If my houseplants could talk, I am pretty sure they would say, “Hey, you! Yeah, you! Do you think you could give me a little love over here? I’m busting at the seams and also a bit parched.”
Plants have needs too!
Poor things. I’ve got a fiddle fig still sitting in its original grow pot, probably root-bound to no end and an aloe plant I received as a gift that has roots growing up and out of the top.
To be honest, my plants’ well being wasn’t top of mind…until now. I have selfishly enjoyed the beauty and joy they bestow upon us at home, but haven’t been very good about reciprocating. If you are one of those people, like me, who has plants but could probably do a little bit more about their care, then keep reading.
So, (no) thanks to COVID-19, and since I have some time on my hands and nowhere to go, I thought I’d hit up plant expert, florist and local business owner, Kim Lesher of Bloom 3 to get the 411 on how to show our plants the love they need.
Kim says all plants really need to thrive are the basics: a container big enough to grow (but not too big), fresh soil, and drainage.
I am going to break down the re-potting process so you can get busy and start nourishing your own plants with the love and care they deserve so they can continue to bring you joy and cozy comfort to your own cozy abode.
Just like Kim’s plant’s soil, rich with vital nutrients, so is her plant knowledge, as she offers great tips and advice on ways to care for your plants at home.
HOW TO RE-POT YOUR HOUSE PLANT
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
The container – preferably with drainage. (For example, if your plant is in a 10″ grow pot, it will need a 12″ container.)
A chopstick or something long and pointy to help pull the roots apart so there is space to get new dirt throughout
Potting Mix – Kim prefers a plain organic potting mix as opposed to soil with fertilizer already in it like Miracle Grow
A drill just in case you need to create holes in the bottom of your container so water can drain
Liner the size of your container or something to set underneath the plant
Lava Rock for drainage or a broken up terra cotta pot (very absorbent)
Step 1: Prepare a new container for re-potting. If the container does not have holes for drainage, then make 3-4 holes with (insert size) drill-bit. The smaller the drill-bit, the less risk in cracking the container.
Step 2: Remove the plant from it’s original grow pot if it has not been removed already. (Plants can stay in a grow pot 3 -6 months maximum.) Soil gets stale and dried out over time. If your plant comes out of the container holding the container’s shape, the roots will need to be broken up and a larger container will be necessary.
Step 3: Use a chopstick or something long to get into the root system, break it up a bit, and spread the roots out so they can absorb the nutrients in the new dirt it will be planted in.
Step 4: Next, add the drainage system. You can use rock (like lava rock or place your broken up terra cotta pot in the bottom). This will allow for the water to drain below the dirt and not sit and turn moldy and problematic for the plant’s health.
Step 5: Add a layer of dirt thick enough for the plants’ roots to settle in and then place the place on top.
Step 6: Surround the roots with dirt and be sure there is a nice layer covering the top as well.
Step 7: Time for water. Give the plant a big, long, slow sip of water. When the water comes out the drainage holes in the bottom, you can stop. Be sure to empty the container under the plant so the plant doesn’t sit in it and get moldy.
*Never repot a plant while it is in bloom.
*Kim says plants need facials too. In the same way, dust and impurities accumulate on our skin, the same goes for the leaves of our lovely house plants. Be sure to give their leaves a rinse in the shower or wipe the dust off with a wet cloth. Kim prefers purified water because tap water has chlorine and other chemicals that many plants are sensitive to.
I hope Kim and I inspired you to give your plants the love they deserve. Now seems like the perfect time to get your green thumbs dirty. If you have black thumbs and would rather have a pro step in, (and you are local) Kim provides houseplant repotting as a service as well as Bloom 3 being a full service, florist, retail, and event space. Check her out!