As we all know most plants will eventually get root bound when grown in a garden planter. As a plant grows it's roots want to shoot out and expand. Eventually they will become intertwined, yearning to break free. Here are a few tips to help with succulents.
Turn the succulent over in your hand and gently loosen from the pot that it is root bound in. Carefully try to spread the roots a bit so that they are moveable and not bound together in a tight ball. Take the pottingsoil for the new larger planterand mix it with 1/3 sand. Succulents are desert dwellers so good draining soil is a must.
Once the succulents have been re-potted do NOT water. Wait a week before the first watering. This will give them time to adjust to the new pot and soil. Then water like once a month. It's tempting to over water but trust us they do not like it. Just make sure that the pot is placed in an area where there is lots of sunshine. If indoors put them on a windowsill. Outside move to a sunny area.
The main goal here is to let them have lots of room to grow, don't over water and place in a sunny window or area. Sounds simple so let us know how you do!
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.
Roots protruding from a garden planter's drainage hole is a sure sign that the plant needs to be repotted. Here are a few helpful tips!
Most healthy container grown plants will outgrow the confines of their pots. A good way to reinvigorate a root bound plant is to give it a new home. The first step is to recognize when it's time to re-pot. Signs to look for are roots tightly packed or protruding from the pots drain hole, and water sitting on the soil surface to long after watering. The best time to do the re-potting is when they are actively growing, in the Spring or Summer.
Root bound plants should slip out of their pots easily; watering first will help. If much of the soil falls free of the roots, then plant may not need to be repotted. Roots should be white or light colored. Black or dark colored are signs of a serious fungal disease. Now is the time to loosen the roots to increase nutrient absorption. Rim the roots and loosen up the ball before replanting either way. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears removing as much as the bottom third of the plants root ball.
The new pots size depends on the plant and its potential growth rate. Rely on your own idea of what a healthy specimen should look like. When in doubt go bigger than smaller at least by a size or two. To keep soil from leaking out the drain hole fill the pot with pot filler. Put a few inches of moist soil in the bottom and position the plant in the pot, centering it. The goal is the root ball should sit an inch or two below the new garden container's rim. Fill the space around the root ball with soil.
Finally trim the potted plants foliage relative to how much the roots were pruned. In other words if you take one third of the root ball off then take one third of the top growth off as well. Water the plant and keep it moist, shaded and cool till it is re-established.
If you didn't read the blog entry on Part 1 it is in the entry shown below.....
When it comes to re-potting a garden container there are many things to consider. So far we have covered the roots and what to look for. Now we want to talk a little about choosing a new container and techniques to use.
If the main reason for re-potting the plant is you need to increase the size by giving it more room than you have to select a planter that is larger. How much larger - well it's best to choose one that is just a few inches larger. If it is near the same size, there is no point and if it is too large then not only will the plant look undersized and funny but it could be over watered and grow to fast. Make sure the style of pot is similar so you won't have to cut the root ball to much to make it fit.
The hardest part of re-potting a plant is to just get it out of the current pot that it is already in. If the root ball is a tangled mess than this could create quite a chore. Don't pull on the plant but turn the pot over on it's side, tap the rim and try to slid the plant out carefully. It is best of the root ball is dry instead of wet. The weight will be much less. Just be careful that you don't chip or crack the planter.
Take the new - larger - pot and add some fresh soil to the bottom. Drop the root ball into the center. Make sure the height is correct and then fill the sides in with more fresh soil. Tamp down and keep going.
The main thing to remember is that you are working on a live plant with a live root system. So be careful, cautious and gentle.
Re-potting really is easy to do and no big deal at all. The main idea is to recognize when a pot has become root bound and needs to be re-potted. Then deciding on when is the best time to do the re-potting so that your plants will experience the least amount of distress as possible.
If you see lots of roots coming out through the drain hole of the pot, or matted large roots surrounding the surface of the pot - YOUR PLANT is in distress! If you slip the plant out of the pot and the bottom is all matted and root bound - IT IS TIME TO RE-POT!
Sometimes the flowers look bad, the soil looks dry, the leaves are stunned and even dropping off. You may of waited to long to re-pot so don't wait for these signs to get going on moving these plants. Plants give off these distress signals because they can no longer get enough moisture or nutrients from the soil through their root systems.
Anything in a potted container should be checked regularly. The most accurate way to do this is to slip the plant out of the pot and visually examine the roots.
When it comes to any flowers or plants that you may of started from seeds, you will have to check their roots frequently. Keep moving them to larger containers every month or so until they reach their final destination pot.
Some permanent plants like trees, shrubs etc, may need to be re-potted every couple of years. They become root bound and can experience distress just like the smaller plant materials like flowers and vines.
It is always best to re-pot all plants when they are dormant. This will help with the distress levels they will experience from being moved. Its is as simple as remembering to re-pot spring blooming permanent plants in fall and evergreens in spring or fall.
Our next blog entry will take this discussion further. Choosing a new container and re-potting tips will be featured.
1. One to two days before re-potting, water the plant well - the roots can actually break off if you remove the plant when the soil is dry. Ask the sales person at the nursery which potting soil is best for your plant, since it may require a special blend. choose a new terra cotta or ceramic pot that is 2" larger in diameter than the current one.
This isn't the time to be modest. Get a nice planter that is large enough so your don't find yourself re-planting the same plant next season.
2. If your pot does not have drainage holes, carefully drill two or three in the bottom using a power drill. Place a coffee filter in the bottom of the pot, covering the holes, to keep the soil from washing out while still allowing water to drain. Fill the container with a couple of inches of soil. Better yet, us the Pot filler that we sell at Arizona Pottery. It is made of recycled materials, lets excess water out and keeps soil in place. Click here for more information.
3. Turn the potted plant upside down, holding one hand on the pot's bottom and the other palm on the soil with the plant stem between your fingers. Pull off the pot while wiggling the plant down into your hand. Check the roots; if they look tightly wound or are growing in a circular pattern, gently loosen them. Clip black roots, which may be rotten.
4. Place the plant in the middle of the new container and check to see that the soil line will be about 1" below the pot rim. If the plant is sitting too low, pull it out and add more soil to the bottom until you get the correct level. Add soil to the sides to fill, gently patting as you go, until the soil reaches the plant's existing soil line. Water well.