Signs that it's time to repot your plant

Repotting is a crucial aspect of plant care that often gets overlooked. While it might seem like a hassle, it's a necessary step to ensure your plants continue to thrive and grow healthily. But how do you know when it's time to repot your beloved green companions? Let's figure it out!

Signs that the plant needs repotting

#1 Root bound: One of the most apparent signs is when your plant becomes root-bound. If you notice roots circling the inner edges of the pot or growing out of the drainage holes, it's time for a new home.

#2 Stagnant growth: If your plant's growth has slowed down or completely stalled, it might have outgrown its current pot. A lack of space can hinder root development and overall growth.

#3 Water doesn't absorb: When you water your plant, and the water quickly runs out of the drainage holes without being absorbed, it could mean the roots have taken up most of the pot's space.

#4 Wilting despite watering: If your plant is wilting, even though you're watering it adequately, this could be a sign of overcrowded roots. They might not be able to absorb water efficiently.

However, this sign is a consequence of many other issues, so if your plant is wilting, carefully analyze all its conditions.

#5 Soil depletion: Over time, the nutrients in the potting soil get used up. If your plant has been in the same pot for an extended period, it might benefit from fresh, nutrient-rich soil. In this case, changing the pot is not necessary. However, if your plant is growing vigorously, you can combine a soil change with a pot change.

#6 Leaning or toppling: A plant that leans or topples over in its pot is signaling that its root system can no longer support its weight. Repotting can provide stability.

#7 Poking roots: Sometimes, you can gently poke your finger into the soil's surface to see if roots are protruding. If they are, it's a clear sign that your plant needs more space.

#8 Yellowing leaves: Yellowing leaves that aren't a result of underwatering or overwatering may indicate the plant's struggle to access nutrients due to congested roots.

#9 Pest infestation: Pests like fungus gnats thrive in compacted, damp soil. If you notice an increase in pests, it might be due to overcrowding.

In this case, a comprehensive approach is needed. Isolate the diseased plant immediately before the disease infects your other plants. Immediately take measures to treat the plant and disinfect everything that touches it: pots, work tools, your hands.

#10 Repotting timeframes: Different plants have various repotting timelines. Some need it every year, while others can go several years without repotting. Research your plant's specific needs.

#11 Root rot: If you've battled root rot, repotting into fresh soil can help prevent further spread and save your plant.
And also don't forget to take a holistic approach, just like with pests

#12 Cracking or breaking pot: If you notice your plant's pot is cracking or breaking, it's best to move it to a new container before the damage becomes more severe.

Repotting is a common practice in plant care, but there comes a point when your plant may not need a larger pot but rather a soil change. Here's how to recognize when it's time to change the soil instead of repotting.

Signs that the plant needs soil change

#1 Frequent repotting: If you've been repotting your plant frequently, and it still seems unhappy or root-bound shortly after each repot, it might be an indicator that the soil has lost its vitality.

This is especially true for fast-growing plants.

#2 Slow growth: If your plant's growth has significantly slowed down or come to a halt, but it doesn't seem root-bound, it could be due to depleted soil nutrients. Lack of nutrients in the soil can stunt a plant's growth.

#3 Yellowing leaves: Yellowing leaves can signal nutrient deficiencies, and if you've ruled out other factors like overwatering or pests, it might be time to refresh the soil.

#4 Compacted soil: Over time, potting soil can become compacted and dense, reducing its aeration and drainage properties.

If the soil feels hard and clumpy, it could hinder root health.

#5 Loss of fertility: Soil loses its fertility as plants absorb nutrients from it. After a while, the soil might not have the necessary nutrients to support healthy growth. Consider changing the soil to revitalize its fertility.

#6 Poor drainage: If your plant experiences waterlogged soil despite proper watering practices, it's a sign that the soil has lost its ability to drain well. Changing the soil can improve drainage.

#7 Visible salt deposits: Over time, salts from fertilizers and tap water can accumulate in the soil, leading to white or crusty deposits on the soil surface. This buildup can harm your plant's roots and overall health.

#8 Soil odor: If you notice a foul or musty odor emanating from your plant's potting mix, it could indicate soil that has gone sour.

This can happen when organic matter breaks down anaerobically in compacted soil.

#9 Repotting size limit: If your plant has reached a size limit where you can't or don't want to move it to a larger pot, changing the soil can rejuvenate its growth without upsizing.

#10 Gradual decline: If your plant has been gradually declining in health despite your best efforts to care for it, it may be a result of exhausted soil.

When you decide to change the soil, gently remove your plant from its pot, shake off the old soil, and replace it with fresh, high-quality potting mix appropriate for your plant type. This revitalized soil can breathe new life into your plant, encouraging healthy growth and vibrant foliage.

Remember that repotting can be stressful for plants, so it's essential to choose a slightly larger pot, use fresh potting mix, and water thoroughly after repotting. Keep an eye on your plant's recovery, and you'll have a happy, thriving green companion in its new home.