Slow life

The ABCs of repotting potted plants

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Plants grow every day, though each at their own pace. Their root system expands and they need more space. Hence, it is necessary to report them. We’ve put together a quick guide to help you learn how to repot your potted plants.

Is repotting pot plants necessary?

Potted plants look beautiful in our interiors, they add a cozy character and greenery. They need to be watered regularly and some need other care. One of them is repotting, thanks to which the roots can develop without hindrance and the plant itself becomes stronger, healthier and grows better. 

When should I repot my potted plants?

The first repotting takes place a few days after purchase (store bought medium is not suitable for long-term cultivation) and later on depending on several factors – how fast the plant grows, how big it is and if the roots grow over the edge of the pot and through the holes in the bottom. 

Young plants and fast-growing plants should be repotted every year, others every two or three years. If you have large and old plants, replace only the top layer of soil.

The time of year is also important – spring is ideal for repotting potted plants. Under no circumstances should you do this during flowering or fruiting or in winter, when the plants are dormant.

What do I need to know about a new pot?

Before you get down to choosing the soil and repotting, you need to buy a new pot. It should be at least a size larger, and preferably two or even three sizes larger. Find out about the plant’s preferences beforehand, as the popular zamiokulkas, for example, feel more comfortable in a slightly too-tight pot.

Under no circumstances should you treat a decorative pot without holes in the bottom as a full-fledged pot. Lack of drainage can cause the roots to rot. Make sure that the pot is proportionate to the plant.

Which soil should I choose for repotting?

The new soil in which you put the plant after repotting should be fresh, well-drained and fertile – unless the species has special requirements. You can also be tempted to use what is called all-purpose soil. However, you should never dig up soil from your own garden, because it can be a breeding ground for diseases and various types of pests.

Twisted root ball and watering

Finally, there are two more important issues. The first one is when, while repotting a potted plant, it turns out that its root system is strongly twisted. Then we gently loosen the roots, shorten those that are too long and remove the dry ones. This stimulates the production of new roots.

When it comes to watering, it is certainly a good idea to water the old soil generously to make it easier to remove the plant from its roots. Repeat the procedure once the plant is safely in the new substrate.

main photo: kaipov

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