Houseplants are one of the best ways to bring the outdoors inside and is a great way to decorate your home. Now that the days are getting longer, you houseplants will start sprouting new growth. This is the ideal time to repot, before the new growing season begins. Repotting your plant is a simple process that will result in happier, more vigorous plants.
Does your plant need to be repotted? Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you find the answer:
- Is the plant too big for its pot?
- Does the plant need to be watered constantly?
- Are roots growing on the surface of the soil?
- Are roots coming out of the holes in the pot?
- Is there white, crusty salt build-up on the surface of the soil?
- Is it all roots and no soil in the pot?
- Is the overall health of the plant poor?
First, you’ll need to decide what size of pot to use. As a general rule of thumb, use a pot that is no more than 2 inches bigger than the one the plant is currently in. For example, if the plant is in a 4″ pot, then go no bigger than a 6″ pot. Always make sure the pot you have selected has a drain hole in the bottom.
Now that you have chosen your new pot, you will need fresh potting soil, a pair of scissors, and gravel or a coffee filter. Line the bottom of the new pot with the gravel or coffee filter to keep the soil from washing out of the drain holes. Pick up your plant and gently tip it out of its pot and carefully remove as much soil as possible from around the roots. Examine the roots and cut off any roots that are black or mushy. Ruffle the good roots to promote new root growth. If the roots are growing in a circular patter, creating a root ball, then make 3 or 4 vertical cuts through the roots and gently pull them apart. Fill about 1/3 of the new pot with potting soil, then place the plant and fill the remaining area with potting soil. The goal is to have the newly potted plant sit in the new container at the same level it was in the previous container, with new soil around and beneath the roots. Tamp soil down, water thoroughly and let drain. Don’t be surprised if the plant wilts a little, as repotting can shock them a bit. Just let it be and the plant should rebound quickly and reward you with vigorous new growth!
If you are still unsure how to repot your houseplants or just don’t want the mess, bring them to the Garden Center and we will repot your plant for FREE if you bring in a larger pot or purchase one from us. FREE soil, FREE repotting and the mess stays with us! Offer expires April 11, 2010.