5 secrets to transplanting potted plants
The plants we have in pots draw all the nutrients from the soil and the dense root systems that make it difficult for them to cope with their basic processes.
Transplanting to a larger pot helps the plants to rejuvenate as it gives more room for the roots to grow.
In addition, by renewing the soil during transplanting, we offer the necessary nutrients that our plants need to give us lush vegetation and beautiful flowers.
The time to convert our plants into larger pots is in the early spring, as the plants have not yet started the vigorous activity of growth and flowering.
We can do the pot change at the beginning of autumn, after the flowering of the plants is complete.
If a plant we keep in a pot despite the care we give it remains weak and does not grow, it is very likely that it needs transplanting.
Therefore, we transplant flowers and aromatic plants, fruit trees and ornamental shrubs that we have in pots to give them vitality and stimulation.
Let’s see in detail how we understand that a plant needs a pot change, along with useful tips and all the steps we follow for a proper transplant.
- When does a plant need to be transplanted into a larger pot? There are many signs to understand that a plant needs to be transplanted into a bigger pot. The most obvious sign to transplant our plants is when it has developed thick roots that come out from the top or bottom of the pot. Of course, several times, the roots of the plants may have thickened without going outside. If we see their foliage gradually turn yellow or the leaves drop, it is very likely that they need a pot change.
When the roots have filled the pot, the plants find it difficult to absorb water and nutrients, which prevents their smooth growth. Another clear indication of a dense root system and the need for the plants to be transplanted into a larger pot is when the volume of the foliage exceeds twice the diameter of the pot. A big plant needs a big pot. If the plants that need to be repotted are in bloom, we prefer to transplant after the end of their flowering as there is a risk that their flowers will fall. Of course, this is not always the case. The plants we supply from nurseries are usually fully grown and in bloom, however they need immediate repotting as they have already developed a dense root system and are very stressed in the small nursery pot they are planted in.
- What pot should I choose for transplanting plants? For transplanting, we choose pots that are two sizes larger than the previous pot we had the plants in. If we use a much larger pot, the plant that is spent on the development of the root system will lag behind in vegetative growth. We choose pots with a drainage hole at the base to allow excess water to escape during watering, so that the roots of the plant do not rot from excessive moisture. Many times, the pots we supply do not have holes, but slots to open using the appropriate sharp tool. Regarding the construction of the pots, clay pots have the advantage of being made of natural materials, they are aesthetically more beautiful and do not heat up easily in the high summer temperatures. Plastic pots are more affordable, do not break easily and are much lighter, they cannot be transported without difficulty. The wooden pots are also quite interesting, which are also made of natural material, but they need a good impregnation of the wood so that they do not rot quickly. Metal planters are lightweight and have a nice design, but they can rot over time.
- What potting soil do we use for transplanting? The potting soil is the base where our plants grow inside the pots. It is important to choose quality potting soil for transplanting, enriched with nutrients that ensure the healthy growth of our plants. The composition of the potting soil is good to contain perlite and pumice stone to hold water better and be quite fluffy. There are many types of planter beds, suitable for different uses and groups of plants. Depending on the type of plant, we choose potting soil for outdoor flowers, potting soil for indoor plants, potting soil for acidophilic plants such as gardenia, azalea, camellia and rhododendron. Also, there are special potting soil for cacti and succulents with a high sand content to drain the water and prevent their roots from rotting. Also, in the trade we will find special planting mediums for orchids based on pine bark and special growing mediums for bonsai.
- What are the steps for proper transplantation? After choosing the right pot and having procured a new plant, we are ready to start transplanting. We place at the base of the new pot, a thin layer of 3-4 cm of gravel or pebbles to have a better drainage of the water left over from watering. We carefully remove the plant from the original pot, keeping its ball of soil and break the thin parts of the plant, at the ends of the root, by pinching them with our fingers. In this way, the plant’s roots are renewed during transplanting and water and nutrients can be better utilized in the new pot’s environment. We place the plant in the center of the new pot and add the required soil until it is full, without compressing the ball of the plant. Water lightly to settle the soil. Then, fill in with soil until the pot is full. And of course, we don’t forget to put the corresponding saucer in each pot so that no water drips during watering. After the transplant is completed, we place our plant in a shady place for a smell and ensure sufficient humidity to root better. We add algae extract solutions or other special liquid fertilizer to increase rooting and better plant growth.
- And one last secret about transplanting. We prefer to transplant the plants at dusk, when the sun’s rays are not strong. This helps the plants not to be stressed and to adapt better during the night when there is more dew and humidity.