Watering transplanted indoor plants



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This post may contain affiliate links. I will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through these links. Bottom watering plants is exactly what it sounds like! It means to water your plants from the bottom by allowing them to sit in a container of water for a period of time and soak up the water.

Content:
  • When is it time to transplant your indoor tropical plants?
  • A local version of The Love The Garden website exists
  • How to repot indoor plants without transplant shock
  • The When, Why, and How of Repotting Houseplants
  • Repotting Houseplants
  • How to Successfully Repot Your Houseplants
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How to repot a plant? - Beginners Guide to Repotting

When is it time to transplant your indoor tropical plants?

It seems we can't get enough of lush green rainforest plants. We want them cascading down bookcases, sitting cutely on coffee tables and stretching gracefully towards our ceilings.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of gorgeous greenery is getting composted each year after it finally gives up the ghost, leaving small armies of wannabe growers to carry their guilt like a secret Nickelback fan club membership.

It's not just the money, it's the effort, not to mention your hopes and dreams for an Insta-perfect indoor plant oasis. Architect and interior designer Jason Chongue is known as 'the plant whisperer' and has a huge following on Instagram, where he shares shots of his inner-city pad, packed to the rafters with plants. But the truth is, not only has he loved gardening since he was a child, he has killed lots of plants in his quest to understand them.

Remember too that it's not one single factor that will keep a plant happy, but the combined effect of them all. When it comes to plant maintenance, many factors contribute to keeping them alive. Let's have a look at some of your main considerations. Get our newsletter for the best of ABC Everyday each week. As we discussed in our previous article on keeping plants alive , there is quite an art to finding the right position with the right light for each plant.

Jason also stresses the importance of adjusting their position as the sun moves between winter and summer. It's too extreme," says the Melbourne resident. Plants need to be gently introduced to the brighter light and different conditions outdoors.

Find a shady protected spot and gradually introduce them to light shade. This might surprise you, but watering probably accounts for more plant deaths than any other single issue, and overwatering is a more common cause of death than underwatering.

Like offering a friend a drink, it's a good idea to ask the plant first. Check each week how dry the soil is by testing it with your finger.

Wiggle it down to the second joint. If the soil is dry, water it. If it's wet, leave well alone. If it's just moist, check it again in a couple of days. Other factors will affect how thirsty a plant gets, such as the humidity of the room and how fast-draining the potting mix is.

Also, be aware that you can water plants by pouring directly onto the soil preferably under the leaves or by putting the whole pot in a bucket of water, allowing it to soak up from the bottom. Soaking is a great way to ensure the soil is fully watered, but every so often it's important to water from above to flush out any waterborne salts, which will build up over time.

The sweet spot for each plant is different, so it pays to do a bit of research on watering. Unlike rainforest plants, some desert plants need to dry out between watering. A few plants can even survive for months or even years without soil, just as a cutting in water, such as Pothos Devil's Ivy.

Strangely, if you grow Pothos in soil, it doesn't like wet feet. Plants can't 'breathe' if the tiny holes in their leaves get blocked by dust, so they need to be wiped off with a wet cloth every so often it's officially called 'transpiration', but you know what we mean. However, don't try this with hairy-leaved plants — they generally don't like water sitting around on their leaves which you need to remember when watering them, too.

Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen is taken from air and water. Nitrogen to make chlorophyll, phosphorus for growth, potassium to regulate water loss, plus calcium and other minerals all generally come from the soil. As the plant processes the minerals in the potting mix, these will eventually run out, and you, dear grower, need to replace them. You can do this with slow-release fertiliser refreshed every spring or with liquid feed applied in weak doses every months through the growing season , or by replacing the potting mix.

Jason says he treats plants differently depending on whether he wants to encourage lush growth or just keep them healthy. For growth, he agrees fertilisers are the way to go, but otherwise he now focuses on ensuring plants have the right trace elements. He's recently been trialling a natural slow-release product and says his plants look healthier after six months. Regular checks while you're watering will keep you alert to pests or nasties moving into your turf.

You need to nip problems early on to stop them spreading. Gardening Australia has a fact sheet on the most likely pests. By keeping plants happy, you reduce the risk of attack because healthy plants are more resistant. That ties in all the other maintenance elements of humid air, a good airflow, and adequate food and water.

There are no prizes for guessing what conditions are like in a rainforest the word 'rain' is a clue. Rainforest plants have leaves that are often waxy to stop mould and fungi growing on them. No wonder they struggle to cope when the biggest threat is dry and dust. Both air-conditioning and heating contribute to drier air, reducing the humidity, which isn't good for humans or plants. When plants start to dry out, warning signs can include leaves turning brown at the tips, leaf edges turning yellow, or flowers shrivelling up before they're properly formed.

Some plants don't mind being misted, but others resent it. If you're not sure, another good way to increase humidity is simply grouping plants together — they form their own little microclimate, and a little pot of water nearby will help.

Just ensure there is still some air movement possible between the plants. Alternatively, you can place your plants on a tray lined with pebbles; allow some of the excess from watering to sit in the tray, but not so much that the plants are sitting in water. If a plant outgrows its pot or the soil becomes exhausted, a repotting session is called for. Get a new or freshly cleaned pot that is just one size up from the existing one — don't go too big or the plant will be swamped and not be able to dry out the soil between watering.

Also treat your plant to the best potting mix you can afford. Then gently prise the plant from its pot outside if possible as this is messy and loosen any roots that have started matting around the edges. If it's really pot-bound, you might have to cut off any roots that have started circling , and run a knife down the outside of the root ball to encourage new roots to grow all with a super clean knife, of course.

Then put a few handfuls of mix in the new pot, hold the plant in place on top the soil level should be cm below the rim — remove some mix if it's too high and when you're happy with its position, backfill around the plants' roots with more potting mix. Gently bounce the pot two or three times to get the mix to settle, rather than pushing it down hard with your fingers. When finished, water it in well with a weak dose of seaweed solution to help reduce transplant shock.

Check them over for browning leaves which can be snipped off , pests or other problems. If they're doing well, look for offsets or longer vines that could be used as cuttings to grow new plants. When you get absorbed in what you're doing it's never a chore. It can be very therapeutic. ABC Everyday helps you navigate life's challenges and choices so you can stay on top of the things that matter to you. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.

ABC Everyday. Print content Print with images and other media. Print text only. Print Cancel. But we struggle to keep the little beauties alive. Email address. Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

Watch Duration: 1 minute 46 seconds 1 m 46 s. Test your indoor plant knowledge without killing anything. From lawyer to indoor landscaper: How plants took over Alice Crowe's life. Freshen up your home with our guide to free indoor plants. Turn your home into a plant paradise starting with a used plastic bottle.

To keep indoor plants alive, think of your house as a bunch of microclimates. Sick of mowing? You could replace your lawn with these alternatives. The signs your plants are struggling — and how to rescue them. Love the idea of a veggie garden but struggle to make it work?

Use this handy plan. Purify the air with easy-to-find indoor plants. Australia, Melbourne, Gardening, Indoor. Back to top.


A local version of The Love The Garden website exists

It must be time to upgrade, but the question becomes, when? Should I repot my new houseplants? Some plants can go 18 months and others even longer before they need a new pot. Repotting too often can stress out the plant, leading to browning at the leaf tips, wilting, and shed leaves. Proceed carefully! Repotting it will likely do just that, which is why we advocate for getting it out of the way at the beginning of your time with your indoor plant if you really must.

Add soil to the pot until it reaches the top of the root ball and the houseplant is at the same depth it was at previously. Water the soil thoroughly to moisten.

How to repot indoor plants without transplant shock

Is your plant wilted even though the soil is wet? Is your plant light green and struggling? Well your problem might be over-watering. Read this article for tips on diagnosing an over-watering problem and then fixing it. Did you know that over-watering is usually considered the most common cause of early plant death? In general, we are deathly afraid of under-watering our plants and as a result many of us tend to over-water. I am just as guilty of this as anyone else, although I am getting better.

The When, Why, and How of Repotting Houseplants

Most problems which occur with indoor plants are environmental water, light, temperature etc. Even problems with insects can be easily resolved if you get onto it early. Below is a list of the most common problems encountered: their symptoms, the cause and the cure. Leaves wilting despite being well watered.

Healthy roots are the foundations for growing houseplants successfully.

Repotting Houseplants

Unlike humans, which are accustomed to moving from place to place, plants expect to grow in one spot for their entire lives. It can thus be startling and downright shocking when the plant finds itself uprooted and moved to a new location. When a plant suffers after movement, it is called transplant shock. The first step to understanding the length of transplant shock is knowing what the condition is. Many gardeners assume shock occurs when the roots are mishandled during the moving process.

How to Successfully Repot Your Houseplants

There is no shame in harboring a pot-bound plant. It can happen to anyone because pot- or root-bound specimens come in all sizes, shapes, ages, and situations. The geranium or aloe that spent a luxurious summer vacation on the back porch may be bursting out of their containers. The bargain spider plant, purchased from the garden center at the end of the growing season, may be yearning to break free of its nursery pot. How can you tell that a seemingly healthy plant needs a bit of TLC in the form of a larger pot and some root pruning? Tip the container on its side. If you see white roots emerging from the bottom drainage holes, your plant is pot-bound. Does water pool on the soil surface and stay there?

A month after planting, feed plants with Miracle-Gro® Indoor Plant Food. Water your peace lily until moisture begins to drain out the bottom of the pot.

Repotting indoor plants is beneficial and fun. Repotting is beneficial, and an important part of growing houseplants that are healthy and happy. But you should only do it at the right time, and for the right reasons.

RELATED VIDEO: 5 Quick tips on watering your indoor plants

When planting new plants, one of the most important things to do is making sure the plants get enough water. Young plants are not able to access water in the soil as easily until their roots begin to grow. Because of that, new plants require more water than plants already established. The top 2 inches of the soil should be dry out in between watering. Continue to do this throughout the rest of the year. You can adjust how often based on the weather conditions.

If repotting a few houseplants is in your plans, this seasonal growth spurt makes now a great time to do it. We place plants in new pots all the time, and here, we share some of our best tips for making your next repotting project a success.

Not all plants are the same. Some need to be treated with kid gloves while others are more robust, surviving quite harsh treatment. The nursery is brimming with gorgeous plants and they all look amazing, so how do you care for them at home? Plants are grown in optimal conditions in nurseries, so you receive a healthy plant good for the retailer and you that has been grown as quickly as possible good for the production nursery. What this means is that regardless of what the label says about what the plant will tolerate, it is not yet toughened up or drought hardy. So when you get new plants home, be mindful of how they've been grown and treated and what you are asking them to now do.

However, repotting can be a somewhat traumatic experience for plants, and some are more sensitive to this disruption than others. The journey from the garden center to your home is quite an adjustment for your plants, and they should be given a little time to rest before repotting. Repotting houseplants is best done when the plants are actively growing, which happens from April through August here in Iowa.



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