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What are Some Tips for Repotting Plants?

Gardening tools and potted plants.
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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 April 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Repotting indoor plants is a periodic activity required to maintain healthy indoor plants. Plants need to be repotted when the plant has outgrown the current pot or when the soil is old. There are four tips that you need to know when repotting plants: timing the repotting, types of potting mix, types of pots and disposing of the old soil.

If you are going to repot a plant, make sure that it is not flowering. The soil should be damp, not moist, and the new pot should be nearby. If you repot a flowing plant, the flower will die due to the stress on the plant of changing the soil. Creating and maintaining a flower is a significant level of effort for a plant and takes energy and resources. Moist soil will stay together relatively neatly and will allow you to easily shake off the old soil, without creating a large mess.

Go to your local garden supply store and look at the different potting mixes that are available. There are specialized mixes for certain types of plants, and other, more general indoor planting mixes. Select the type of mix required by your plant. If you are unsure, select a quality indoor plant potting and soil mix.

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When repotting, place new soil in the bottom and sides of the new pot. Remove the plant from the old pot by tipping it upside down and pulling gently on the base of the plant. If the plant is too large to tip over, tip the pot over onto the side. From this position, pull gently on the base of the plant to get it out of the pot.

Shake the roots to remove loose soil and place the plant in the new pot. Add extra potting and soil mix around the sides and top of the new plant. Water the plant right away to assist in the adjustment. Water more frequently for the next two to three days. Seven days after the repotting, add a fertilizer to the soil.

There are three main types of plant pots: ceramic, clay or plastic. Most plants do well in any of these three. Always choose a pot with draining holes in the bottom, which allow excess water to escape. If there are no holes, apply a layer of rocks to the bottom of the pot to improve the draining.

Dispose of the old soil in the garbage. Adding old, tired soil to another plant or garden does not improve the quality of soil for the other plants. The soil may also contain harmful bugs, fungus, mold, parasites and other creatures that can spread disease and damage your whole garden.

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