Houseplants forum→But what is a good reason to repot ?

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Montreal, Canada
Philz
Jun 11, 2020 9:33 AM CST
Hi everyone!
Like many people who post on this forum seeking for help, I've realized I tend to repot my houseplants for no good reasons. Whistling

Does anyone have good tips on what are good reasons to repot or any good resource that addresses the question. I do realize every species is different, but maybe there are rules of thumb for different groups of plants?

Thanks for the help.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Jun 11, 2020 4:30 PM CST
I repot a plant whenever I think it needs it. I grow many plants in the ground, but those in pots, if the roots start coming out the bottom, I repot. For me, its better to go ahead while I see the problem than try and wait because I will forget....I have about 1000 plants.

I also repot things that I buy that I know are not in the proper substrate for their species when I get them. If I was to buy a Hoya and it was potted in a peat based heavy media like you get from Costa Farms I would immediately repot that into my own substrate mix for epiphytes because I know how I water, and I would overwater and kill that hoya in about 2 minutes.

I do the same thing with other epiphytes....monsteras (not deliciosa...I collect other more unusual species of monstera), philodendrons, anthuriums, anything I get that I feel is in a substandard substrate.

I repot when a plant needs to be 'stepped up' because it is too large or heavy for the present size of container.

I don;' hold with the theory that gets bandied around on this site that repotting is somehow bad for the plant or its root system. I think that's hooey. I repot all the time, and my plants never suffer any setback of any kind.
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Name: Di
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Canadian Dog Lover Birds
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rosebuddy2
Jun 11, 2020 5:24 PM CST
I agree
"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 12, 2020 8:03 AM CST
If you are experienced with plants and experienced with repotting, then it can be done at any time. For those who are INexperienced, unnecessary and incorrectly done repotting causes many subsequent problems. This site is littered with folks who have posted issues with their plants that started with the repotting that was done unnecessarily or incorrectly.

In general, if the pot has enough soil to absorb and retain enough water to provide for the plant's water needs for at least 3 to 4 days, then there is no compelling reason to move it to a larger pot. That doesn't mean you can't repot, but it means it is not necessary.

The purpose of repotting is to move a plant into a pot one size larger so there is added room for the roots to grow and for additional potting mix to retain moisture longer. When plants are moved from the ideal growing environment of a greenhouse to a far-from-ideal home environment, a plant's growth rate will tend to slow over time and the need for larger pots is less than is commonly believed or required in a greenhouse.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Montreal, Canada
Philz
Jun 12, 2020 10:19 AM CST
This is instructive I'm all ears! . Thanks for your answers, Gina and Will.

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