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.