Gardening Houseplants Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day Repotting

It’s Time to Repot your Houseplant When…

20160312A.JPGIt’s Time to Repot your Houseplant When…

…The plant begins to wilt only 2 or 3 days after you last watered it. That’s because its root system is so developed it has no more room to expand, plus the empty space between soil particles that normally serves as a water reservoir is now totally filled in. Think about it: if you repot your plant into a larger pot, you won’t have to water so often!

…The plant keeps tipping over. It’s become top heavy and will need more potting mix to hold it up. You might want to consider using a heavier mix (like cactus potting soil) or a heavier pot: clay and ceramic pots are heavier than most plastic ones.

…A whitish or yellowish crust has formed on the edges of the pot and the base of the plant. These are toxic mineral salts that build up over time in the soil of houseplants. By the time they are visible, they have started to kill the plant’s roots and may even be eating away at its crown. It’s best to repot and to remove as much of the contaminated old soil as possible.

…Lots of roots are wandering out of the drainage holes. This is a clear sign that the roots are looking for more space. Give them some!

…Root pressure has cracked the pot or even split it open. Idem.

…Spring has arrived! It’s simply a good idea to repot your houseplants regularly. Do so every spring for small to medium-sized plants and every two springs for large ones. Regular repotting helps maintain healthy growth and good bloom.

But I Can’t Repot My Plant!

Maybe it’s simply too big or unwieldy, making repotting difficult. If so, at least do an annual top-dressing. You’ll find all the details here.

Garden writer and blogger, author of more than 60 gardening books, the laidback gardener, Larry Hodgson, lives and gardens in Quebec City, Canada. The Laidback Gardener blog offers more than 2,500 articles to passionate home gardeners, always with the goal of demystifying gardening and making it easier for even novice gardeners. If you have a gardening question, enter it in Search: the answer is probably already there!

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