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  • Writer's pictureTracey Parriman

Is it Time to Repot Your Houseplant?

Bringing home a new plant often begs the question - should I repot my plant?

All plants eventually need a fresh repotting to provide more space for roots and replenish nutrients within the soil. Here are some tips on knowing when and how to repot your plant to keep it happy and thriving!

Knowing when to repot -

  • Signs of rootbound roots - If you notice roots coiling around the pot, growing above the soil medium, or escaping out of the drainage holes, it's time to bump up the size of the pot.

  • Soil is crusty and hard - Over time, the soil medium loses nutrients and becomes less absorbent. If it's been a year since the plant has had some fresh soil and you notice it still seems dry after watering, try repotting your plant with some fresh medium. You could also try topdressing, by removing the first few inches of soil on top and replacing it with fresh medium. As you water, nutrients will filter down through the pot.

Tips for repotting -

  • Choose a container with drainage holes - this is vital for preventing excess water from keeping the soil too soggy!

  • Know what type of soil your plant needs - some plants need coarse, quick draining medium while others need a fluffier, water absorbent soil.

  • Repot on a day you plant to water - fresh watering will help roots become established in the new soil.

  • Loosen roots and soil - After pulling a plant from its old home, gently pull the roots apart and remove some of the old soil from around them. You can remove any dead roots, but avoid breaking healthy ones if you can.

  • Bump pot sizes gradually - It can be tempting to place a little plant in a huge pot, but this can cause more harm than good. Without enough roots to absorb moisture, the soil can stay too wet. When up-potting your plant, choose a pot 2-3 inches larger than its current home.

  • Do not leave air pockets - it is important to make sure the roots are sufficiently surrounded by soil. Too much air space interferes with root growth.

  • Leave room for watering - repotting a plant too high in the pot can make watering difficult and messy. The soil line should lay about a half inch below the rim of the pot.

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