When should you repot your houseplants? NOW! Spring is a great time to hand out promotions. As the days lengthen and the weather warms, your houseplants are also feeling their oats. Support their new growth with fresh potting soil – Coast of Maine Bar Harbor Blend Organic Potting Soil can be your accomplice in the endeavor. When you get to the root of the issue, your houseplants will love the newfound freedom.
Here are some popular houseplants coupled with their ideal containers. Follow this recipe for success, and your houseplants are going to be happy campers.
Selecting the Right Container
Okay, now that you are poised to make that graduation, it’s time to choose the right pot to receive each plant. You’ve already checked the root system to decide whether your plant is ready for a promotion (see our previous blog). Now is the time to match the plant with the right shape of container. Match a container with the root system of your plant. Learn to pay attention to your houseplants and read their body language. By being observant about roots and their growth habits, you can make the right pairings when it comes to repotting. Here are some examples:
You’ve just adopted the cutest little herb from the supermarket. That little rosemary, thyme, or oregano is perfect for your windowsill. But don’t make the mistake of tucking your herb into a tiny, shallow pot. Herbs make expansive root systems and those roots usually plunge straight down. A shallow pot is going to put your herb in a straightjacket.
Instead, go for a Long Tom pot, because going deep is critical. Give those roots plenty of room to plunge. And then check the plant in a few months. You might need to repot again in midsummer because your herb is going to be so happy that it will deserve another boost.
Some indoor gardeners accuse begonias of being tricky. Not so. You just need to know one secret: Begonia roots grow horizontally rather than plunging down. They don’t want or need a deep container. Instead, go for a shallow, wide pot. Also, they love loose, friable soil, so don’t “cement” the plant into its pot with a heavy mix. Coast of Maine’s Bar Harbor Blend is perfect. And most begonias are native to tropical regions, so they are just beginning to make new growth now after a season of snoozing. Now is a great time for a boost.
Ever notice that members of the maranta and calathea family need water half as often as other houseplants? Their roots are minimal and they tend to drink slowly. Again, you’ll want to give them a shallow container, but don’t rush in with promotions. They look like the plant is stuffed into a small “shoe,” but they’re really happy that way. Instead, you might hold the line by shaking out old soil and refreshing with new potting soil. While you’re at it, consider dividing your prayer plants up and sharing with friends.
If you are a nurturer, ferns are the perfect plants for you. Ferns are super thirsty houseplants and their generous roots quickly fill a container and ask for more. The secret of success with ferns is to repot often and generously. A container that doesn’t drain quickly is key. Steer away from pedestal pots or containers that are sharply funnel-shaped or V-shaped. Instead, go for something that is squat and generous. Feel free to go at least two pot sizes up when promoting.
Succulents are quirky and funky. And here’s where those pedestal containers are so apropos, because succulents love fast drainage. Feel free to be creative and go crazy with sieves, colanders, or repurposing anything that might house the roots of your succulents. Most importantly, keep the container snug around the roots—most succulents can remain in the same pot for a long time. If you really want to repot, try the trick of shaking out old soil and tucking in new potting medium to maintain the status quo size-wise with a container size. Water only when the soil is dry to keep that succulent smiling. (Try Coast of Maine’s Mount Desert Island Blend – Organic Cactus & Succulent Mix!)
Written by award winning author, Tovah Martin. Photos also taken by Tovah Martin. Find her books and more information on her website: tovahmartin.com