Houseplants: ‘Easiest’ way to check if your plant needs repotting – and how to do so

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Spring is the season when houseplants enter their active growth season, meaning they need a little more care during the summer, including watering and feeding. They may also need repotting to give them additional room to grow, and also provide a refresh of soil.

Baby Bio® experts told “Most plants benefit from repotting once every other year, as upsizing a plant’s pot allows more room for growth, better air circulation to the root system, and prevents roots from being waterlogged or bound.

“There are several ways to tell if your plant needs repotting.

“One of the easiest ways is to check to see if the roots are growing out of the drainage hole in its pot.”

If they are, it indicates that the plant may be root bound and needs more space to grow.

The experts added: “You can also gently ease the plant from its pot to see if the root system is tight and tangled around the root ball itself.

“Other signs it’s time to upsize your plant’s pot is that the plant is being pushed out of its pot by the roots.”

If you are watering it more often, that is also another sign the houseplant needs to be moved to a new home.

Repotting isn’t as complicated as it may seem, and it can benefit the plant massively.

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Baby Bio® experts continued: “To repot, begin by adding a couple of inches of well-draining compost, which promotes aeration to the roots and allows good drainage to a pot approximately one to two inches wider in circumference than its existing home.

“Next, remove your plant from its current pot by tipping the container to the side and gently teasing the plant and its roots free.

“Once you have successfully removed it from the pot, lay it on a clean surface and remove any compost mix gathered around the root ball.

“Using a clean, sharp pair of scissors or pruner, cut off any dead roots that aren’t firm and plump.

“If you find the roots are soft and brown, your plant may be showing early signs of root rot, a result of being left to sit in waterlogged compost.”

To save the plant, trim off any dead or drying roots back to where the root comes firm.

It is recommended to use sterilised scissors when doing so.

Baby Bio® added: “Add a little of the potting mix to the bottom of the new container, then place the plant in the pot so that it sits comfortably level with the top of the container and fill the gaps around the side with more potting mix.

“Consider using a clear plastic pot so that you can monitor root health easily.”

Spring is also a great time to consider watering plants more often.

The experts said: “As the weather begins to warm up and plants enter active growth season, most will require increased watering, so it’s time to increase watering schedule.

“Remember to always test the soil first.”

Testing the soil before watering can help to prevent both under and over watering.

To do this, houseplants owners can dip their finger into the soil to see if it is moist or dry.

The experts added: “Or use a pencil and dip it into the top two inches of the soil.

“If it is still moist, there is no need to water. If the soil is dry beyond the top layer, aerate the soil to allow for an even distribution of water, again using your finger or something like pencil.

“To ensure you’re not giving your houseplants water from the bottom if your pot has drainage holes.”

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