Repotting Houseplants Good Winter Activity

For gardeners who are itching to get their green thumbs dirty, repotting houseplants can be a good wintertime activity. But not all plants will need, or even benefit from, repotting. Fortunately, there are several indications to look for to determine if your plant needs new living quarters.

The main reason for repotting is to give the roots more room to grow. Perhaps one of the most obvious signs is when the plant is physically too large for the pot. Overgrown plants in plastic pots seem particularly prone to tipping over as the soil dries. Roots may begin to grow out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. These are rather extreme signals that your plant probably needed repotting several months ago.

A quick check that is a sure-fire method is to turn the pot over, gently pull the plant out of the pot, and check the soil ball. If many roots are visible at the outside of the soil ball, the plant will probably appreciate a larger pot. If roots are not visible, repotting is not needed.

Choose a pot of only the next larger size. The soil in pots that are too large tends to stay excessively moist for too long and can lead to root rot. As you fill the new pot with soil, be sure to leave enough room at the top to allow for watering.

Some plants may already be too large for the existing environment and would only continue to grow larger if given a larger pot. Repotting in this case should only consist of replanting in fresh soil in the same size pot.

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