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Repotting a Plant: Plant Care Essentials

Repotting a plant can be daunting at first! Believe it or not, you don’t need to be a gardening expert to work out how to repot a plant. All you need are the correct plant care items and a spare 20 minutes. Within no time, you’ll be a repotting expert and your plants will have healthy roots!

Key Takeaways

  • When your plant becomes root-bound, then it is time to repot them! This is an easy process that anybody can do.

  • To repot your plant, you will need a larger nursery pot than you already have, some spare soil mix, a trowel, and a watering can.

  • Repotting your houseplants enables them to continue growing and minimise chances of catching common infections and diseases.

How Do I Repot a Plant?

Learning to repot plants is a vital part of any plant parent’s plant care routine. Knowing when to re-pot can help to ensure your indoor plants keep growing throughout the Spring and SUmmer months. At the same time, preventing your plants from becoming root-bound reduces the chance of root rot, soil degradation, and common plant diseases.

With a little know-how and a little time spare the first time you do it, learning to repot your plants can be an enjoyable experience and take you from a novice gardener to an intermediate gardener!

How Often Should You Repot?

You should the condition of your houseplants once or twice a year. This is so you can spot signs of root rot early on and prevent infections from damaging your houseplants. When it comes to repotting, younger plants will need more attention than mature plants.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Young Plants: These need repotting every year as they grow quickly. Snake plants, devil’s ivy, and parlour palms are some of the quickest-growing houseplants.

  • Mature Plants: Typically require repotting every 2-3 years, or when they show signs of being root-bound or soil degradation.

By repotting your houseplants, you ensure they have the space, nutrients, and healthy environment they need to thrive, leading to healthier, more vibrant plants.

What Items Do I Need For Repotting a Plant?

To repot your houseplants, you will need a couple of items. It is important you have all of these items quickly available to hand. Forgetting some items can be damaging to your plants. Especially, if they spend an extended period outside of the nursery pot while you nip to a garden centre!

So, make sure you have the following items before you begin repotting:

Larger Container (Plastic Pot)

The first item you will need when repotting is a nursery pot with a larger diameter than your plant is currently housed in. By having a larger container for your plant to sit in, the plant’s roots will be able to grow longer. In turn, this enables the plant’s stem and leaves to grow during the growing season.

Be sure to not use a nursery pot that is too big! This can sometimes be detrimental. It’s advisable to opt for a new nursery pot that has a diameter 2-3cm larger than your current pot.

At Oxy-Plants, we sell plastic nursery pots in several sizes. They’re high quality and can be used for indoor plants and outdoor plants. With standard delivery, they can be delivered to your door within 3-5 days!

Larger Decorative Pot

If you are using a larger nursery pot, then you will probably need a larger decorative plant pot to go with it! Plastic pots can sometimes be a bit of an eyesore. So, having a new decorative pot to house your houseplant is always a wise idea!

Whether you want an elegant glossy black pot or something a little funkier, have a look at our indoor plant pot range. We even have Elho pots made from recycled plastic!

Potting Mix

With more space in the nursery, more compost is needed! Thus, having some spare soil or compost lying around is vital. You can purchase some compost and keep it in your shed or utility room (in an airtight container) for when you need it!

Extra compost will help bed your houseplant into its new container. This will help stabilise the plant and add nutrients back into the soil mix. If you’re a plant care whizz, then make sure you top up your potting mix with perlite, vermiculite, or some coco coir.

Plant Care Accessories

Make sure you have a trowel to hand. This will help to minimise soil spillage on your kitchen counter or work surface. The last thing many of us want to do is have to break out the vacuum or the dustpan and brush!

Repotting your houseplants can also be a great opportunity to do some pruning! It’s always handy to have a set of houseplant pruning shears at the ready. That way you can save yourself another plant care job at a later date!

Larger plants, such as the devil’s ivy or swiss cheese, may need a moss pole. So, if you envisage needing a new nursery pot above 21cm, investing in a moss pole will help train larger houseplants to grow upright.

Gardening Gloves

If you don’t like getting your hands dirty, then having some gardening gloves is always a bonus! Keep these in your shed, greenhouse, or cupboard under the sink for when you need them

Watering can

Watering your plant once it has been repotted is important. So, make sure you have a container or watering can. We recommend the Elho 1.2L watering can.

How to Repot your Plant: The 8 Simple Steps!

1. Choose the Right Time

The best time to repot most houseplants is during the spring or early summer when they are actively growing. Preparing your green friends for the growing season in early spring will almost guarantee plant growth in the weeks after you repot your plants.

2. Prepare the New Pot

Ensure the new pot has drainage holes. If it doesn’t, create some. You can do this using a drill or a sharp knife. Be careful not to injure yourself!

Place a layer of fresh potting soil at the bottom of the new pot. This performs several functions. First, it gives the new plant extra room to grow and further develop its root system. Second, it will add nutrients below the plant for the roots to burrow down into.

Third, it prevents your plant from immediately becoming root-bound again! This means you will only have to repot every few years, as opposed to every couple of months.

3. Water the Plant

Water your plant a day before repotting. This helps to reduce stress and makes it easier to remove the plant from its current pot.

Root-bound plants can often be difficult to disentangle. So, watering can help roots loosen, making the job much easier.

4. Remove the Plant from its Current Pot

Gently turn the pot on its side and tap the bottom to loosen the plant. Carefully slide the plant out, supporting the base of the plant and the root ball.

If the roots have grown through the bottom of the drainage holes on your nursery pot, gently prise them apart. If the plant will not come loose, cut the bottom of the roots using some sterilised pruning shears.

5. Inspect the Roots

Examine the roots for any signs of rot (brown, mushy roots) or pests. Trim away any damaged or dead roots with sterilised scissors.

If the roots are tightly packed (root-bound), gently tease them apart to encourage growth.

6. Position the Plant in the New Pot

Place the plant in the new pot, making sure it sits at the same depth as it did in the old pot.

Fill in around the plant with fresh potting soil, gently pressing it down to eliminate air pockets. Leave about an inch of space at the top for watering.

Don’t throw your old pot away! This can be used again for any smaller plants that also need repotting.

7. Water the Plant

Thoroughly water the plant to help the soil settle. Ensure that water drains out from the bottom. This is where drainage holes perform an important function!

8. Care After Repotting

Place the plant in a location with suitable light conditions and avoid direct sunlight for a few days to reduce stress.

Resume regular watering and feeding schedules after a week or two.

Why Do You Need to Repot Your Plant?

1. Encouraging New Growth

The first reason it is important to repot your plants is to encourage new growth. As plants grow, their roots can outgrow the current pot, becoming root-bound.

This means the plant’s roots become densely packed, circling around the pot’s edge, which restricts their ability to take up water and nutrients. Putting your plant in a larger pot provides more space for the root ball to grow.

Additionally, adding fresh soil into a new container provides new nutrients that the plant needs to grow. Over time, the soil in a pot can become depleted of essential nutrients. So, repotting once a year cna help to prevent the soil from becoming void of nutrients.

2. Improving Soil Quality

Over time, soil mixes will degrade. The soil in pots can break down and compact over time, reducing its ability to hold water and air, which are essential for root health. By repotting, you are making sure that the soil remains fresh and well-structured.

Fertilizers and water can leave behind salts and other residues in the soil, which can build up to toxic levels and harm the plant. So, adding new potting soil to your plant pots helps to prevent this.

3. Preventing Disease

Repotting allows you to inspect the roots and soil for signs of disease or pests. Removing affected roots and replacing the soil can help prevent problems from spreading.

4. Optimizing Watering

Old, compacted soil can affect drainage, leading to waterlogging and root rot. This can have a devastating effect on your plant’s health.

Fresh soil improves drainage and aeration, ensuring the roots receive the right balance of moisture and air. Make sure your new pot has drainage holes and your soil is well structured.

5. Enhancing Aesthetic Appeal

Moving a plant to a more attractive or appropriately sized pot can improve the visual appeal of your plant display and match your decor.

Moreover, you can also decorate your plat pot with topping stone. This helps your plant look nicer!

7. Promoting Overall Plant Health

Regular repotting ensures that plants have enough room for their roots to grow, which supports the overall health and vigor of the plant. This ensures your plant will stay happy and healthy for years to come!

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