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Houseplants are tougher than they look, but to ensure they are as healthy as can be they need to be re-homed every now and then. Just because a houseplant is able to spend many years in the same pot it doesn’t mean it should.

Repotting is a fantastic way to ensure plants reach their full potential. When done incorrectly it can lead to a much higher level of plant stress which can be detrimental to long-term plant growth.

So whether your plant has outgrown its current pot or you simply want to mix up the pot style, discover how you can do it like a professional by taking a look at the tips below. Once you have finished the repotting guide discover some pot inspiration.

How do you know when to repot?

There are a number of key signs you must look out for that let you know whether your plants require re-homing:
– Roots are growing through draining holes at the bottom
– The plant is getting a little chunky at the top and begins to lean to one side.
– Plant growth has slowed
– The plant requires more frequent watering or has consistently dry soil.

How to repot

Step 1
Lay down a plastic sheet or newspaper. It can be quite messy work and this will save you significant clean up time.

Step 2
Tip the plant pot onto its side. Most plants come out with a gentle tub of the stem, however overgrown plants can require a little extra encouragement. A few gentle taps on the bottom of the pot should do the trick.

Step 3
Free the root with your hands and trim away any parts of the root that have decayed. This sets the stage for healthy plant growth.

Step 4
Place the houseplant and the roots close by so they can be easily moved into the new pot.

Step 5
Put a layer of soil at the bottom of the new pot. It is important that the plant is at the same level as it was in it’s previous pot to reduce plant stress.

Step 6
If the new pot doesn’t have a drainage hole, use a layer of charcoal to stop the soil becoming overly moist and developing fungal infections..

Step 7
Ensure the plant is centred, lower it onto the fresh layer of potting soil and proceed to add potting mix around the plant until it is safe and secure.

Step 8
Pat the compost down and ensure it is evenly distributed around the plant.

Step 9
Consider topping the soil with a layer of pebbles to reduce evaporation and ensure that the soil remains sufficiently moist. Though this step should be skipped for plants that prefer dry soil, such as cacti and succulents.

How big must the pot be?

Don’t overpot – it might seem like you are saving yourself the trouble of repotting but it can lead to roots that are swamped in wet soil, harming the health of your plant. The pot should give you 3-4cm extra around the diameter of the existing root ball. This size is ideal to accommodate growth without creating too much moisture in the soil.

Which houseplants needs repotting on a yearly basis?

As a general rule, most houseplants should be repotted on a yearly-18 month basis. But plants that grow really slowly can stay in the same pot for years, though even with these, it is important to replace/refresh the soil.

Repotting can be tough, but with this guide you will become an exert in no time. However, if you are in need of some more specific advise, get in touch. We love to hear from the PLNTS community.

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