When should houseplants be repotted?
Early spring and fall can be a good time to repot houseplants. In the spring, the plants wake up from vegetative dormancy and the transplant will provide enough nutrients for the development phase and they will have room to grow.
Home flowers are usually transplanted every 2-3 years, depending on how actively they grow. Some may be in the same pot for years, but this will require replenishment of fresh soil. Young plants need soil renewal annually.
Ways to transplant indoor plants:
- complete, when the whole earth is replaced, necessarily clearing the roots of the old earth;
- partial: it is enough to replace the soil around the rhizome;
- replacement of the top layer, when it is necessary to remove the top layer and fill the vacant place with fresh soil.
Try to avoid landing in extreme weather conditions, such as extreme heat, which can increase stress. A stressed plant is not transplanted into a new pot! We need to give him time to recuperate before the transplant.
Reasons why houseplants are transplanted into a new pot
Fresh soil boosts nutrients. A houseplant absorbs most of the nutrients found in the soil. Over time, she becomes more and more emaciated. Even if the flowers are fertilized regularly, repotting or adding new soil will provide a boost of nutrients that will give the plant what it needs to thrive.
The best watering . The plant needs a new space when the roots wrap around the pot from the inside. It is difficult to water, water flows right through the pot and out of the drainage holes every time they are moistened. Releasing these roots through transplanting will help the shoots get the water they need to keep the greenery lush.
When the roots are damaged due to overwatering, they turn dark brown or black. In this state, they are susceptible to disease and cannot actually take in water (a waterlogged plant can sometimes appear thirsty). Pruning damaged roots is the best defense against fungus and disease.
Space encourages new growth. Indoor flowers will quickly recover after transplantation. A strong and growing root system will make the plant healthy.
When the plants become too crowded, they can be divided to make room and create new seedlings. Transplant time is the ideal moment to separate the shoots into independent plants.
Signs it’s time to repot:
- roots grow through a drainage hole at the bottom of the pot;
- available space is minimal;
- the plant grows more slowly than usual;
- the stems are heavy and fall;
- require more frequent watering;
- white lime deposits appear on the surface.
Transplanting large indoor plants. Transplanting a large plant can be tricky, but necessary.
Time to transplant houseplants
The best time to transplant is spring from late February to April. Then the growing season begins and pets can immediately grow and germinate in the new substrate.
It is also possible to transplant indoor plants in the fall before winter. Fresh soil and room for new roots to grow will help keep plants healthy through the winter.
Additional Information! The lunar calendar for transplanting indoor plants, which indicates favorable and unfavorable dates for care, will help you properly care for indoor plants.
In special cases, such as in case of pest infestation, it can also be transplanted at other times of the year. In summer, many plants bloom. Transplanting them at this time can cause dropping of flowers, foliage and growth inhibition.
How to transplant a houseplant
Transplanting plants may seem like a daunting task, but repotting houseplants is not that difficult.
Additional Information! Transshipment-transplantation of indoor plants is a method of transplanting a potted flower, in which a clod of earth with roots is not disturbed.
Water the plant thoroughly the day before transplanting it into a new pot. This will make it easier to remove the plant from the container, keep it hydrated and reduce the risk of stress. The night before, you need to wash the new pot. If new terracotta pots are used, it is best to leave them in the water overnight.
The houseplant is placed on its side and the contents of the pot are slowly pulled out, which should remain more solid (there should be a clod of earth and roots in the shape of a pot).
If the roots of the plants are strongly fixed, a knife is drawn around the perimeter of the pot to loosen the roots. Gently holding the stems or leaves, tap the bottom of the pot until the plant slides out.
Remove old soil from the roots if necessary. The plant has used up the nutrients from the potting mix, so it needs to be given a fresh substrate.
Examine the roots, cut off the damaged or blackened parts of the root system with sharp, clean scissors. If the roots grow in very tight circles around the base of the plant, it is best to untangle and prune the very long filiform ones, leaving the thicker foliage at the base.
A little crushed stone is poured into the bottom of the pot to facilitate drainage and avoid root rot in order to create additional water drainage from the roots. If planted in a container without drainage, it is recommended to add a 2 cm layer of activated carbon to the bottom of the pot. Add a layer of fresh potting soil to the bottom so that the base of the plant is about an inch below the rim of the pot. Place the root ball in a new, clean pot that is 3 cm larger in diameter than the old one. Too much space slows growth and can lead to root rot.
Cover the roots, trying to fill all the voids well, falling asleep with soil until all the roots are covered. Gently tamp the soil so that there are no air pockets, being careful not to crush the tender roots. Water lightly to keep the new soil moist but not soaking wet.
The substrate in the pot is not tightly packed. Level the top and water well. The transplanted plant does not need to be fertilized. A week after transplanting, a slow release granular fertilizer is applied. While the flower is in the recovery period, it is better not to allow direct sunlight on it.
Post transplant care
Plants may look wilted after transplanting. Refrain from watering for about a week after transplanting to ensure that roots damaged during transplantation have healed. It is best not to place the plant in direct sunlight to avoid drought stress.
If part of the roots was removed during transplantation due to pests or root rot, the above-ground parts of the plant should also be cut back a little. Otherwise, it may happen that the roots cannot provide the plants with enough water.
Fresh soil provides the houseplant with essential nutrients after transplanting. Therefore, in the first two months, you only need to water regularly so that the root ball does not dry out. About eight months after transplanting, you can again add a little fertilizer to the substrate. Nutrient requirements vary by plant group.
If there is still space between the root ball and the old pot, but there are other reasons for repotting, a larger pot is not needed, just fresh substrate.
When the roots have grown, the new pot should be a maximum of three sizes larger than the old one.
Ideally, there should be about 3 cm of free space between the root ball and the edge of the new container.
Note! If the new container is too large, the stems will have less support. There will be plenty of moist substrate around the roots, so root rot can occur more easily.
There are pots of different sizes. Always leave enough space between the rim of the pot and the surface of the soil to allow room for watering. Larger pots contain larger plants that require more water.
Transplanting indoor plants: soil
Using garden soil in closed containers for houseplants can lead to diseases and pests. Instead, opt for a potting mix specially formulated for potted plants. These may include composted soil or a peat mix with fertilizers to provide nutrients. A peat-based potting mix will weigh less than a potting mix, however it’s harder to get wet if it dries out.
To create your own potting mix, please refer to the fact sheet.
Some tips on how to be successful
Repotting does not necessarily mean changing the pot of the plant, but rather changing the potting mix. Fresh soil means new nutrients. If the pot is cramped and the roots of the plant are growing through the drainage hole in the pot, then a larger pot is needed.
Never transplanted in the flowering phase. Do not do this, even if the ground surrounding the roots is very dry. Do not transplant when specimens are actively growing, as this may halt development and limit flower production.
Cut diseased damaged roots unravel the tangled roots with your fingers. Adjust the size of the container to the size of the plant.