Your baby plants will be ready to move into a new pot as soon as they arrive. There’s a couple of things you’ll need before you get started though: a pot and some soil…
Around about 12cm in diameter is good to start with.
It’s better to repot a plant into a slightly bigger pot each year or so rather than put it into a huge pot straight away. All that unused space will hold extra water which can lead to root rot and allow pests room to grow.
Pots with a hole in the bottom, sat in a saucer, will allow drainage and can help prevent your plants getting waterlogged.
A plastic pot within a decorative container is fine too, you will just need to keep an eye on the water level / moisture of the soil.
General houseplant compost is available in all well stocked garden centres or online. This soil is finer and has been treated to remove potential pests.
Some plants prefer quick draining soil (this will be mentioned on their plantcare card). Adding perlite or grit to your soil mix can help with this.
Plants such as succulents, which require less frequent watering than others, can benefit from some vermiculite in their soil mix. This will absorb what water there is and allow the plant to draw from it as it needs it. You can also add untreated sand to the mix if your succulents require it.
Please refer to the Plantcare card for each plant’s soil preferences.
This guide is intended for potting your baby plants but the same principles apply when it comes to repotting your plants as they grow in the future.
- Choose a larger pot The main reason for repotting is because the plant has begun to outgrow its current home. You want to give the roots room to grow.
- Cover the drainage holes A coffee filter, a couple of stones, piece of broken crockery, anything which prevents the soil from falling out but still allows water to pass through.
- Adding soil to the new pot Before you place the new plant in the pot, add a base layer of soil and build it up around the sides so the roots have space to grow into and the plant sits happily without the soil spilling over the top.
- Water the plant Before you repot the plant, water it thoroughly. This will help keep the plant healthy and keeps the rootball together.
- Remove the plant from it’s old pot Rather than pulling the plant out, turn it upside down while placing your hand over the top of the pot, with the plant carefully between your fingers. Squeeze and rotate the pot gently to loosen it up and allow the plant to fall into your hand.
- Untangle any roots you can Where possible, untangle the outermost roots without damaging them, so they grow outward instead of internally.
- Place the plant in it’s new pot Make sure the plant is centered and upright then press it gently into it’s new home and add soil. The soil only needs to be compact enough to hold the plant upright. A bit of space for air and water in there is always good. Once you have pressed it down, water it to help settle the soil. Then if needed add a little more soil or decorative stones to the top.
The following things are not essential but may help keep your plants happier.
Some houseplants love humidity. They might be happy in a bathroom, near your kettle or other humid area but a humidifier can help you keep tropical plants happy anywhere around your home. (A bowl of water with a few stones in it will gradually release moisture and may help too).
- Plant food
Potted plants have limited supply of nutrients so adding a few drops of fertilizer to their water every month or so can go a long way. You can also obtain slow/continuous release plant food to add to the soil. Please be advised that some plants prefer to be left alone for around a month after repotting as their roots are extra sensitive.
- Rain water
Rain water contains no additives and most plants prefer it to tap water so if you can collect and store it, your plants will appreciate it. If you are unable to do this you can fill your watering vessel from a tap but preferably leave it for 2 days before using.