You should repot a plant before it shows signs of damage and use the right sized container.
When should you repot a plant?
Kinda important to know, right? We grow quite a few things in containers. Loads of houseplants, of course, but grasses and small trees too! It allows you to grow much more than you could based on your climate. You can take pots indoors!
Why should you repot a plant?
Plants will grow at a certain rate, their roots do as well. Once the plant reaches a certain size, its roots won't have enough room left in the container it's growing in.
There's not enough soil left around the plant's root either. Leaving it in the container, rather than putting it in a bigger pot, would start to destroy the plant. It would stop growing, flowering and its leaves could start to fall off.
When should you pot something on?
The best time to repot a plant is before it starts to show signs of damage. Once you notice a plant has stopped growing, it's probably time for it to move to a bigger container. You could see roots growing out off the bottom of the pot, too.
Can't I just put my plants in really big pots to start with?
Ha, no luck there! You're thinking, hey, why bother? Just get a really big container in the first place.
You can't, sorry.
Think about planting a tree in your garden. Even though the tree's roots would grow under the ground and could cover a serious area once the plant's mature, you wouldn't dig up half your garden to plant it, would you?
You'd dig a hole a bit larger than the tree and its roots would find their way.
If the container you're using for your plant is way too big, the plant's roots wouldn't really know what to do. There's too much soil for the roots to deal with.
They would be swamped and would struggle to absorb enough water.
What if I haven't got a larger pot yet?
Sometimes you need to give a plant a bigger pot but you haven't got a larger size laying around. You haven't been able to go to the store yet, either.
One thing you can try doing is scraping some of the soil off of the top. Replace the removed soil with new compost. Use something suitable for your plant.
What's our favourite kind of plant pot?
Good question! We love the look of terracotta pots. They're great for the plants grown in them, too. They can be costly to buy in Belgium, though. They're pretty heavy, as well.
We use Elho's plant pots.
They're made in the Netherlands, we love supporting makers producing in the EU, from recycled materials. They look great indoors as well as in the garden, we usually get their 'green basics' pots in black. They're also easily available online and in local garden centers. Did we mention they're affordable, too?
For smaller plants, we also reuse plant pots we kept when we bought other plants.
For a how-to guide on repotting plants, check out the link at the bottom of this post.