Time to Repot!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Tiny pots cannot stabilize big plants and likely do not hold enough water or soil to sustain the plant for very long. If you have ever tried to plant a shrub that had a circle of roots growing inside the bottom of its pot, you know what can happen when roots are too crowded. Years in the same pot means a plant growing in depleted soil even if you have been fertilizing regularly – any potting mix, no matter how terrific, eventually loses its oomph and must be replaced. As a general rule, move a plant up to a pot one size larger than its current home. That encourages equal amounts of root and top growth. But if the plant is as large as you want it to be, you can unpot it, prune the roots gently, and repot it in fresh potting mix. These tips are important for the houseplants you have growing on the porch and deck for summer, but also for the plants you bought this spring that are still growing in the lightweight soil mix they came in from the garden center. If you don’t plan to plant them, it’s time to move them up to slightly larger pots with a well-drained, fertile potting mix rich in organic matters. And specialty plants like Orchids and Cacti benefit from a drench of WormWise Vermicompost Tea when they are repotted, too. No matter how careful you are, every plant needs help to generate new roots after repotting!
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