Plant Life Balance

How to repot like a boss

Jack from Heaton’s Nursery shares the dirt on caring for pot plants.

The number one mistake when repotting is not repotting enough, says Jack Heaton from Heaton’s Nursery in Nambour, Queensland. Jack ran a potting workshop at our Plant Tales 101 event in Brisbane earlier this year, and has put together these quick tips to make you repot like a boss at home. 

  1. Review your pot plants every Spring

They might not need a new pot, just new soil and some fertiliser but checking your pots in late Winter or early Spring gives your plant babes the best chance to thrive.

  1. Are the roots pressed up against the pot wall?

It’s time to repot. But don’t move up in size too quickly, one or two sizes is best. Plants gets a weird kind of agoraphobia and will refuse to grow in their new abode if it’s way too big.

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Repotting this root bound ZZ!! This is actually my moms and she let me grab a few pieces to propagate. Has anyone propagated ZZ’s? ~ Jess . . #zzplant #rootbound #indoorplants #plants #plantsagram #plantsofinstagram #plantsmakepeoplehappy #repotting #allaboutthemroots #zamioculcaszamiifolia

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  1. Is the plant growing over the pot?

If it looks like it’s trying to escape, it probably is. Just like growing children, plants can get too big for their environments.

  1. Are aerial roots beginning to appear?

The roots are probably touching the side of the pot and it’s got no place left to grow and it’s hungry for nutrients and space. Time for a bigger home.

  1. Is the place demanding more and more water without a change in the weather?

It’s probably sucked every nutrient out of the soil and fertiliser will offer little help. Sometimes you’ve just got to change the soil.

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Meet our new addition – in full! This is where you’ll find me most of the time ?

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But Jack, how do we repot?

Squeeze around side of pot to break the seal between the roots and pot. If the plant doesn’t pull out turn plant upside down and tap it out like your building a sand castle with a bucket when you were a kid.

Shake off the old soil mix to give the plant the freshest soil mix possible. Then pot the plant to the same soil height in a new pot (if needed). If the plant has aerial roots, bury to the top of them. Then fertilise at recommended rates, no need to over do it.

Got a question? Talk to an expert. Check our nursery finder to find your closest Plant Life Balance-accredited nursery.

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