Follow this step by step guide to transferring your plant without trauma. Because plants at garden centers and nurseries are often root bound, and because the soil mixes used are sometimes not ideal, we offer a few tips here that should make a big difference.
Many times after bringing home a lush, lovely potted plant from your local garden center or nursery you will need to re-pot immediately for the best growing results. Many plant require regular potting up throughout their life times. Taking a plant out of a pot and putting it back in the same or same size container is called re-potting. Taking a plant out of a pot and putting it into a larger pot is called potting up. Plants need potting up to keep their roots from compacting, a condition that harms most houseplants.
Signs to look for when your plant need to be potted-up is slow growth, quick wilting after flowering, yellow leaves and small new leaves, and roots growing through the drain hole in the base of the pot. Check the roots of fast growing plants frequently to see if they are compacted.
When potting-up, choose a pot one size larger than the pot the plant is now in. Make sure it's clean and has a drain hole. Cover the drain hole with pot pads or a shard from a broken pot so the soil doesn't drain out. Wet the soil the day before removing the plant. To remove it hold your had against the soil and around the stem, turn the pot upside down and tap the rim surface.
Once it's loose, grasp the plant near the soil and pull gently. Keep the root ball as intact as possible. If the roots are tangles, lightly loosen the outer part of the ball with your hands or a knife, being careful not to damage the delicate roots.
Place some soil in the new pot, then position the plant on top. Adjust the plant to leave enough room below the rim for easy watering. Fill with soil around the root ball, burying the plant to the same level. Tap pot, add soil as needed and then water.