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How to Repot Plants

How, when and why to repot your plants. A small guide to happier plants.

It's really not difficult to repot your plant, just take a bigger pot and fill it up with fresh substrate. But is that really the right way?

I'm happy to share my personal experience with you and let me tell you, I'm neither a botanist nor a gardener. I have learned from trial and error.

Before I get into repotting a plant, I just wanted to mention that I have manly grown my plants in semi-hydro for convenience reasons. Especially Hoya's, I would say 90 % of all my Hoya's are in semi-hydro culture.

I would suggest to first ask yourself, why do you want to repot your plant now? Is it really necessary?

Repotting your plant, is always stressful for your plant. You have to see the roots, the same way as you see your intestants, it's nothing you want to expose if not necessary. I would only repot my plant because of the following reasons:

- it has stopped growing completely and it has been in the pot since quite a while. (only applies during the growing season)

- it starts wilting faster

- the new leaves grow smaller as the previous ones, eventhough the situation has not changed (it has something to hold on to if needed)

- it drops old leaves when getting new one (depending on the species this might be normal)

If you have clear signs of your plant beeing pot bound or you know it will be pot bound if you're not repotting it now then you can go ahead and repot it.

Therefore I have a few tips for your:

- prepare everything before removing the plant of it's old pot

  • one size bigger pot, don't oversize that might cause root rot because of access substrate

  • new substrate, prefferably the same as grown so far, this means less stress for your plant

  • a nice looking coverpot? depending on if you are using coverpots or not it's good to have one close because of the last step which is:

  • water to hydrate the new substrate, i would suggest to use plain water for the first watering, just to avoid causing more stress or damaging to the rootsystem

Common questions:

  • Should I remove the old substrate?

That deffinitly depends, if it's old and easy to remove - yes. If it's not too old and not too compact, then you can leave it on. I would personally always want the least stress for the roots.

  • Should I trim the roots?

Definitly not! The only reason why you would trim or cut some roots is because of root rot.

  • Can i use a cashpot for my plant?

This depends on your plant and on your experience. I wouldn't recommend doing this with your first ever houseplant, it needs experience to see if the plant is happy with the situation or not. If you decide to use a cashpot with soil, make sure you give it a good drainage at the bottom with semi-hydro substrate or similar media which allows water to sit at the bottom. Hoya's usually don't like to have wet feet all the time, if in a cashpot you have to be extra carefull not to overwater.

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