How to Repot a Plant in 5 Easy Steps
Did you know that in Japan they have a special term for spending time outdoors, especially in forested areas? Shinrin-yoku translates to “forest bath”, and it’s been a popular way to refer to forest therapy since the 1980s in Japan.
Unfortunately, not everyone lives within walking distance of a lush forest. Luckily, it’s easy enough to add a little greenery to your own home or garden with potted plants.
But what do you do when you need to repot a plant? Is it something you can do on your own as a new plant parent?
We’re here to help you out. Keep reading below to learn how to repot your plants in five easy steps!
1. Determine the Problem
Many beginner plant parents think they only need to repot a plant if it grows too big for its original container. However, it’s a good idea to repot your plant every few years regardless. Plus, repotting can solve more than just overgrowth.
A few common problems that can be resolved with repotting include:
- The plant is top-heavy and constantly falls or droops.
- Water is sitting on top of the soil and not being absorbed.
- The roots are pushing up out of the soil.
- The roots are pushing through the drainage holes of the pot.
- Mineral buildup is visible on the plant or pot.
- The soil is extremely dry, and it’s absorbing water more quickly than usual.
2. Prep the New Pot
Choose a pot that’s about 1-2” larger than the old pot. Avoid anything bigger than this, as it’s easy to overwater your plant in a large pot, and waterlogged water causes root rot.
Many people like to use large pots as statement pieces. However, it’s better to choose an appropriately sized pot. Remember that you can always use plant stands for your garden to add a little extra flair to your potted friend instead!
Be sure any pot you choose has drainage holes. If you want to prevent soil from seeping out of the drainage holes when potting, fit a coffee filter in the bottom. If the hole doesn’t have drainage holes, put a layer of gravel to prevent excess water from pooling below the roots.
3. Remove Your Plant from the Old Pot
It’s time to gently tip your plant out of its old pot. Before you introduce it to its new home, you’ll want to loosen up the root ball. Loosening up the roots makes it easier for them to grow, soak up nutrient-rich water, and absorb air.
4. Combine Soil and Your Plant
Now that you have a good idea of the size of your plant and its root ball, you can add a layer of potting soil to the bottom of the new pot. You want it to be a thick enough layer that your plant can rest comfortably on top of it. Ideally, the base of the plant’s stem should be 1/4-1/2” below the top of the pot.
If you have free space, add in additional potting mix to fill the gaps. Lightly pat it down once you’ve filled the holes to ensure there are no large pockets you missed. This will also help to stabilize the plant and secure it in the pot.
5. Water Well
Now that you have a freshly potted plant, it’s important to water it. Before you break out the watering can, place a saucer beneath the pot.
Water it slowly and gently. Once it’s absorbed the water, give it a second gentle watering until the water runs out of the drainage holes. Give it about half an hour before dumping the saucer of any water that hasn’t been absorbed.
Discover How to Repot a Plant Perfectly
Plants make a delightful addition to any home or garden, but they require a bit of extra care now and then to thrive. With the guide above, you’ll have no trouble learning how to repot a plant!
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