Califonia Bountiful

Gardening 101: How to repot a houseplant

Steve McShane of McShane's Nursery and Landscape Supply in Salinas shows us why knowing how to repot houseplants is a skill that should be in every green thumb's repertoire!

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Repotting houseplants is an essential component to keeping plants healthy and encouraging new growth. When roots become bound and tangled and start taking up more space than the soil does or begin growing over the edge of the plant pot or out of the drainage holes, it's time to repot your plant.

But there's no need to wait for the roots to get to this point to transfer your favorite plant to a new container. In fact, periodically replacing planters is an easy way to change the look of the plant arrangement or to accent décor in a particular room or space. It's also an easy and useful way to extend plant life and cut down on the frequent watering that root-bound plants require.

Learn how to repot houseplants by following the easy steps below:
1. Moisten the soil in the pot of the plant that is to be re-potted and gently remove the plant from the current container.
2. Use a small pruning tool or sharp scissors to snip any roots that may be tangled and sticking out through the drainage holes. Avoid over-snipping.
3. Loosen the root ball by shaking it gently and using your fingers in a tickling motion to separate tightly clumped roots, being careful to not damage the roots in the process.
4. Line the new container bottom with a layer of clean potting mix approximately 3 inches deep.
5. Place the plant in the new container and fill the sides of the container with potting mix. Sprinkle an inch or so of potting mix on the top of the root ball and lightly water the plant.

It's as simple as that! Now your plant is ready to flourish in its fresh soil and new pot. It will require less watering now that it is in an environment that will retain and store water longer.

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