Occasionally a house plant will require repotting. This is especially true for fast growing plants that use up all the room in their container. Once the roots begin growing from the bottom of the pot, it is time to repot the plant into a bigger container. Repotting will allow more space for the roots to spread out and grow. New soil will also give the plant a dose of fresh organic material to feed on. Though repotting may be a little messy, it is not hard to do and it will help maintain the health of your house plant.
Select a new container, if your plant has outgrown the one it is in, that is no bigger than 2 inches in diameter, than the pot the house plant is presently growing in. Use plastic, clay or ceramic containers that have a drain hole in the bottom.
Wash the new container thoroughly in a solution of bleach and water mixed at a rate of 1 part bleach and 9 parts water. Scrub clay pots to remove any salts attached to their sides. Washing the new container will assure no bacteria or fungus are transported to your plant's root system and cause it to become sick.
Remove the house plant from its container by holding the container in one hand and placing your other hand over the soil, straddling the plant inside the palm of your hand. Tap the container to loosen the plant and it should easily glide out of the container. Cut off any roots that are sticking out of the bottom of the container before you try to remove the plant.
Lay the plant on newspaper and inspect the roots. Cut and unwind the roots of plants that became pot bound in their original container. Otherwise, the plant will never grow properly. Use your fingers or a fork to tease the roots apart.
Add a layer of drainage material such a pea rocks, into the bottom of the new container, if desired. Add a small portion of a well draining potting mix that has organic material in it. Water the pot to moisten and settle the soil.
Place the house plant’s root ball into the new container. Add more potting mix to the container, planting it at the same depth it grew in the previous container. Do not plant the houseplant deeper than it was growing in the original container. Press the potting mix gently down with your fingers.
Water the plant until water pours from the bottom drain hole. Place the house plant in the location it was originally growing and continue with its regular care.
Things You Will Need
- Pruning shears
- Potting mix
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