Repotting can be tricky for plant parents, especially for newbies. You might be worried you will repot too soon and freak out the plant. On the other hand, you could wait too long, and your plant will suffer. Don’t worry. General rules for repotting houseplants will help you know when and how.
What is repotting? Repotting is moving a plant to a larger pot or replacing the soil. This is done for a couple of reasons. It is either to give the roots more room or to replace the soil to give the plant nutrients. It is usually the first reason. When repotting plants for more room, you will add fresh soil anyway.
How to Repot a Plant
Repotting a plant is simple. You don’t need to be a plant master to do it well. All you need is a larger pot, fresh soil, and gloves. However, tips for repotting plants will help you know how to do it right. These are the steps of how to repot a houseplant:
- Grab a pot with a few extra inches of width and height compared to your current pot.
- Add fresh soil with fertilizer or organic matter at the bottom of the pot.
- Loosen the root ball only slightly at the bottom of the plant. Doing so too much may stress out the plant.
- Place the plant as high as you can in the pot. After repotting, thoroughly water your plant so the roots can establish themselves.
When to Repot Plants
How often should you repot plants? Most plants will tell you when it is time to repot. These are some of the signs that your plant is ready for a new pot:
- You may find the roots peeking out of the drainage holes. That means the plant is root bound.
- If not, the plant may stop growing for a long time. That likely means there are not many nutrients left in the soil.
- According to the PennState Department of Horticulture, another sign is soil drying out very fast. If your soil is drying out even in humid or cold environments, it is likely devoid of crucial nutrients.
Any of these reasons means it is time for a bigger pot and fresh soil. Generally, repotting before every Spring is excellent for fast-growing plants. However, you can wait longer for succulents, snake plants, and other slow-growing varieties. For example, you will only have to repot snake plants every two years or so.