For this project, you will need :
- Connaisseur® Potting soil for indoor plants
- Decorative pots
- Watering can
Do you repot your house plants when spring cleaning? Although your potting session can be done in the summer or fall, the ideal time to repot is in the spring. After a long, cold winter, when growth resumes, your plants need a little boost to reinvigorate themselves. Repotting can be done every year for a young growing plant or every 2 or 3 years for larger or more mature plants.
Good to know : Avoid repotting during the resting period, from October to January, or when a plant is in bloom, as this may damage it.
Why re-potting: signs to watch out for!
Signs that the pot is too small :
- There are a lot of roots coming out of the drainage holes or on the surface.
- There are so many roots that the pot has cracked.
- The plant is constantly falling on its side
Signs that the potting soil no longer holds water :
- The plant wilts 2-3 days after watering.
- Water drains from the pot quickly when watering.
Sign of mineral salt build-up from watering
- A whitish crust has formed on the rim of the pot.
How to repot – step by step
Before you start, we suggest that you find a placemat, cardboard, blanket or similar and use a work surface. It will be easier to clean up after your potting session.
Choose the right pot
The ideal pot for repotting must have a drainage hole to let excess water drain away. The simplest solution is to reuse the plastic production pots and put them in a decorative pot cover. As for the diameter of the pot, two rules apply:
- Initial pot – less than 12 inches (30 cm) : choose a 0.5 to 2 in. (2 to 4 cm) larger pot
- Initial pot – more than 12 inches (30 cm) : opt for a 2 to 4 in. (5 to 10 cm) larger pot
If you don’t want your plant to grow any bigger, repot it in a pot of the same size or clean the current pot before reusing it.
Tips to remove a pot without damaging the roots:
- Water a few hours before repotting. This will make it easier to remove the plant from the pot if the roots are slightly wet.
- Prune the roots coming out of the drainage holes to make it easier to remove the root ball.
- Press or gently tap the pot to release the soil from the walls, invert the plant by holding it by the base and remove the pot.
Loosen or prune roots as needed for better recovery
Take this opportunity to check the state of the root system. In general, the roots should look good and be pale in colour. Simply remove dead or damaged roots as well as those that give off a bad smell (rot) or those that form a compact clump at the bottom of the pot (2-4 cm).
Fill in the pot
This is where potting begins!
Before repotting, place a certain amount of potting soil in a pot and add water so that it is moist, but not soggy. Pour new potting soil into the bottom of the container until the plant’s collar comes within ½ in. (1.25 cm) of the rim of the pot. Center the plant in the pot and add enough soil around the root ball. Compact it lightly and water generously.
Tips and advice for repotting
- Make sure not to overfill the pot. Leave space (½ in. – 1.25 cm) between the rim of the pot and the potting soil. This will prevent damage when watering.
- Adding stones to the bottom of the pot is nothing more than a myth. According to some experts, a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot would prevent excess water from coming out, thus increasing the risk of root rot.
- To prevent soil from coming out of the drainage holes after watering, it’s a good idea to add a small piece of geotextile fabric, but since you don’t always have it on hand, a piece of newspaper, a paper towel or a coffee filter might do the trick to let the water drain out while keeping the soil inside the pot. Ingenious isn’t it?!
- To allow a plant to fully recover from the shock of transplanting, place it out of the sun for a few days. You can then return it to its usual location.
- We recommend to start fertilizing your plant about 3 weeks after repotting.
Surfacing: an alternative solution for your large pots
The surfacing method consists of removing the first 4 in. (10 cm) and replacing it with new soil to avoid completely repotting the plant. This technique is especially recommended for ficus, rubber trees, dracaenas, monsteras or other large tropical plants.
Happy repotting session!