Spring means longer and brighter days! This is the perfect time to repot any of your plant babies or introduce them to their big girl apartments (from nursery pots to bigger pots!) and we have a simple beginner’s guide for repotting plants!

Here are 4 simple steps for repotting plants.

1. Does your plant really need to be repotted

rubber plant to check if needs repotting

Even though spring is the perfect time to repot your plants, your plants may not necessarily need to be repotted! A good way to tell if you need to be repotting your plants is to look at the bottom of the pot. If your plants’ roots are sticking out of the drainage holes, it is a sign to repot.

2. Picking your pots

plant pots for repotting

There are many pots in the market, and different materials can benefit different plants. For example, materials like terracotta are more porous, which may be better for succulents. Meanwhile, plastic pots are not as porous but are better for moisture-loving plants. As such, researching your plant’s needs is important for deciding on their new homes. However, regardless of material, your plant’s new home should always have drainage holes. Click here to read why plants have holes at the bottom.

3. Soil

soil mixes for repotting plants

This would not be a beginner’s guide to repotting plants without a mini breakdown of soil mixes! The most simple formula is aeration materials, nutrients, and peat (we like coco peat).

Aeration materials and nutrients are exactly what they sound like, they provide drainage and nutrients to your plants. Aeration materials include pumice, perlite, horticulturist charcoal, and more. Our favourite is pumice because while it resembles perlite, it doesn’t break down as quickly as perlite. For nutrients, we like using worm castings (worm poop), because they aren’t really strong but are nutrient-rich. Coco peat has great anti-fungal properties which are important for houseplants, as they sit in one pot for a while.

different soil mixes

Of course, you can also opt for ready-made indoor plant soil mixtures, when repotting plants. These are easily accessible in many garden centres and plant stores. Make sure the packaging reads “for indoor plants” and/or is “sterilised”. Soil naturally contains harmful pathogens and fungi that may hurt our plant babies, so ensuring that they are for indoor plants and are sterilised before repotting plants in them is crucial.

Soil mixes for repotting succulents:

Succulents require a little bit more drainage, so normal indoor plant soil mixtures won’t benefit them. Make sure to purchase succulent potting mixtures and mix them with pumice for extra drainage.

4. Make your plants feel at home

Repotting houseplant

Remember when you first moved into your college dorm room? You were probably a little anxious and homesick. I had candles that I always used at home, and my bedsheets from my family home, which made the new space feel more familiar.

Plants are the same!

When filling your new pot with your soil mix, dig a little hole in the middle that fits your plant. Then, squeeze around the old pot to get your plant out. Some plants may be root bound (does not want to leave home) and will take a little bit more convincing. If your plant is root bound, it is also a big sign that it will need to be repotted. So, take your time and squeeze around its pot. You can also stick your hand around the perimeter to loosen the plant up.

plant repotting but plant is root bound

This will also be easier when your plants are drier, so avoid watering before repotting.

When your plant is finally willing to come out, get rid of some of its old soil, but not all (this would be like the candles and bedsheets from home). Try to help loosen its roots a little bit more too. Next, fit them into the hole you dug in the new pot, and fill the rest with soil.

Lastly, make sure to water your plant in its new pot. This will help them grow more accustomed to their new homes. Happy repotting!

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