Knowing how to repot plants is one gardening tip that every newbie green thumb should be up to speed on. Let’s just say it’s an absolutely essential skill.
And not just that, it’s also vitally important that you know when to repot a houseplant. Knowing the repotting red flags to watch out for will surely help you keep your plants and flowers happy, healthy, and beautiful for longer periods of time.
With that said, here’s everything you need to know on how to repot plants, from the tools and equipment to a simple step-by-step guide.
Tools and Supplies You’ll Need to Repot Houseplants
Repotting plants doesn’t take an expert gardener or sophisticated tools to accomplish, but it does involve the use of some handy gardening equipment.
Just remember that if it’s cold outside (below 60 degrees), you’ll want to repot your plants inside your home. So, make sure you have an adequate workspace and lay down some newspaper or plastic to aid in the soil cleanup.
Here’s all the equipment, tools, and supplies you’ll need to repot indoor plants:
- Tools: Trowel or small spade, gloves, scissors, and a sharp knife.
- Potting Soil: Basically, the rule of thumb here is to snag some potting soil from your local hardware store that is specific to the type of plant or flower you’re growing. For most foliages, a general-use potting mix should suffice. For more delicate or unique plants, like cacti, orchids, and citrus, you’ll be better off buying potting soil designed specifically for them.
- Pots: In most cases, unless you’re trying to keep a plant from growing larger or it’s too big to move to another pot, you’ll want to repot your houseplant in a slightly larger pot than the current one—one to two inches in diameter bigger should work like a charm. Going any bigger than that runs the threat of introducing too much soggy soil to your plants new home, which can suffocate it. And remember: Always, always, always use pots with drainage holes at the bottom.
When to Repot Your Plants
Most novice gardeners growing plants indoors often forget to keep an eye on the growth of their little green friends, which is a recipe for disaster, to say the very the least. Why?
Well, when houseplants begin to outgrow their current pots, their roots will need more room to spread and suck up all those delicious nutrients from the soil. Without switching it to a slightly bigger pot, your houseplant will droop, stunt, lose color, and its pretty little leaves will fall off.
As a general rule though, not all plants need to be repotted every year. In fact, some will be okay going several years without being replanted. Basically, it just depends on the flower or plant. Plants like bamboo, Chinese evergreens, and peace lilies grow extremely fast, while succulents, ZZ plants, and cast iron plants grow much slower.
The key is simply keeping an eye on the warning signs that a plant or flower needs to be repotted. That said, here are five signs that tell you your houseplant needs a new home:
- Your plant looks withered, colorless, straggly, and has stopped growing.
- When you water the plant, the liquid immediately runs out of the bottom of your pot without soaking in the soil.
- Your houseplant keeps falling over.
- Roots that emerge from the soil or poke out through the bottom of your pot’s drainage holes.
- Thick roots that are curled up or impeding each other.
How to Repot Plants
If you know what you’re doing, repotting plants doesn’t take much time, effort, or skill. If you don’t know what you’re doing, then just follow our simple step-by-step guide and you’ll quickly get the hang of it.
Step One: Water Your Houseplant
By watering your plant, it should be a lot easier to remove from the current pot and transported to the new, slightly larger pot.
Step Two: Remove Plant From Its Current Pot
The easiest method to remove your houseplant is to tilt the pot on its side, grab the main stem with your hand, and then gently pull the pot away. Theoretically, since you recently watered the plant, it should slide right out. If not, tap on the bottom of your pot like a ketchup bottle or use your trowel to loosen up the soil on the edges.
Step Three: Prepping Your Plant for Its New Home
In the best case scenario, your plant and soil will be in tip-top shape when you remove it and you can simply move it to the new pot, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, the soil will be rotten and moldy and require some shaking off. Other times, your plant’s roots will be bundled excessively or dead. Solve this by gently unwinding them and cutting off the dead roots.
Step Four: Add Soil to Your New Pot
During this step, you should add just enough soil to the bottom of your plant’s new pot so that when you put it inside, it will fit snugly. Think of it as a comfy new bed for your plant to lie on!
Step Five: Position Your Plant in the Pot
Place your houseplant in its new housing unit, making sure it is centered and perfectly upright.
Step Six: Fill the Rest of Your Pot
Now, take your potting mix and fill the rest of the pot until your plant is sitting snugly inside. Pour the soil in levels though, taking time to firmly press the soil down as you increase each level.
Step Seven: Water Your Plant
Congratulations, your plant is successfully repotted! All it needs now is some fresh H2O!
Step Eight: Final Touches
You’re not out of the weeds yet… As a final touch, wipe down the foliage on your plant to remove any dust and excess soil on the leaves. Also, trim off any dead leaves or broken stems.
See… Not so hard, right!?
Here at The Bouqs, we want to make sure you get the most out of any blooms or greens you bring into your home. Our lovely collection of indoor plants will be sure to add some character to your space. Join the #PlantsFam today and order your very own potted friend!Shop All