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Potting-on - Why & When

The deadly welcome

There is a strong impulse to re-pot plants as soon they arrive in our home. Or, even worse, give it a drink whether it wants one or not. Resist. Even if it looks really pot bound leave it for now. Plants suffer from transition shock & they do not welcome root disturbance whilst they are settling in.

Why do it?

The only reason to pot up is that your plant has outgrown its current one. If it has its roots will have appeared through the drainage holes in the bottom. Then choose a pot that is 2 or 3cm deeper than the one it is in. Always increase your pot size gradually. Putting lots of empty soil around your plant provides a storage space for water. This leads to root rot.

Still tempted?

If you can't see roots, no matter how big the plant in relation to the pot, it does not require a new one. If it looks peaky it will be for another reason. Some, like most cacti, have very shallow roots so can live in the same pot (as long as you remember to feed them) for years & years. Others, such as Hoyas like root restraint because they are adapted to live in & up trees. When at home their roots grow in tight fissures in the surface of rocks or trees. Put its very fine roots in a big pot with loads of extra soil where water can lurk & it will not thank you at all.

Pleasing your eye

It might be that your real reason for wanting to repot is visual. You have a lovely pot you want to use. Or you think the plant looks like it is far too big for its pot, even though it isn't. We understand. We have a Hoya which is now over a metre & is still in its 10cm nursery pot because it likes it. But it looks all wrong? We have just filled a terracotta urn with bark chips (to make it feel at home & give it weight & balance) & put the small pot in the top.

If you are good

Your plants will settle in, grow &, after a while will need rehoming (&/or pruning or staking). All of this is fun but worth waiting for. If you don't & try & rush it they will express their displeasure by dying on you.

Come & see what we have to offer? We have something for every type of plant keeper :) Easy Care Plants | Planty Haus & we are here if you need us.

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