10th April, 2022

This is a question I get asked a lot!  And it’s probably one of the things that worries plant lovers the most.

But, at some point during its life span your houseplant will grow too big for its pot and need to be re-potted into something bigger.

What are the signs my plant needs re-potting?

Houseplants do not need as much space around their roots as garden plants, they can survive with very little root space so don’t be in too much of a rush to re-pot.  Only re-pot if one of the following is evident:

1: When the roots have filled the pot, a good way to check this is to squeeze the pot, if it’s too solid to squeeze the plant is ready to re-pot.  You may also see roots growing out of the bottom of the pot too.

2: The plant lifts itself out of the pot; ferns are notorious for doing this!  You can see the roots forcing the plant to lift upwards, you will have an inch or so of soil above the top of the pot.

3: Your plant becomes sad, weak and sickly. Growth is slow, and you are constantly feeding it.  If feeding it doesn’t perk up your plant, it really is desperate to be re-potted with some new nutritious soil.

This leads us on to choosing the right soil for your plant.

If your plant is a cactus, succulent, or sun-worshipping plant that loves free-draining soil use Cacti compost.  For all the leafy green plants like Monstera, Philodendron, and Calathea use Houseplant compost. Orchids like Bark compost, and Bonsai’s have their own specialist compost.

Never use garden soil or multi-purpose compost! EVER!!

Right, how much bigger shall I go?

Not much! As I’ve said before, houseplants do not like wet soggy soil around their roots.

Your new pot will only need to be about 1-2 inches bigger than the original. And always use a plastic flowerpot, if you’re recycling one make sure its super clean and sterilise with boiling water.

How to Re-pot your Houseplant

1) Gently ease your plant from its original pot and shake off any loose soil. Trim away any sad or damaged leaves.

2) Put an inch or so of houseplant into the bottom of your new pot and add your plant on top.

3) Fill in around the edges with new compost, making sure you have no air pockets, and the soil is tucked into all the gaps

4) Water your plant

The best time to re-pot your plants is April, once the heating is off and brighter days are here.

Happy Re-Potting my plant-loving friends,

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