Houseplants: The key reason why should re-pot your houseplants right now

Houseplants: RHS advises on watering techniques

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Spring is a busy time for the garden but it’s also a crucial season for houseplants too. As new leaves begin to emerge there’s plenty to do to take care of your growing plants, and re-potting is one of the most crucial tasks to get done. Fresh soil and a new pot is the easiest way to help your indoor plants thrive, and there is one key reason why you should do it right now.

When to re-pot houseplants

All houseplants will need re-potting as they grow, though younger plants will need to be upgraded more frequently than established plants.

Spring is a great time to re-pot indoor plants to give them more room to grow throughout the warmer months, but why is it such a crucial time to make the move?

March to May are key months in the calendar to upgrade your houseplant pots because the roots are actively growing after the dormant winter.

Moving your plants right now gives the roots time to settle into the newly added potting mix, making them more likely to thrive through spring and autumn.

How to tell if your plant needs re-potting

While now is the ideal time to invest in some new pots, there are a number of key signs which could indicate that your plant is struggling in its current pot.

Your plant will most likely appear stunted or wilted, but you should also take a deeper look at the soil and roots to determine if it’s time to re-pot.

Your potting mix dries out quickly

Watering your houseplants should be done from March onwards, but you might notice that your soil is still bone dry just days after watering.

If the soil is drying out quickly even during cooler periods, you should consider moving your plant to a larger pot.

The roots have escaped the pot

Drainage holes are an essential part of raising a healthy plant, but you should use them to check for more than just a waterlogged plant.

If your plant is looking worse for wear, lift the pot up and check for wild roots sprouting through the drainage holes.

This is a key sign of a cramped plant and the easiest way to tell if your plant needs a new pot.

The foliage looks discoloure

Yellow, brown or wilting leaves are all a sign of stunted growth and are one of the main indicators of a struggling plant.

Keep an eye on the growth rate and appearance of the stems or leaves of your plant in early spring – if it doesn’t improve, you should re-pot your plant.

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How to safely re-pot a plant

Re-potting a plant is very straightforward, but there are a few common mistakes you should be careful to avoid.

Choose the right potting mix

Garden soil should be avoided at all costs to prevent disease and pest problems from damaging your plant.

Instead, use potting mixes specially formulated for indoor potted plants, with plenty of nutrients to nurture the green growth.

Before re-potting your plant, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research about your plant’s unique needs and ensure that you have the correct soil to help your plant thrive.

Find a new container

There are so many different plant pots to choose from it can be hard to know where to start looking.

Generally, drainage holes and clay or terracotta pots are best-suited to indoor plants, though the size will vary depending on the volume of your existing container.

It is important not to re-pot your plant in an oversized pot, as it could send your plant into shock, making the re-potting process completely ineffective.

Instead, you should always try to use a potting container that is between one to two inches larger than its previous pot.

Make the switch

Once your potting soil and container are in place, you should remove the old pot from the roots of your plant to make the switch.

Do this by turning the plant sideways and squeezing, or gently twisting the pot away from the root ball.

Loosen the root ball as much as possible without breaking the roots in order to remove old soil, and place the root ball in a new pot.

Scoop the new soil around the plant, patting it into place as you go.

Water your plant thoroughly and place it back in the same location that it was living before being re-potted.

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