Up-potting: How to Repot a Plant

Master gardeners will tell you that as your houseplant grows larger and the roots begin to grow through the drainage holes, repotting the plant into a larger pot will become necessary.

In addition, pests (gross!), diseases, and mold often infiltrate the soil of a potted plant. To prevent further damage or a recurrence of the problem, get rid of the old soil!

This post is another Q&A with one of ourexperts and nursery department head. if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to stop in and ask our staff about up-potting!

A Q&A with Granville Goff, Nursery Department Head,
Fang! Pet & Garden Supply

What is Up Potting?

Up potting is what we do when a plant has become root-bound in its current home. This means that the plant has cycled through several growth periods and has “outgrown” its current home.  

Indications: When you water, it runs immediately through (not enough soil for retention). Yellowing leaves that don’t respond to adjusted watering or fertilization,Visually if you can see the roots coiling (worth popping the plant out of the current pot to examine), If the plant looks too big for the size pot it is in(remember everything you see above the soil has relatively equal mass below the soil [roots]).

Materials

You will need a new pot, fresh potting soil (an appropriate blend for the type of plant), a watering can (with a narrow spout), materials for drainage if the pot has no drainage holes, a rubber mallet for jostling loose especially stuck plants. 

Important steps for repotting a plant

  1. In many cases, you can simply take the pot and tap it against a work surface in along the circumference and the root mass will “let go” of the pot walls.
  2. Other times you may need to cut a plant free from a plastic stock pot or tap the bottom and sides of a pot with a rubber mallet to loosen the plant.
  3. I would not recommend placing a coffee filter in the bottom of a pot since it is designed to absorb water and will begin to decompose increasing bacterial growth in the root zone which is a recipe for root rot and ultimately plant death.

Check out this YouTube video:

Here’s another example of how to repot a plant! 
Final product!

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