Not a natural born potter? Bit stuck on how to pot or repot your plant babies? Well, this is the blog for you. It’s almost like we read your mind… Freaky.
Some of us weren’t lucky enough to be born with green fingers. We’ve reached adulthood not quite understanding how to properly care for the houseplants that have made their way into our busy lives. We tentatively carry these little green entities around the house as if they were new-borns, leaving them to catch the sun on various windowsills, quietly praying for their survival.
Properly potting a plant is the bread and butter of plant care. It is one of those seemingly self-explanatory tasks that adult humans ought to be competent in - but one that it is notoriously easy to make a mess out of. Potting well initially, and keeping on top of repotting, will provide the foundations for a long and happy life for your plant. So, you want to get it right!
We are here to guide you through the process, every step of the way. The things you will need for this one are: one durable eco-friendly pot - check; a granulate - check; a cool young plant - check; suitable (and preferably organic) potting soil - check; gloves or a willingness to get one’s hands dirty - check.
Before you start chucking soil gung-ho into your chosen pot, make sure to add some form of granulate first. You could try using expanding porous clay pebbles as a base layer (like the ones in our Youtube tutorial) or how about using the shards of a previously broken terracotta pot? Waste not want not, as they say.
There are various types of plant pot and terrarium dressings that will work perfectly in this scenario, or alternatively, ditch the granulate and place a hydro-drain that aids water runoff in the bottom of your planter instead (pre-soil placement of course). There are several Ecopots in our range that have water reservoirs installed for your convenience - delve into the Amsterdam, Oslo and Bruges collections with this feature if you like! The aim of the game is to encourage drainage, regulate moisture content and allow roots to air and dry, preventing rotting - so find a method that works for you.
Soil that suits
Consider soil types. Does your chosen soil cater to your particular plant baby’s needs? Do your research - certain characteristics within soil mixes are recommended for certain species of plant. Sterile compost and a natural fertilizer are your best bet for success for your little guy. Please note, though incredibly nutrient-dense, outdoor soil isn’t suitable to bring into your home - it is brimming with bacteria, micro-organisms and creepy crawlies that ought to stay put in their current outdoor ecosystems.
The Potting Process
When your chosen base layer is in place, shake a substantial handful or two of potting soil into your desired planter. Carefully remove your little plant and its surrounding soil from the nursery pot - then either reuse or recycle said pot - don’t just bin it!
Crumble some of the existing soil away from your plant, loosening up the sides, but keeping the bulk of its roots intact. Place him in the middle of his new pot, and generously fill your soil mix in around the sides and over the top of him, before firmly patting everything down.
Adding a final layer of granulate or surface dressing is the cherry on top - this will keep the soil from drying out, discourage weeds from spreading and deter pesky flies. Add a little water, whisper some sweet words of encouragement, and job’s a good’un!
For indoor-dwelling plants housed in a flower pot or planter with a plug in the bottom, make sure to always use a saucer underneath, pre-empting any leakages before they reach your wooden floor, expensive carpet, or favourite rug. If your plant is going to be living outside, remember to pull the plug and let that baby breathe - otherwise excessive rain water won’t run through, and your plant pot might end up home to a tiny soggy swamp.
After the initial potting, intermittent repotting is an important maintenance exercise for your plant’s well-being. The act of simply transferring your plant from a cramped pot into a roomier one, will do your plant the world of good.
When is the right time to repot?
If roots are creeping out of their drainage holes or snaking their way around your living room like some sort of little shop of horrors-esque nightmare, then the time to repot is now. Wilting yellow leaves, or a distinct lack of recent growth, are also tell-tale signs that a little repotting could be in order. Give your plant some new nutrient-dense soil to hang out in, and prepare to watch him perk up instantly.
Houseplants will typically need to be repotted every 1 to 2 years, depending on the rate in which they grow. Repot in the Spring or Summer, so they can sprout and expand to their heart’s content in these warmer seasons.
Tried and tested technique
Give your plant plenty of room to do its thing; select a pot that is approximately 2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot your plant is inhabiting. Give them roots some well-deserved room to stretch out.
Be patient and gentle when removing your plant from its current home; you may need to coax him out by pushing on the sides to loosen the soil, or by sliding a soil knife around the edges of his current pot. During a repotting could also be a great time to do some general pruning and preening - get rid of any dead leaves or visibly sickly-looking roots that could be draining your plant of precious resources.
Follow the potting procedure with your plant in the centre of your swanky new larger pot, as if you were potting this plant for the first time again. The virgin soil and extra room should give your plant a new lease of life, and the boost it needs to thrive.
Happy potting! For more instructional videos and tutorials, head over to the Ecopots Official Youtube page.
To celebrate the arrival of the Ecopots Amsterdam + water reservoir in our 2021 collection, this month we have a giveaway you won’t want to miss! Head over to our Instagram page to find out more.