Transplanting Houseplants

Oh … How about those house plants …

After a long winter survival many of our houseplants are ready to be repotted. Spring and summer are great times to check up with the condition of our houseplants and their roots.

This is one of the jobs that we tend to put off, shall we say, for years. Which is really not all that bad for our plants as long as we can keep up with the watering and fertilizing. However now that we have brought the subject up we may feel a little bit guilty and a bit apprehensive. Not to fear, we have put together some easy steps that will make your plant happy.

Gently remove plant from pot. One way is holding the plant and pot upside down and gently tap the rim of the pot on a table or counter to jar the plant loose from its pot. Once out of the pot checking the roots is the next step. We do this to look for any dark brown or black roots that would be a sign of root rot. Also we need to determine if the root mass is heavy, and growing in the form of the pot that it was planted in.

Loosening and removing any roots that are bad needs to be done before we'll place our plant into its new home. If the root ball is a heavy mass we can loosen the roots by rolling the plant back and forth on a flat surface while applying pressure with the palm of our hand. Choosing the right size pot is our next step. Whether the pot you choose is plastic or clay it should be one inch larger on all sides and should have enough room on the bottom to add a new layer of soil.

Add enough soil to the bottom of the pot so that the top of the root ball is 1/2" to 1" below the rim of the pot. Any less distance will result in difficulties when the plant is watered.

When adding soil to the side of the pot add it in layers making sure with your finger that the soil is gently tamped into place. Do not add soil above the previous level, this could result in the death of the plant. Once this is all done, water thoroughly to make sure that the plant is well watered. This will help settle the soil into place and may make it possible to add a little more soil.

Now our job is done. Please remember that there is now more soil space with less roots in it so the plant may stay wetter a little longer than before you repotted.