The plant has been with you now for a few months, and so far, it has been well-behaved. The plant has thrived in this environment and even appears to have grown. It’s becoming too big, though, aren’t you starting to wonder? Would it be a good idea to move it to a new pot soon? To help you with your question, we have done extensive research.
What are the signs that your plant needs a bigger pot? If you notice the following, it’s time for a bigger pot for your plants:
- Your soil has deteriorated and no longer holds water
- Your plant does not absorb water, but just sits in water
- The drainage holes have become clogged with roots
- It seems like too tight a fit
Check out what to do if you suspect your plant has grown out of its pot, because it meets the above criteria. In the following section, we will elaborate on each point. Also, we will share some tips on choosing the right sized pot for your growing plants.
How Do You Know When a Plant Needs a Bigger Pot?
Poor Soil Condition
The potting soil you use for your plant doesn’t remain the same if you use it for a long time. A pot of soil may compact over time if it’s been left in the same spot for months or years. When this happens, air and water are unable to reach the roots of the plant as easily.
Despite the above, if your soil has begun to break down, you may need to purchase a new pot. It’s problematic to have soil that disintegrates or that seems dry regardless of how much water you apply. If you want to change the soil, do so first. It may be necessary to repot your plant if that does not work.
Lack of Water Absorption
It used to be that your plant drank everything you gave it when you watered it. It seems that water now sort of sits there on the leaves and flowers more and more. Your plant doesn’t seem to be absorbing water well, which makes you wonder how sustainable it is at all.
No Empty Drainage Holes
It is called a drainage hole because it allows water to drain through. When you overwater or get the plant too wet, these holes prevent the excess water from seeping through the roots and soil, which could potentially damage your plant. As soon as the roots begin to grow, you want to place a drain in these spaces. Because the roots can’t find a place else to grow, they are straining to get to whatever is available.
A Tight Squeeze
Sometimes, you can tell if your plant needs a larger pot just by looking at it. Plants that seem to have grown so large that their pot looks nearly comically small by comparison are a sign that they need to be replanted. Moving your plant is the right thing to do.
The Plant Has Never Been Repotted
Think about the first time you grew a plant. It’s been how long since then? Months? Years? In how many upgrades has the pot undergone since then? It may be time to get your plant repotted into a larger pot that is more appropriate for it if you answered zero.
There are times when you cannot tell how old a plant is, especially if it was found or given to you. We refer you to the points above in such a case. If your plant shows any of the signs described above, then you should decide whether it needs to be moved.
Although plants that are still growing will benefit from being replanted roughly every 9 to 24 months, older plants will sometimes be very satisfied to remain in the same pot at the same location for years.
Selecting an Appropriately-Sized Pot for Your Plant
You’re beginning to think that your plant needs to be potted in a different container. When it comes to size, how big is too big?
In order to avoid moving the plant again in a few months, you might think it’s smart to get an ultra-large pot for your plant. As a matter of fact, doing so can hinder the growth of your plant. As a result of its too-big pot, the plant is lopsided and could topple over. Additionally, the longer the soil takes to dry out, the bigger the pot needs to be. That could rot the roots of your plant, which would kill it quickly.
In addition, you don’t want a pot that’s too small. You’re then stuck with the opposite problem, where the soil dries fast. This means you’ll have to increase how often you water the plant. The plant might root to the pot and not be able to come out without difficulty, thus causing growth problems.
The size of your plant’s pot should be determined by its diameter. You should buy a pot that has a diameter at least two inches larger than that measurement. There are plant owners who go up to four inches bigger, but that’s entirely your choice.
You don’t always need to increase the diameter of your new pot even by two inches. You must be very patient with a plant that grows very slowly. If that’s the case, you might only have to increase the pot’s diameter by an inch. Too much of a good thing is not always good.
How to Repot Your Plant
There’s nothing more exciting than getting a new pot for your plant. Are you wondering what you need to do in order to transfer your plant from its old, too-small pot to an entirely new one? Following these steps will ensure your success.
- Use a coffee filter to block the drainage holes. In the new pot, you should cover your drainage holes for now since this won’t be forever. You will not be able to fill the holes if the soil slips through.
- Add your soil. As for the soil, you need a bit of it in the pot. Your plant will have an easier time sinking its roots into the soil. However, you don’t want too much soil. If you see soil coming out the sides when you put your plant in, take it out and get rid of some of the leftover soil.
- Hydrate your plant. It is important to make sure your plant has enough water before moving it to a new container. In this way, your roots remain healthy during the transition.
- Take your plant out. Your wait is over. This is the moment you’ve been looking forward to. Pick up the pot containing your plant and turn it over gently. You need to brace the pot with your hand as you do so. The pot should be slowly rocked back and forth. In most cases, this should remove the plant from the pot. A knife should do the trick if it doesn’t.
- Check the roots. The roots of your plant might look messy, depending on how long it lived in the old pot. If necessary, trim stray roots, untangle balls and knots of roots, and do other pruning until you are satisfied with the roots of your plant.
- Set up your plant in the new pot. When you are ready, grasp either end of the plant. In the new pot, put it right in the middle. Ensure there is some pressure being applied to the plant-but not too much-so that it settles in. As needed, add more soil.
- Water some more. You may have just sprayed your plant with water, but you’ll need to repeat the act. When the pot is watered at this stage, the soil will settle in.