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Why, when and how to re-pot a houseplant

Why, when and how to re-pot a houseplant
Posted at 2:57 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-22 16:57:03-04

We all know indoor plants rely on us for light, water, and basic hygiene (pruning, misting, pest control).  But over time they also need nutrients and room to grow (both up and down!).

Melinda Meservy, owner of Thyme & Place joined us with the why, when and how to re-pot.

• Springtime -longer days give the leaves a chance to photosynthesize more, so they start making food from the sun and growing • Roots are growing out of drainage holes in the bottom of the pot or circling the top of the container • The soil seems to dry out faster than usual -Roots may be taking up most of the container

Get ready...

• Water the plant several hours before repotting to - Hydrate the plant and its roots, making both more flexible - Soften the soil so the plant can be pulled without damaging the roots • Choose the right soil for the plant - All purpose potting works well for tropical houseplants - Succulents and cacti need a mix that encourages soil to drain faster • Choose the right container for the plant - Drainage is a must! Drill holes or use a grow pot if you need to.

Get set...

• Hold the plant at its base and carefully pull the container away from the root ball; if it doesn't come away easily then you may need to cut it off • Gently remove soil around the roots and inspect for health and size (you might need to switch to an even bigger or smaller container)
And replant! • Put some soil in the bottom of the new container for the roots to sit on • Hold plant in the container with one hand so top of roots and bottom of plant are about ½ inch below the rim • Add soil around the roots and push it in with fingers or a pencil to get rid of air pockets and gently tap the container to get the soil to settle around and support the roots • Water and keep an eye as the soil settles; you may need to add more soil in some spots.

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