How to repot your plants so they grow to be strong and healthy

If you have any houseplants and you want to keep them alive, listen up! 

You need to repot your plants and spring weather presents the perfect time do so. Repotting basically means putting your plants into a slightly larger pot in order to give the roots more room to grow.

According to The Washington Post's garden columnist Adrian Higgins, "You need to repot a houseplant because in nature, they grow on the jungle floor. But when you grow anything in a pot, in a container, it’s in an artificially constrained environment. And those roots are going to eventually get strangled upon themselves.” 

Check out Higgins' steps for repotting plants below and watch exactly how he does it in the video above!

How to repot a houseplant
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How to repot a houseplant

1. Pick a new pot

The new pot should be 1" to 2" bigger so the roots have more room to grow. The pot should also be able to drain.

2. Remove the plant and soil from its original pot

Gently loosen up and pull the plant roots apart. 

3. Trim some of the roots

According to Higgins, you can remove up to a quarter of the roots. It may put a little stress on the plant, but it should bounce back. 

4. Add fresh soil to the new pot

Before putting the plant into its new pot, first add fresh soil. You should add enough soil that the crown of the plan (where the stem begins) hits the edge or just below the edge of the pot. 

Make sure you pat the soil down and tap the pot so the soil sets — you don't want any air pockets.

5. Groom the plant

In the words of Higgins, make your plant look as good as it feels! Remove any brown or yellow leaves.

6. Water your plant

The key here is that you have a pot that drains. As long as your pot has good drainage, you can't over water it. 


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