potting them up into a larger planter.
- If merely repotting, remove all of the soil from the pot and rinse it with hot water to remove any sediment. When choosing a new pot for your plant, make sure it is clean and no more than two diameters larger than its previous container. Too much room might cause root rot and poor growth.
- We advise adding a.5 layer of activated charcoal to the bottom of your pot if you are potting into a container without drainage. To increase drainage, some people advise placing a layer of stones at the bottom of any pot; however, it’s uncertain whether this is effective, thus pebbles are not included as long as the pot has drainage. After that, add some fresh potting soil to the bottom of the pot so that the plant’s base will be about.5 inches below the rim.
- Place your plant in the fresh container, then fill it with dirt and air until all the roots are covered. While carefully compacting the dirt to remove any air pockets, be careful not to damage the fragile roots. Lightly water the new soil to keep it moist but not drenched.
Plants frequently go through a shock period after repotting or potting up. It’s normal, so don’t worry! Although plants may seem thirsty and wilted, wait to water them for approximately a week after repotting to make sure any roots harmed during the process have recovered. Plants should be located in a cooler, more shaded area while they are recovering.
Fertilizer is usually present in potting soil. You can wait around 6 weeks after re-potting before fertilizing to avoid over-fertilizing and harming your plant.
Nutrient Boost from Fresh Soil Most of the nutrients in the soil are absorbed by your houseplant. The soil loses more and more of its fertility over time. After a few successful growing seasons, you could notice that your plant starts to act generally “unhappy” or starts to grow little, oddly colored leaves. Repotting (or potting up) with new soil gives your plant the nutrient boost it needs to thrive, even if you fertilize frequently.
Improved Watering Have you ever noticed that when you water, it seems to seep out of the pot’s bottom right away? Your plant is probably root bound, a condition in which the plant desperately needs more room and the roots have wrapped themselves around the pot’s outside. This makes channels for the water to flow through, which is why it is exceedingly challenging to actually water a root-bound plant. Repotting will help your plant access the water it requires to keep its thirst quenched and leaves lush by clearing these roots from obstruction.
New Growth = breathing room!
Even indoor plants enjoy a little breathing room. To encourage fresh development is another motivation to release plants from their root restrictions. Repotting a plant can result in a remarkable and bountiful recovery. Your plant will be happier and grow more quickly if it has a robust, expanding root system.
Health Promotion Have you ever overwatered a plant? Not to worry. All of us do. Root decay is the problem. Overwatering damages roots, which turn dark brown or black as a result. In this condition, they are prone to illness and unable to absorb water (which is why an over-watered plant can sometimes seem thirsty). Cutting off these damaged roots is your best line of protection against fungus and disease and aids in a plant’s recovery from excessive watering.
Plant babies: Divide and conquer! Many plants can be divided to create new plants when they get overcrowded. It is best to take advantage of re-potting time to divide pups and offshoots into independent plants.
Reminder: Delay repotting if your plant is stressed! For instance, if the plant is wilting from thirst, it is advisable to bathe it and let it recover before repotting. Similar to how excessive weather, such heat waves, can create stress, try to avoid repotting during those times.
How should newly potted succulents be watered?
- It’s crucial to keep in mind that if your succulent begins to bloom, you should never repot it. Repotting could halt the flower’s development and cause it to fall off the succulent.
- Avoid overwatering: When repotting a plant, take care not to soak it in water for too long or to water it immediately after placing it in a new pot. If your succulent receives too much water throughout the process, it will develop root rot.
How soon can I water after repotting?
Make careful to water the plant well 2-4 days in advance. Repotting should not be done when the soil is completely wet because this would stress the plant.
Gently massaging the roots will help them loosen up if the rootball is a little tight. This is what I generally do with houseplants. This will make it easier for the roots to expand out. When a plant is root-bound (especially a landscape plant with hard roots or one that has spent too much time in its grow pot), I trim the bottom roots and score the sides of the rootball.
Note: Some plants dislike this article about growing and replanting bougainvillea. Annual plants are renowned for having dense root systems.
Remove any soil from the rootball that you don’t want to put in the new pot at this time, especially any that is old, infested, or has been overwatered.
So that the top of the rootball is level with or just below the pot’s top, add mix to the new pot. During this procedure, I moisten the mixture if it is too dry. Succulents, which I plant in dry mix, are an exception.
Speaking of succulents, some of them are quite heavy, therefore I leave the rootball 1/21 of the way above the top because their weight will ultimately cause them to fall in the light mix.
As the pot fills, keep adding mix around the rootball. Most of the time, you want to check that the plant is in the middle of the pot, straight up and down.
Optional: Whether I’m repotting indoors or outdoors, I always add compost and worm compost. You can read more about in any of my entries about planting and caring for plants.
After repotting plants, thoroughly water the soil mixture. Succulents and cacti are the only exceptions, which I leave dry and allow to settle for 2–7 days (depending on the type of succulent) before watering.
Just be careful not to bury the rootball of any plant (apart from one like a Cosmos, which doesn’t mind being planted deeply) too deeply. The roots can breathe in this manner.
After repotting succulents, what should you do?
1. To get started, fill your new planter 3/4 full with pre-mixed succulent or cactus soil, which is often available at any nearby nursery or home improvement store. You can combine standard potting soil and perlite in equal amounts to try making your own soil. Make sure the planter is at least 2″ wider than the diameter of the succulent if you are relocating it to a larger container. Your succulent will have plenty of room to expand and become stable as a result.
2. Remove the succulent from its present container and gently separate the roots. To loosen the roots and remove the soil, you can “tickle” them from the bottom. Consider this phase as a pleasant stretch for the roots. They can stabilize in a larger pot and acclimate to their new soil by being spread out and lengthened. This is the ideal time to remove any dead leaves and brush away any dead roots from the plant’s base. While doing this, be careful to brush away any old or extra dirt.
3. To support the plant, dig a small hole in the fresh dirt, lay the succulent in it, and then gently cover the roots with extra potting soil. Don’t cover any leaves or allow them lay on top of the soil; only add enough to cover the plant’s base. As a result of the leaves absorbing too much moisture from the soil, this will cause them to rot.
4. After the plant has stabilized, you can add colored rocks, pebbles, or sand to give your new succulent plant in a pot a unique touch. Make sure the material drains adequately if you do add something on top so that water can reach the soil underneath.
5. In this case, the situation dictates how to water. Depending on the type of plant and when it was last watered, a succulent that has been repotted may require different first watering. However, it is typically advised to hold off on watering your succulent for at least a week following repotting. Make sure the soil is dry before giving it a good soaking without drowning it.
6. Enjoy your succulent in a new pot! Depending on your environment, sunlight, etc., water your succulent once per week to three weeks to keep it healthy. Water should be applied when the soil is dry. Leave it alone until it dries if it is still wet. They are tough little plants, so try different things to see what works best for your new addition.