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Repotting Plants – A Basic Guide to What You Should Know

For indoor plants, the long daylight hours of the spring season act as rocket fuel. The increased light and higher temperature make your plants want to spread their roots and grow as much as they can.

And, here comes your part. Take advantage of this peak growing season. But how?

This is the perfect time to pot up or repot your indoor plants. Whether you choose to put your plant in a new vase or simply refresh its soil in its current residence, your plant will be so grateful to you. Repotting the plants provides them with some added space and nutrient boost. And, your plant will thank you by creating a lot of new and beautiful blooms.

So, here are a few tips for repotting indoor plants to ensure that they remain healthy and happy as much as possible.

How to Repot Indoor Plants

Water your plants a day or two thoroughly before you actually plan to re-pot them. This will allow you to get the easier way round when you have to get it out of the pot. This ensures that the plant is hydrated which reduces the risks of shock.

When you remove the plant from its pot, remember to be gentle. Depending on the degree to which the plant is root-bound and its size, you might have to get someone to hold the pot or turn to the side while you grab the plant. Also, the plants are highly root-bound; slide a butter knife around the perimeter to loosen the root grips.

Loosen the root ball gently – shake away excess soil and ensure that you are not damaging the tender roots. Look after any black, brown or visibly damaged roots with sharp shears and cut them off. If the plants are highly root-bound – and you plan to re-pot them in the same size planter – trim a maximum of 2/3 of the root mass. You can do the trimming at the sides of the plant or the bottom.

If you are only re-potting, dump all the remaining soil from the pot, remember to clean away all the sediments with hot water. When you are potting up, go for a clean pot that is not more than 2” in diameter larger than your old pot. Having too much space of a sudden can slow down the growth and lead the root to rot.

If you are potting into a container without any drainage, choose to add a .5” layer of activated charcoal at the bottom. A layer of pebbles at the base can also improve drainage. And, go for some fresh potting soil at the bottom of the pot.

Place your plant in a new pot. Fill it with soil until all roots are covered and air. Firm the soil gently to make sure that there are no air pockets. However, be careful enough to not crush the delicate roots. Slightly water it to make the soil moist but not sopping wet.

Re-Pot Vs Pot Up

Did you know that you do not always have to move your plants into new containers to extract the benefit of a spring re-pot? Actually, if you graduate your plant to a bigger vessel, you’ll typically be potting it up rather than re-potting.

You can reap wonderful benefits for your plant in the same container. You can do this by refreshing the soil and freeing up some root space. Remember, potting should be done only when you feel your plant is overcrowded in the container or become root-bound.

Should You Water Plants After Repotting?

Now is the time for another interesting question - Should you water a plant after repotting?

After repotting, your plant might look wilted and thirsty. Here, you can go for a little watering to keep the plant hydrated. However, refrain from overdoing it as it can destroy the plant's roots. Too much water will not allow the roots to settle in the soil.

If the plant looks healthy, you can refrain from watering until about a week. This is done to ensure that any roots that were damaged during the process have been healed. Also, you can keep the plants in a cool and shadier spot during the initial stage.

When to Water Plants After Repotting?

Here is one of the tips for repotting plants that can come in handy. After you re-pot, the plants tend to enter a period of shock. Well, it’s normal – you need not worry.

You can always water your plants based on their health and appearance. Moistening the soil a bit to let the roots settle is the best option. Water the plants a little right after repotting and allow them to sit for a while. You can continue regular or required watering after approximately a week.

Reasons for Repotting Indoor Plants

Well, repotting plants tips might go well along with a few reasons for repotting indoor plants. So, here they are as follows:

Fresh Soil Means a Nutrient Boost

Your indoor plants get the majority of their food through the soil's nutrients. And over time, the soil depletes. Therefore, repotting them with fresh soil gives the plants a healthy dose of nutrients.

More Room = New Growth

Freeing your plants from being root bound will bring in new growth. And, plants can dramatically rebound from repotting. So, don’t think – go for it.

Prevents Diseases

Root rot can be a consequence of overwatering. This makes them prone to diseases. So while repotting, you get a chance to clip these rotten roots and help the plant recover.

Allows Better Watering

Have you experienced water seeping right out of the old pot after watering? This happens due to the root-bound situation. With repotting, the roots get new space and create a channel for water flow.

Reminder: do not re-pot if your plant is stressed. For example – it is wilted. There, soak it allow it to heal.