After proper watering techniques, the next most important tip for keeping your houseplants happy is to properly transplant/re-pot them. They need new soil about once a year. I very rarely purchase indoor plants. Usually they are given to me so I can provide them with much-needed life support. :) Recently, a dear friend gifted me several of indoor plants before she moved out of state.
One of the first things I do when I bring a plant home is re-pot it. Generally, even if a plant is brand new from the store, it is in too small of a pot and has been there for a while. It is most often root bound (meaning the roots wrap around and around themselves and basically hold the shape of the pot when removed). Not good.
A general rule-of-thumb is that the root system should be as large as the above-ground portion. Keep that in mind when choosing the size of pot you'll be planting in.
Ready? Let's get started!
New and/or larger plant pots
Steak knife (or similar) you no longer want to use in the kitchen
Adorable "helpers" (optional)
Next, remove the plant from the old pot. Usually this includes squeezing the sides of the pot in different directions to loosen the soil, then gently grasp the plant near the soil line and pull.
While you're at it, remove any damaged or diseased branches/leaves.
|This is a different plant, obviously :)|
Add a layer of potting soil, place your plant in the center of the pot and fill the rest of the way with potting soil. Compact the soil around the root ball and water in. Once you've watered you may need to add even more soil. Then water again.
After the plant has drained, you're ready to place the pot in your desired location.
What other houseplant questions would you like me to answer?
More in the Happy Houseplants 101 Series: