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Everything you need to know about repotting indoor plants

Repot the plants regularly

Repotting plants regularly is extremely important, according to Marije Franken, plant doctor at Plantenasiel Haarlem. First, to promote growth. If the roots get together too much, the plant cannot continue to grow properly and it stagnates. ”

Well, you may think. Then it just stays a bit smaller, doesn’t it? That is possible, but it can also happen that the plant is not happy about this and can even die if it is too tight. “In addition, the plant benefits from the fresh soil that is provided, because the necessary nutrients are added to it.”

Another good argument for repotting a plant is that this is a good time to propagate a plant or divide it into smaller plants, if necessary. This way the plant can stay in the same pot, but you create multiple plants. And finally, it also helps the plant to look more beautiful as it also stays healthier.

When to repot?

It is best to repot your houseplants in the spring, as the plant can recover best at that time.

How can you tell when your plant needs a bigger pot? Easy:

  • If you can see roots coming out from under the pot.
  • When the growth of the plant stagnates, even if it is spring / summer. However, there are some exceptions to this. Some plants, such as the Strelitzia, prefer to be tight.
  • If the potting soil looks very ‘old’. Think of dry soil (so that it no longer absorbs water), or moldy soil.

Replace Earth

If your plant is not necessarily ready for a larger pot, it can just as well be useful to provide the plant with new soil from time to time. “Potting soil contains nutrients for an average of 6 weeks, after which it is used up. You can add extra nutrition once a month in the spring and summer. This is enough to maintain the level, so extra soil is not really necessary.

We do recommend giving new potting soil about every two years to keep the drainage of the soil as optimal as possible. If you don’t do this, your plant will grow a little less, but no serious things will happen. ”

With inner pot

Are you unsure whether to put the plant in the plant pot with or without an inner pot? Marije advises the following about this: “We actually always advise people to do it, because then you can keep an eye on whether there is still water at the bottom of the pot. You can then pull up the inner pot 15 minutes after watering and see if there is still water in the decorative pot. If so, you throw it away. This is often useful if you do not yet know exactly what your plant needs. ”

This is how you can best tackle the repotting of your houseplant

Marije recommends that you prepare everything in advance, so that it becomes less of a mess. In addition, it is useful to do it outside, or on a newspaper, so that your whole house does not get covered in the earth.

Step 1:
“As a basic rule, keep the new pot about 10 to 20% bigger than the previous pot.”

Step 2:
“Put a layer of soil in the pot where you are going to put the plant.”

Step 3:
“Remove the plant from the pot by grasping it as close to the ground as possible and tilting the pot. You can lift it out, slide it or drop it in this way. ”

Step 4:
“Place the plant in the new pot, hold it with one hand and add new soil with the other hand.”

Step 5:
“Don’t stamp it all the way down, but at least make sure that the root ball is completely covered with soil. It should be firmly in it so that it does not fall over, but not so that the earth is too solid. ”

Do not rinse roots

“When repotting, make sure you touch the roots as little as possible, otherwise you will damage them. It is usually also not necessary to remove the old soil from between the roots, because this will be fine in the new pot. Rinsing the root ball under the tap is therefore not necessary. The coarse roots can withstand this, but the smaller hairs on the roots that are less visible with the naked eye can be damaged. As a result, they are less able to absorb the nutrients. “

Good luck!


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