Repotting 101

Repotting can be a little intimidating but with some practice and a few tips you will be ready to give your green friends a boost!

Often we only think of repotting as the thing to do when you find roots coming out of the bottom of your precious plant pot. Repotting can be so much more! Repotting also looks like giving our plants a new batch of soil, not just a new planter.

It is widely known that plants grow much better with a little food throughout its growing season. Some plant parents choose to use fertilizers of various kinds in the spring and summer. While this will give your Bromeliad a boost and your Monstera a nice meal, not all growers choose to use additional fertilizer. This is totally ok because plants can find some of the nutrients they need in the pot they live in. This is why it is super important to put them in quality soil. After a while, our plants eat up all the nutrients in their pot and its the least we can do to top them off. 

This is where repotting comes in! It is good to change the soil out in your planters every 12 to 18 months. This totally depends on how fast your plant is growing. If they are a quick grower like Pothos, Aloe Vera, Philodendron, or Spider Plants (just to name a few) you might need to change the soil closer to the year mark. Slower growers like Cacti and various Succulents won’t need repotting for much longer. 

If it is time to repot you might notice:

  • Roots growing through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot
  • The plant is being pushed up by all the roots
  • Your plant is growing slower than normal
  • There is noticeable mineral build up on the side of the pot
  • Your plant is top heavy and easily topples
  • The plant dries out quickly and needs water more often

When repotting it is best to go up 1-2 inches in size. If you go more than 2 inches it is easy to add more water. There is more space and soil after all! But a small plant with more soil in a big pot and lots of water can rot the roots of your precious plant.

The perfect time to repot is in the early spring before the growing season starts. This will give your plant plenty of time to adjust to its new home.

We have talked a bunch about repotting but how do you do it?

You’re in luck! We have an easy step by step guide.

Gather your materials:

  • Your houseplant
  • New soil
  • A watering can
  • Sharp scissors or pruning shears
  • A pot (the same one or one 1-2″ larger)

Let’s Get Started!

It is a good idea to give your plant a good drink the day or two before you repot. This can help minimize shock.

  1. Flip you plant over on its side and hold it gently by the base of the stems. Tap the bottom and give your plant a gentle wiggle until the root ball slides out of the pot.
  2. Loosen the roots with your fingers and prune off any dead roots. These appear dark in color as well as soft and squishy. If your plant is root bound, gently pull the roots apart and give them a trim. This will promote root growth. It is ok if you rip them apart a bit, just be as gentle as can be!
  3. Remove almost all the old potting mix if you are just refreshing the soil. If you have picked a new pot, make sure your new pot has a drainage hole and if not add a drainage layer to keep excess water off the roots.
  4. Pour brand new soil in the pot and pack it down gently
  5. Set your plant on the fresh layer of soil and center it inside the pot.
  6. Add soil around the plant until it isn’t wobbly in the pot. Make sure not to mound the soil too high or watering will become difficult. 
  7. Water your plant and get ready for a happy growing season!

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