Repotting 101: Part 1

Repotting your plants can seem like a daunting task, so let’s break down what you need to get started!

Did you know that generally speaking, your plants grow more during the spring and summer months than during the fall and winter? Growing season is typically March to September, while the dormant period is October to February. The growing season is usually when we see plants take off and grow like crazy! It’s also when fertilizer use is recommended, to give your plants all the nutrients they need to give those new leaves a healthy start. All this means that your plants are likely to outgrow their current pots and will need more space to accommodate their new growth for the next year. Let’s go over what’s needed to get you ready for repotting your plants into a new, more spacious home.

1. Assess your plant’s roots.

Some plants like to be a little root bound, but most plants will need to be repotted into a larger pot, giving the roots more space to breathe and expand. If your plant’s roots are growing out the bottom of those nursery pots or if you find that they are retaining the shape of their pots, it likely needs to be repotted.

2. Buy a new planter/pot.

a. Size Matters – A general rule of (green) thumb is to only go up to 2 inches bigger than the current pot. Why? Because if the new pot is too large, the plant will direct its energy into root development to fill the new space and attempt to stabilize the plant, thus leaving no energy for new leaves. Simply put, too much space will cause the plant to die.

b. Cache vs Functional – a cachepot is a pot that is simply decorative, where your plant and it’s dirt is actually potted in a plastic nursery pot and just sits inside of the decorative pot. The plant is usually removed for watering to avoid the cachepot holding unnecessary water at its roots. A functional pot is one with a drainage hole and a saucer to catch the water. Plants and their dirt go directly in this style of pot and do not need to be removed for watering. All FloraNoir planters come with drainage holes drilled into the bottom of them! Personally, we love style and functionality!

c. Material – Another thing to consider is the material of the pot. Terracotta is good for plants that prefer to be dry, such as cacti and succulents, since the material absorbs water from the soil. Ceramic glazed pots are good for plants that require more frequent watering, so that the moisture stays with the soil longer.

3. Get some new dirt.

Different plants need different types of soils. Plants that have aerial roots, like monsteras, love soil that is coarse and fast draining. Succulents and cacti need a dry, sandy mixture. Some plants, like spider plants and arrowhead plants, love good ol’ standard potting mix. It’s important to figure out which is needed so you maintain the health of your plants. Our handmade potting mixes of That FN Dirt are nutrient dense and take the guess work out of the process.

4. Choose a fertilizer

Finding a fertilizer that is right for your plants is key. There are a wide variety of types, the most common are liquid, granular and slow release. We might be a little biased, but our good (and PDX local!) friends at Joyful Dirt make an organic granular fertilizer that you can either sprinkle directly onto your plants soil or mix it in water. Learn more about fertilizers from Savvy Gardening here.

With these steps done and items in hand, you’re ready to actually repot your plant! Stay tuned for part 2 of this 101, where I will walk you through the steps, using my favorite arrowhead plant as the example.

Happy Planting!

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