Just bought a plant and aren’t sure if it needs to be moved, or does it seem to be doing fine in its old pot? Maybe you have plants that aren’t doing well, and wonder if bringing them home in a new pot will help the situation.
We shall discuss everything related to repotting today. I know it is difficult to tell whether or not your plant needs repotting.
A houseplant should be replanted every two to three years and moved to a pot 2-3 inches larger than the previous one. Roots emerging from drainage holes, slower growth, or ruptured pots may indicate that your plant is root-bound and needs to be replanted.
As the plant grows, the procedure of repotting the plant to a new house requires more frequent attention.
Plants need to be repotted periodically, and there are rules for repotting. Don’t worry; we’re here to help.
In this guide, you will learn when to repot the plants and how to do it. We will also look at what signs the plants give us so we know when to repot. Let us get right into it and be a master for repotting.
Certain signs that tell us plants need repotting
Despite the simplicity of repotting houseplants, there is always a risk associated with it. Our plants may not thrive after repotting.
Plants should never be repotted without any reason, and frequent repotting is not recommended. For most houseplants, you should repot them once or twice a year.
Now we will examine some signs suggesting repotting is necessary.
Some of the signs include:
- Roots coming out of drainage holes
- Leaf drooping or unhealthy plant
- Checking the growth of the plant
- Yellowing leaves/ Under Watered plant
- Pests/ Root rot
Roots coming out of drainage holes
The plant’s higher sections, including the leaves, stems, and fruits, start growing after the roots are developed.
Once the roots of a plant have fully developed, they become root-bound to the pot. Root-bound means that the roots become entangled with the soil, and there is little room for them to grow.
We should repot when we notice the roots are rootsbound and the drainage holes are filled with roots.
Now that your plant is smaller and needs a larger pot, we need to replace it because it will not grow faster in the same pot.
The secret of repotting is that we should consider it mostly in the spring and summer growing seasons.
Winter is a time when most plants do not flourish, so you should not be surprised if the growth of your plants falters.
Droopy leaves or an unhealthy plant
Even after giving your plant all those nutrients, the leaves may still look sad. The plant was always droopy, and the plant did not show any signs of life.
There is a case when all other conditions must be checked before repotting a plant.
For a healthy plant, the light, humidity, and most importantly, the water levels, will need to be taken care of.
Our plant can’t be repotted frequently, since doing so will cause even more damage, and we might end up killing the plant.
We must first check all other conditions before repotting. But if that doesn’t yield a positive result, we need to repot.
Checking the growth of the plant
Only when the plant’s roots have fully developed will the plant’s growth become noticeable in the pot.
The pot should be large enough to accommodate the plant and maintain a reasonable and constant growth structure.
A pot that is too small can damage the roots, preventing further growth.
Too large a pot will inhibit plant growth, as the plant focuses on the roots and the most common problem of overwatering.
If our plant is 7 inches long, we will need a 1-gallon pot, a 2-foot plant requires a 3-gallon pot, and so on. The perfect ratio of plant to pot is 2/3 plant to 1/3 pot.
Insufficient room will prevent the root system from developing, which will inhibit plant growth.
Yellowing leaves or Under Watered plant
A most thoroughly under-watered plant can come back to life relatively quickly after being watered. However, what do we do if it has been neglected for too long?
When plants are left without water, their leaves do yellow.
A plant may show signs of needing a new home even when it is in normal conditions.
It is necessary for the plant to grow in new soil because the old soil lacks nutrients.
This will allow the plant to absorb nutrients and enhance its growth.
When the soil is underwatered, the plant suffers because it is too crusty and lacking in nutrients, which makes it unviable.
Plants that have been replanted benefit from the transfer of nutrients and have enough space to flourish.
Pests/ Root Rot
Often root rot is severe and the worst condition for plants. Overwatering plants are prone to root rot quickly. Otherwise, they are prone to pest infestations.
It is necessary to repot the plant to another pot when the pest situation or root rot threatens to kill it.
Pests on the leaves or stems can be treated with neem oil solution and some other remedies, but when they infest the roots, we cannot leave it the way it is.
A plant with root rot must be removed from its pot and cleaned once its roots are untangled.
Plants damaged root are sometimes trimmed off, as they won’t regenerate and won’t help them in any way.
If we’re repotting in the same pot, we might consider disinfecting it for an hour or two before taking the plant out. This will ensure the safety of the plant.
In conjunction with the root rot, pest infestations severely damage the plant.
How to repot your house plants?
In order to repot a plant, we need to know certain prerequisites. Now that we know when to repot a plant, we will examine how to repot our plants.
If the repotting is not performed correctly, the plant might not thrive. We will discuss some tips to repotting.
Plants should be watered a day before repotting and repotting should be done at night to prevent shock caused by the sunlight.
First, we need to remove the root ball from the pot to begin the repotting process. Be careful not to damage the roots by pulling the root ball too hard.
The root ball can be removed from the pot by tapping the pot on a hard surface in the opposite direction.
You should be mindful that this is a very delicate process, and damaging the roots might result in danger for the plant.
You can run a knife around the root ball if it is too rootbound, just like you do with cake after it has been baked. Be gentle during the process.
The process should be performed with disinfected scissors or knives.
It is important to carefully examine the root ball for any damage or pests that might have affected them.
Through this process, we can also determine the need for root pruning or repotting in a larger container.
The perfect pot for a 6-inch plant is not an art, but we need to do it right. If the plant is 10 inches tall, we’ll need a 10-inch pot or a 1-gallon pot, and so on.
It is important to check for drainage holes, because if there are not any, the plants will stand in standing water, leading to root rot.
Covering the drainage holes can be achieved with mesh nets or cloths. This step is essential to keep the soil intact.
Choosing the soil
This is because soil should be selected according to the type of plant and should drain well and contain nutrients. Generally, we choose well-draining soil for this purpose.
It’s best to use potting soil or potting mix for outdoor gardening. For container gardening, however, potting mix is the ideal choice, because it’s soil-free.
In pot soil, garden soil is combined with coco peat, peat moss, compost, vermicompost, and other materials that improve soil aeration.
Perlite and pumice mixed with potting soil will improve the aeration of the soil and aid in drainage.
We can use the above mixture as universal potting soil for almost any houseplant we plan to repot.
Teasing the roots
Roots can be separated from the root ball by teasing them. This promotes and accelerates the plant’s growth. The teasing process also encourages new roots to grow from the soil.
Occasionally, we may have to prune the roots from the bottom as well as the sides of the plant if the plant is root bound.
Using a sharp knife, we can also cut the root ball to continue with our root pruning.
The roots of the plants should not be hurt in any way during this process, so please be very careful.
If the plant has not been rootbound, we can release its roots from the bottom and sides so that they can grow freely.
The plant should be checked for damaged roots, and if there are any, the roots should be removed.
The roots of damaged plants will appear black and not white and crusty like those with the best of health.
Placing the plant in the new pot
Following the choice of the appropriate pot size and removing the roots, the plants are finally potted in their new home.
- The steps for placing the plant in the new pot are
- Take the pot and add some compost into the base of the pot
- Take the root ball and place it in the center of the pot
- Add some soil to fill up space
- Take some handful of compost and add to the top layer of the soil
- Gently tap the pot to fill in the air pockets
- Level the soil on the upper layer
- Water them thoroughly after the repot
- Place the plant in bright indirect sunlight at least for a week
Tips to care for your house plants after repotting
Changing the pot stresses the plant, so we must ensure it has the ideal conditions for watering, light and humidity.
How can you keep your plants healthy? We will talk about specific steps.
Watering problems. Make sure to water the plant properly. The roots have gone through a lot and won’t survive incorrect watering. Keep the roots moist without becoming soggy.
Lighting conditions. Whenever you repot your plants, try to keep them in indirect sunlight. This will help prevent any shock for the plant.
Humidity. Plants that have recently been potted should be provided with some moisture to recover faster. For this, we can use a humidifier or mist the plants with water.
Fertilizer. For at least a month, you should not add any fertilizer. The newly moved plants will not be able to take in the extra nutrients, which could result in fertilizer burn.