Whether you're a succulent whiz or someone who just purchased their very first succulent plant, knowing how to repot succulents the proper way is crucial in the long run.
Fortunately, there's an easy way for you to learn everything you need to know in repotting your succulents successfully and have fun doing it at the same time. And in this article, we will share some tricks and walk you through it with a step-by-step process.
What you need to know
No matter what, DO NOT repot your trailing succulents during their dormancy period. This is when they are not actively growing, and repotting them during this time will disrupt their growing cycle, hence may end up harming them rather than helping them remain healthy. Instead, repot them at the beginning of their growing season as this will give them a higher chance of survival. You should also avoid repotting your succulent during their blooming season. When blooming time comes, succulents will have to spend a majority of nutrients to grow their flower buds, which make it weaker than usual.
When you need to do this?
While most succulents love being in a tight pot, there comes a time that you will really need to repot them, especially when they show the following signs:
- Roots are starting to stick out of the drainage hole or it begins to push the succulent out of the planter.
- When your succulent become root bound. And at this point, the plants are no longer able to absorb water or nutrients.You might notice the sign of trouble when watering your succulents, the water just goes right through and out the bottom of the plant in seconds.
- When your trailing succulents begin to outgrow their current vessel
- If the succulent starts to get pale or drawn out due to the soil becoming poor in quality, like when it begins to dry out quicker than usual.
Generally, it is ideal to repot succulents once every 1 or 2 years in order to keep them healthy. Plus, new soil has a lot of important nutrients that they need to survive and keep on thriving.
How to Repot
Step 1: Choose a larger pot.
Choose a pot that’s about 10% bigger than your succulent. Don’t pick a pot that is too big as it may shock them. Plus, they retain more water resulting in your succulents to sit in wet for too long, hence risking over-watering them.
Step 2: Cover the drainage holes with a porous material like a coffee filter.
This step is optional. As long as you have a pot that is very porous and has a good drainage hole that will still allow water to pass through, then there’s no need to cover the holes with such materials.
Step 3: Layer soil in the new pot.
Put about 1 to 2-inches of soil into the bottom of your new pot and pack it down lightly around the drainage hole.
Step 4. Gently pick up the tendrils and put them in the top.
This should prevent any damages that may occur to your succulent when repotting it.
Step 5. Carefully remove the plant from the old pot
- If you grow your succulent in plastic pots, you can:
- Till the pot, tap the bottom and slowly slide it out: Turn your new plant sideways, hold it gently by the stems or leaves, and tap the bottom of its grow pot until the plant slides out. You may also give it a slight tug to help your succulent slip out of the pot.
- Or cut the pot out using a flush cutter: This is great if you don’t need the plastic pot anymore and you want to make sure you don’t have to touch the plant too much.
- If you grow your succulent in clay or other material:
- Remove each stem one by one
- Wrap a towel around the plant so you won’t touch the tendrils so much during repotting it and slowly slide it out
Step 6. Loosen the roots
Gently loosen roots with your fingers before planting. In case your succulent has very thick roots, you may cut off an inch or so from the root ball and slice through the tangled roots using a clean sharp knife. Doing this should encourage new root growth that will fill the soil in the larger pot. If the roots system is small, just leave it as is.
Step 7. Remove ⅓ of old potting mix
Remove about one third or more of the old potting mix surrounding the plant. This should allow your succulent to consume enough nutrients it needs as they have probably consumed much of the ones in the old potting mix.
Step 8. Add the succulents into the new pot
Make sure that your succulent is positioned at the center and is upright. After that, fill in around the rootball with the new soil mix, and press it down a bit so the rootball is snug.
When you are done repotting your succulent, allow it to settle down to its new home for at least a week before giving it a good soak of water. This should help lessen the risk of shock to your succulents.
Repotting succulents into larger containers will encourage new growth, allowing them to stay healthy and grow bigger. Although, there are some that don’t like to be transplanted, so be careful and make sure that you are doing it at the best time.
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