Repotting plants can seem like an intimidating or messy task, but with the right information, and a little practice, it is a rather fun activity for you and your plants.
In this article:
- What Does Repotting Plants Mean?
- Why Is It Important to Repot Plants?
- What Are the Signs That Plants Need Repotting?
- When Is the Best Time to Repot Plants?
- How Often Should One Repot Plants?
- What Pot Size Should One Transplants In?
- Which Pot Type Is Best for Repotting Plants?
- Which Potting Mix Is the Best to Use?
Everything You Need to Know About Repotting Plants | FAQs
What Does Repotting Plants Mean?
As the name suggests, repotting is moving a plant from one pot planter to another. This happens for several reasons but can also be done purely for aesthetic purposes. The key is to ensure that you are careful enough not to harm the plant.
Why Is It Important to Repot Plants?
Repotting can be a stressful transition for your plant and, therefore, is not something that should be done often or without proper consideration. Consequently, some valid reasons to repot your plants include:
- To give your plants additional room to thrive if they have outgrown their previous planter.
- Or to provide plants with fresh soil to make up for nutrients that have depleted over time.
What Are the Signs That Plants Need Repotting?
Besides aesthetic reasons, consider repotting your indoor and outdoor plants if:
- The roots start outgrowing the pot.
- The potting soil looks dusty and dry.
- Your plants have outgrown their planter and look unstable.
- If it has relatively long since you repotted the plants.
- When your potted plants are unhealthy and have signs of stress.
Tip: Always be clear on why you are repotting your plants so you can address the concern at hand.
When Is the Best Time to Repot Plants?
Usually, spring and summer are the best times to repot your plants as they are the strongest and in their growth period in these seasons. However, you can also transplant in the fall if you live in climate zones with warmer winters.
It is because most plants rest or are dormant in winter, so it's a good idea to let them be during this time of the year.
How Often Should One Repot Plants?
Besides noticing some of the tell-tale signs stated above, it is advisable to research the plant in question to understand its needs further. This is because some plants like orchids and some succulents like to grow tight in their pots.
However, with all factors constant, you can repot small tropical houseplants with a two to eight-inch diameter once every 12 to 24 months. On the other hand, larger plants will appreciate a refresh in soil nutrients and more room for growth every 24 to 48 months.
Tip: If you want to contain the growth of your houseplants, however, you can refresh them with new soil in their existing pots, or you can prune them.
What Pot Size Should One Transplants In?
While the plants' growth rate will mostly determine this, I'd recommend going one pot size up each time you're repotting. For example, if the plant was in a six-inch planter, transplant it in an eight-inch one.
However, there are few exceptions, like annual plants that only grow for one or two seasons. These do well in either big or small planters. Succulents also don't care much for pot upgrades as they are happy in small pots since their root systems don't mind being crowded.
Reminder: You can easily overwater houseplants transplanted in larger pots due to the excess soil mass. Therefore, water the root balls up until the roots and plants have substantial growth.
Which Pot Type Is Best for Repotting Plants?
Since most indoor and outdoor plants come in plastic pots, it is alright to transplant in similar planters, unless you want to go with decorative ones like Terra cotta or ceramic planters.
Note: Different planter materials have different properties like breathability that may affect the growth of your plants.
Which Potting Mix Is the Best to Use?
The potting mix you use depends on the plants you're repotting. It is therefore vital to research as certain plants require and will thrive in specific soil composition.
However, most houseplants will thrive in organic potting soil mixed with perlite or pumice to improve drainage.
Watch this video by PLANTERINA on mistakes to avoid when repotting your plants:
Whether you are repotting plants for aesthetics or upsizing their planters, you are now equipped with the necessary knowledge. And can therefore carry out the procedure without doing more harm than good to your plants.
What other tips do you have for newbies in the repotting world? Let us know in the comment section below!
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