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Repot Like a Professional This Spring

dimitri • June 03, 2022 • 3 min read

These tips will have your plants living their best lives.

When spring rolls around, plant lovers rejoice. It’s the season of happy, thriving plants with lots of new growth. But if you notice your indoor plants are dropping leaves more easily than they used to, seem a little top-heavy, or can’t retain moisture in their soil, it’s time to repot.

Upsizing your plant’s pot and giving it some new, nutritious soil to work with will perk it up just in time to take advantage of the springtime vibes. Here’s how to repot like a professional.

Upgrade appropriately

Measure the diameter of your plant’s current pot and choose a new one at least one inch larger in diameter. If your plant is a fast grower, opt for one that’s up to four inches bigger to be safe. Don’t upsize too far though, as too much extra room can actually make life harder on your plant babes.

Be gentle

You don’t want to damage your plant’s root system by yanking it out of its current pot. Instead, grip your plant at its base and turn the planter onto its side. Tap the bottom until the roots and soil loosen up and slide out easily.

Get rid of old potting soil

When repotting, try and shake off as much of that previous potting soil as possible. Then, prepare the larger pot with new, sterile potting mix so your plant’s new abode is full of nutrients and pest- and fungus-free. Your plant babe deserves a turnkey home, not a fixer-upper.

Sprinkle in some goodies

As you add soil into your plant’s new pot, why not stir in some natural fertilizers to help meet your plant’s needs this growing season? Eggshells and coffee grounds offer calcium and nitrogen (and you probably have them on hand). Worm castings are an easy-to-find, all-natural option.

Take a closer look

While you’re already hands-on with your houseplants, inspect them for signs of common illnesses or infestations (please, no more fungus gnats). Spotting root rot or spider mites early during the repotting process can help you rehab your plant before it’s too late. Read more about plant problems and ways to address them in our plant care blogs.

Pour one out

There’s debate on which is the “right” way, but you want to make a choice: water well a day or two before repotting or give your plant a healthy drink after you’ve repotted. Some sources suggest watering before you repot helps hydrate your plant, makes the plant easier to remove from its current home, and lessens shock symptoms afterwards. While other schools of thought (our in-house experts included) suggest watering after you’ve transferred your plant to its new digs. If you opt to water your plant after repotting, water it thoroughly so that the roots can settle into the new soil, but be careful not to overwater, especially if your plant’s new pot doesn’t have drainage holes (or homeowner’s insurance).

Do some spring cleaning

Plants use their leaves to capture the sunlight, but all year long, dust settles onto them and can make their job much harder. Once you’re done repotting, use a damp cloth to wipe them down so they’re ready to bask in the rays. Dusting the leaves helps plants photosynthesize more effectively, as it opens up more surface area of the leaves to catch some sun.

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