How are plants repotted?
Definition of transplanting plants
Plant repotting is the process of moving a plant from one place to another. It involves removing the plant from its current container or soil and placing it in a new one.
The purpose of repotting is:
- improvement of growth conditions,
- regulation of competition between plants,
- providing adequate space for roots
- enabling regeneration
- stimulation of growth or flowering
- soil replacement
As you can see, repotting is a very important element of growing potted, garden and ornamental plants.
The importance of transplanting plants in plant cultivation and gardening
Transplanting plants is of great importance in their cultivation and gardening, examples of which you will find below:
- Increasing plant health and productivity. Transplanting allows plants to develop a healthy root system. Healthy and well-developed roots will make the plant better supplied with water, nutrients, and oxygen. This, in turn, will affect your overall fitness and performance. Repotting also helps to remove old and diseased roots, which promotes plant regeneration.
- Regulation of competition between plants. Transplanting allows you to control competition between plants. Properly arranging the plants in the crop can give them the right space for growth. This eliminates competition between plants for resources such as light, water, and nutrients. The absence of such competition allows plants to develop unhindered and maximize yields.
- Plant Propagation. Transplanting is one of the most important plant propagation techniques. When transplanting, you can divide the plant into several smaller ones. In this way, cuttings are formed that will root themselves, creating a new plant. Virtually any plant can be propagated using this method, creating variety in the crop.
- Adaptation to changing conditions. Transplanting gives plants the opportunity to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Changes in temperature or humidity in different seasons make it necessary to repot some plants.
- Regeneration of old or damaged roots. Repotting can be a lifesaver for old or damaged plants. This is a great opportunity to remove old and damaged roots that have inhibited the growth of the plant. After placing the plant in a fresh substrate, it will have a chance to regenerate. All the more so if you provide it with optimal conditions in the new place, such as proper humidity, amount of light, and soil.
- Soil replacement. Repotting also allows you to change the soil, which loses its nutrients over time. Fertilizers do not always replenish the soil with all the nutrients that plants need. For this reason, most plants need to be repotted after some time.
As you can see, transplanting plants is of great importance in their cultivation. Now let’s move on to the instructions on how to repot plants, which will allow you to do it yourself.
How to repot green plants?
Preparing the plant for transplanting
Transplanting plants is very stressful for them. In the end, they will find themselves in a completely new earth, with a different composition, and yet they get all their nutrients from the soil.
It is worth preparing the plant for transplanting to minimize stress and provide it with better conditions for development.
The most important procedure that will prepare the plant for transplanting is irrigation. A few days before the planned transplantation, it is worth watering the plant abundantly. This will make removing the plant from the container or soil easier without damaging the roots.
After removing the plant, it is worth checking the condition of the roots and, if necessary, trim them
Trimming roots and shoots
Root pruning prior to transplanting helps control plant size. It also stimulates the growth of new roots and allows you to remove damaged or excessively long roots.
The roots are best trimmed with sharp scissors.
Some gardeners trim the roots by burning them with the flame of a lighter or a hot tool. Burning the roots causes rapid death of the root tissue, which leads to the formation of healthy, new roots.
Once you’ve trimmed the roots, you can put the plant down and prepare the soil and container for repotting.
Substrate and container preparation
The next step in transplanting is to prepare the right substrate and container.
The soil for transplanting should be selected according to the requirements of the plant. The selection of the size and material of the pot looks similar. They should be appropriate for a given plant species and its requirements.
Plant replanting technique
The process of transplanting indoor plants is not complicated. After removing the unnecessary roots, pour some soil into the bottom of the pot or hole in the ground.
Then place the plant in the hole and cover it with soil. This should be done in batches so that the roots have a natural shape and continuous contact with the ground.
Each time you add soil, press down gently to reduce the distance between the roots and the soil. This should be done carefully so as not to damage the roots.
Also, don’t push too hard. The roots will quickly fill the air bubbles, growing towards moisture and soil.
As you can see, the transplant itself is not difficult. Let’s see, now when is the best time to repot plants so you can choose the optimal time.
When is the best time to repot plants?
Repotting plants have a better chance of success when done at the right time. It depends on the type of plant and environmental conditions.
Here are some tips on the optimal time to repot plants:
- Early Spring. Most plants prefer to be transplanted in early spring. That’s when the ground thaws and the temperature starts to rise. Repotting in early spring gives the plants enough time to take root. This is also a good time for potted plants. Despite the fact that they are not exposed to low temperatures, winter is a period of rest for them.
- Late Autumn. Repotting in late fall is good when the plants have already completed their flowering and growth period. During this time, they go into a state of rest, and repotting will allow them to develop a stronger root system before the next spring.
- Specific plant preferences. Some species have specific repotting time requirements. For example, some deciduous plants can only be repotted in early spring before budding begins. Others, in turn, can be repotted in late autumn, when their leaves fall. It is worth checking the requirements, for example using our plant catalog.
When determining the optimal time for repotting, you can’t forget about the temperature.
Optimum temperatures for transplanting plants
The optimal temperature for transplanting plants depends on the specific species. However, you can adopt a few simple rules that will work for most plants grown in Poland.
In general, plants should be repotted in mild temperatures to minimize stress. Extreme temperatures, i.e. hot or cold days, should be avoided.
Choose the right time of day to avoid them.
What time of day should you repot plants?
Plants are best repotted early in the morning or late in the evening.
In the early morning, the temperature is still mild and the sun shines less. In addition, the soil is not too warm yet and should be moist after the night. Plants transplanted in the early morning will have plenty of time to adapt before the onset of a hot day.
Late afternoon or evening is also a good time of day to repot. At this time, the temperature is already lowering, and the plants will have the whole night to regenerate.
Avoid the hottest hours! Repotting in such conditions increases the risk of root damage caused by high soil temperatures and rapid drying.
Influence of humidity on repotting
Humidity has a significant impact on the process of transplanting plants. Appropriate air and soil humidity are crucial here.
As for soil moisture, it can easily be increased by watering the plant a few days before transplanting.
The humidity of the air is different.
Some plants have specific requirements, so it’s worth checking them out. The easiest way to increase air humidity is to use humidifiers.
Since we’re talking about humidity, it’s worth considering whether to repot plants during rain.
Should I repot plants during periods of heavy rainfall?
Repotting plants during heavy rainfall is risky for several reasons, outlined below:
- Excessive saturation of the soil with water. Too wet soil can lead to water retention around the roots after transplanting. This, in turn, makes it difficult to take root and can lead to root rot.
- The plant is difficult to manipulate. Wet soil becomes compact and heavy, making the plant difficult to handle. This increases the risk of root damage when pulling out the plant.
- Susceptibility to fungal infections increases. Heavy rainfall favors the growth of fungi which can lead to infection.
Repotting in different phases of plant growth
When planning a transplant, you must also take into account the growth phase of the plant. Repotting in different stages of growth is detailed below:
- Transplanting plants in the dormant phase. In this phase, plants are less active and less susceptible to stress related to changing conditions. However, they may find it difficult to adapt to a new land and place. For this reason, care should be taken when repotting plants at this stage of growth.
- Transplanting plants in the phase of active growth. The best time to repot plants is the beginning of the active growth phase. The plant in this phase wakes up from winter rest and begins to grow intensively. Such stimulation can be used to increase the chances of the plant taking root in a new place.
Should you repot flowering or fruiting plants?
Repotting flowering or fruiting plants can be quite a challenge. Plants that are flowering or fruiting may not respond well to their new location after repotting.
You have to take into account that flowers or fruits may fall under stress.
However, if you decide to overdo it, it is worth remembering the tips below:
- Choose the right time. In the previous part of this article, I explained which is the best time to repot.
- Prepare the plant.
- Be careful. Try not to damage delicate flowers or fruits.
- Monitor after repotting. Make sure the plant gets the right amount of light, water, and nutrients.
What is needed to replant plants?
For transplanting plants you need:
- A flower pot or a place in the garden. Remember about the drainage holes in the pot.
- Subsoil. Match the soil to the needs of the plant. Pay attention to the amount of nutrients, organic content, and correct pH.
- Gardening tools. Have a shovel or spade, pruning pliers, and pruning shears ready.
- Water. Water the plant before and after repotting to help it acclimate.
- Fertilizer. Depending on the needs of the plant, consider adding fertilizer when repotting. Remember that not all plants can be fertilized immediately after transplanting, so check the recommendations in our plant catalog.
Should I water the plants after transplanting?
Yes. Water the plant after transplanting. It is best to use filtered or boiled water for this. Rainwater is best.
Should I water before transplanting?
Yes. Water the plant a few days before transplanting. It is best to use filtered or boiled water for this. Rainwater is best.
How to disinfect plant roots?
Plant roots can be disinfected with the following substances:
- Copper solution
- Hydrogen peroxide solution
- Chlorine solution
Remember to always use individual solutions in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Only then will the disinfectant work and you will avoid damaging the roots.
When not to repot plants?
There are situations when replanting plants is not recommended. You can find a list of such situations below:
- A period of active growth. Repotting at this point can disrupt the natural growth process.
- Flowering or fruiting period. Flowering or fruiting plants require a stable environment. Repotting during this period can lead to inhibition of flowering or fruiting. It is better to wait with repotting until this period is over.
- Stress period. Plants that have recently gone through a period of stress may not tolerate repotting well. Stressful situations for plants include drought, damage, disease, and pest attacks.
- Extreme weather conditions. Transplanting plants during extreme conditions such as drought, frost or heavy rainfall is risky.
- Strongly rooted plants. Some plants have very developed root systems that are difficult to transplant without damaging them. It is better not to overdo such plants.
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