Whether or not to re-pot can depend on a number of factors. With new plants, it can be a good idea to think about when it will need a new home, which can aid its growth and help foliage to thrive.
When buying a new plant, it usually arrives in a plastic nursery pot, this is the container it had originally been grown in at a Nursery. It may have been in this pot for some time and has filled it up to its capacity, leaving your plant with a lack of growing space, and soil depleted of nutrients.
Indoor plants can be slow growers, they can survive for months in their nursery pot and be quite content with their first home. However for your plant to thrive healthily and continue to flourish, it is recommended that you re-pot it into a slightly larger pot when you first acquire the plant. There are a few reasons for this, and a few signs you can look out for when deciding if it needs a new abode:
What Soil Should I Use for my Houseplant?
Your new houseplant may benefit from getting a fresh hit of new soil, which brings with it new nutritional value. Long periods of time in the same pot can mean your plant has used up a lot of the goodness in its soil. This can also mean the soil becomes hard and stops absorbing water, another issue your plant will not appreciate. A small amount of new houseplant potting mix can give your plant a healthy boost and encourage new growth in a nutrient-rich environment.
All good potting mixes should start with a base of nutrient-rich compost. From here, amendments can be added to improve drainage, increase moisture retention, change compost pH, among other things. Generally, succulent plants such as Sansevierias and Zamioculcas' will prefer more free draining compost, while leafy green plants such as Aroids and Ferns will prefer compost that retains a little more moisture.
"A small amount of new potting mix can give your plant a healthy boost and encourage new growth in a nutrient-rich environment."
Does the Pot I Choose Matter?
Yes, Absolutely! There are 3 things you should bare in mind when choosing your Pot: Size, Drainage and Material.
A general rule for repotting is to go with a pot that is 2-4 inches larger than its current one. This will last a surprising amount of time, and keep your plant happy with a bit more space to move. Opting for a much larger pot is not recommended, reason being, too much space will prove to be overwhelming for your plant. Too much soil can cause it to retain a lot of water, which will inevitably cause the roots to rot - the ultimate nightmare. Sticking to a pot just a few inches larger is ideal and a much more comfortable fit.
Whenever available, it is always best to choose a pot with a drainage hole in the bottom. Drainage holes allow excess water to leave the pot enabling you to water with confidence that water is not accumulating around the roots of your plant.
Nowadays, you can find pots comprised of all sorts of different things, from classic materials like raw or glazed terracotta, to plastics and metals. Raw terracotta tends to be best for indoor plants as the natural pores in the pot give it an innate ability to breathe, allowing excess moisture to escape and air to reach the roots. If you do opt for a glazed pot then consider watering your plant less frequently as these pots tend to retain water a little more than raw terracotta.
At Clay we give you the option to buy all of our plants already repotted for you. We carefully resettle your plant into a beautiful bespoke pot with just enough room for your it to keep thriving!
How do I Repot my Houseplant?
To some, repotting your beloved houseplant can seem like a daunting task when in actual fact the process is quite simple.
- Begin by removing the plant from its current pot. To do this gently grab the base of this plant where it emerges from the compost and pull. If you feel some resistance, check the drainage hole(s) in the bottom of the pot to see if the roots have tangled around them and push them back into the pot before continuing.
- Tease the roots with your fingers to loosen them and remove any old compost that surrounds them.
- Place a small layer of fresh potting soil in the bottom of your new pot.
- Place your plant on top of this layer and fill around the plant with more compost to set it in place.
- Gently press down around the base of your plant to secure it in place. Ensure you don't compact the compost too much as this can prevent water travelling through it freely.
- Douse your plant is a small amount of water to help settle it into its new pot.
Still a little unsure? We have a helpful YouTube video to guide you!
Our Repotting Accessories
Clay: The Contemporary Botany Company
We lovingly curate a selection of indoor plants & handmade pots. Delivered across Dublin and Nationwide.
Words by: Clay: The Contemporary Botany Company