‘Telltale signs’ you need to repot your houseplant – avoid plant becoming stressed

Houseplants: RHS advises on watering techniques

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Houseplants typically need repotting every 12 to 18 months, depending on the variety of plant and how fast it is growing. It can be hard to know when a plant needs a bigger pot, and so an expert has shared the “telltale signs” houseplant owners should look for. Adam Pawson, Head of Digital at the UK’s leading door and window provider, Safestyle UK, said there are three key tips to bear in mind when caring for a plant.

This included choosing the right pot, optimising sunlight and establishing a water routine.

The expert said: “First of all, you should find a suitable container to grow your plants in, whatever works best for your space you have should do.

“Make sure it has drainage holes at the bottom. Watch out for the telltale signs that you need to repot your plant.

“Often roots growing out of the drainage holes or pushing the plant up and out of the planter indicate you need to choose a bigger planter.”

When looking for a bigger pot, houseplant owners should only upgrade the size slightly. Moving to a large pot can cause the plant to go into shock.

Some houseplants grow very fast, especially in the summer months when they are thriving.

According to Patch Plants, sometimes keeping it in the same pot can help and it can prevent plants from growing as fast.

If owners do this, it is advised to replenish and change the soil after a year or so because it can become unhealthy over time.

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The experts said the soil breaks down and compacts around the roots, which stops air from reaching them and impedes drainage, which can cause root rot.

To move a houseplant to a new pot, start by loosening the plant from its existing home.

Next, remove it gently by picking it out of the plant pot so it falls into your hand. Gently place it into its new pot and compact it down with a new layer of soil.

If a plant has overgrown its container, with crowded roots that have nowhere to expand, the plant may become stunted and stressed.

It can suffer from getting too little water and nutrients too, which will eventually lead to death.

It may also need feed and water to help it settle into its new pot, making sure it is in the right position in the home.

Adam added: “Consider a windowsill that is reasonably warm and receives a good amount of sunlight.

“Your plant, on average, should receive about five hours of light a day.

Plants are much more likely to die in cold environments, anything below 15 degrees celsius is considered too cold for your houseplant.

“If your plant is wilting or displaying split stems or bark it may be needing a temperature increase.”

Some houseplants will need direct sunlight, while others thrive in indirect.

The expert continued: “Once your plant is set up in the right place, think about the maintenance your specific plant may need. Whilst some plants may need watering every few days, others will struggle if overwatered.

“In fact, the leading cause of death in houseplants is overwatering due to the common misconception that you should be watering your plants whenever you get a spare minute.

“If your plant is wilting or its leaves are turning brown, this could be a sign that you’re overwatering it.”

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