Repotting house plants - Knowledgebase Question

McKinleyville, CA
Question by abquilts
May 24, 2010
Good morning. I have 5 Spathiphyllum Wallisii (Peace Lillies) in my home. I love this plant; however they need to be repotted. The soil they are in now,is old. They have been in the same soil for years, and I am feeling very guilty. What is the procedure for repotting. How much of the old soil that is packed around the roots do I keep, if any, and will they go into shock?

Thanks. Alix

Answer from NGA
May 24, 2010


If you're careful, your plants won't be too stressed during the transplanting process. Do one at a time and water it in well after the move and each should be just fine. Start by selecting containers that are the next size up from the current containers. You'll need a bucket or other large container to moisten the potting soil prior to use. Once the potting soil is moistened and drained (not soggy wet), put a little in the bottom of the container. You can set the current container into the larger one to make sure you have enough, but not too much soil in the new container. Your goal is to plant the lilies at the same soil depth as they are growing now. Once you're satisfied that the depth of the soil in the bottom of the container is just right you can unpot the lily by laying it on its side (you may need an assistant for this step of the project). Gently pull the lily out of the old pot. If the roots appear to be growing around and around you may want to loosen them a bit. You should be able to massage the roots to loosen them without breaking them, and to remove some of the old potting soil. I sometimes swish the roots in a bucket of water to help untangle them and remove some of the old potting soil. This may or may not be necessary with yours. When you've loosened the roots a little you can set the plant in the new container and fill around the roots with some of the new moistened potting soil. Push it down gently until the container is filled and then water the plant well. This will help settle the soil in and around the roots. Add more potting soil to the top of the container if necessary to make sure the soil level is the same as the plant was growing before. Hope this information is helpful and your transplanting project is easy! I know it will be successful. Best wishes with your peace lilies.

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