Re-potting Houseplants

imageIt had been about 5 years since I took in these two orphans from work. They had been hanging under a pergola for one season and the clients didn’t want them anymore. Their loss is my gain! I re-potted them into these cool cornucopia looking bamboo baskets and they have lived happily in my south window since. 

I started to notice the soil around the outside edge started to feel a bit ‘crunchy’ for lack of a better term. These hang high, and I can’t see into them without removing them from the hooks, so I had to go on other signs they wanted new soil for their feet. Crunchy soil and the fact it took less time for me to hear the water flowing into the drip pan, meaning there were fissures in the soil that allowed the water to flow through the soil without any uptake of water into the soil. I finally decided it was time for a re-pot.

Many plants do actually prefer to be rootbound. My ficus and other philodendron plants have been in the same pots for decades. Other plants need the freedom to spread their roots…. These had gotten a bit thin on top, so along with the re-pot, I was going to transplant many of the runners to the pot to return it to it’s afro past.

  • First, I pruned off all the runners. I wanted the plant to put all of its energy into making new roots and leaves on the existing plant, not want to ‘Seek out new life and civilizations” ;-).
  • Then, I had to remove part of the old pot, as it had grown roots all through the bottom. The new pots weren’t that much larger than the old, however these do like to be root bound and I didn’t want to have them swimming in a ‘too large’ pot. I also had size restrictions on the hangers.
  • I took off about and inch of roots from the bottom. I wanted to encourage them to grow down into the new soil I placed on the bottom of the new pot. I also took off a bit of soil on the sides where there were no roots, so new, nutrient-filled soil will go.

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  • I placed about 2 inches of potting soil in the bottom of the new pot. The pot was only about an inch larger around, but just enough to plant some newbies in there.
  • These are very easy to propagate. Prune them at a node (where there looks to be roots growing) and pop it in the new soil.
  • Be sure to keep these new babies watered. They aren’t getting the supplemental nutrients from Mom anymore, and will need some extra help.


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And were back to lookin’ tropical 😉

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

28 thoughts on “Re-potting Houseplants

  1. they look like super happy campers now. my mother put a date stone in a pot once more than 20 years ago… it became a giant palmtree what lives in my living room… but now I fear it became too big because the palmleaves are on the ceiling and turn brown because of the lack of space… can I do something to rescue the tree?


  2. Nice. 🙂 Makes such a difference when they are all potted out anew. (And I like the ST ref!)
    My hanging baskets all need doing, but I’ll wait till winter, and hopefully, the rains.


      • I can’t really say I am that big on flowers. Maybe if I had a yard it would be different. I have seen a lot of yards that look so mice with all the flowers and some shrubs look pretty nice too.
        My mom used to give away seeds for flowers and vegetables. I remember they grew tomatoes from seeds they had brought from West Virginia, up here to Michigan.


              • Would you be the same as a tree doctor? They do have those don’t they? Pardon my not knowing, but I am curious. Did you have to take any other courses, such as science or botany? Is that still a course?


                • Yes, I’d answer to tree doctor 😉
                  Here in the U.S., I’m called an arborist, over the pond I’m a tree surgeon. Arborist hasn’t caught on anywhere else.
                  To be licensed (you don’t have to be, but it’s better to hire a licensed one) I needed to pass a 200 question test and keep my credentials current by taking 30 hours of classes every 2 years.
                  I have other credentials also, risk management and natural areas management (forest care).
                  You don’t need to go to college to pass the test, however it sure made it easier! I took many classes about botany, insects, pathology, soil properties (geology), I.D. of area plants, weather, lawn maintenance, small engine repair… basically everything you need to know about the plants in this area. 🤓🌳

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Thanks for giving me a better perspective of what you have had to learn to be where you are today. That is a pretty broad background and I am sure every field has in it’s own way contributed to you having a better understanding of the whole picture.
                  I have to admit, I have never heard it described as an arborist. I have heard of horticulturist.
                  When I was younger I always wanted to work as a ranger in The Appalachian National Park. I love that place. We need more parkland and forest, but developers are determined to wreak havoc on as much of the earth as they can.


                • That is true about the policing, that does come with the job, that would be a bad part, but just to be in a place like that on a daily basis would be invigorating.


Time to fire-up the chair-to-keyboard interface!!!

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