Houseplants have soared in popularity in recent years. Indoor foliage and flowers can reduce stress levels and, according to a study by NASA, favourites including the peace lily (Spathiphyllum), bamboo palm (Chamaedorea) and snake plant (Sansevieria) enhance air quality by removing toxins. We can’t resist the temptation to transform homes into urban jungles. That’s why there are nearly 10 million posts using the hashtag #Houseplants on Instagram!
While houseplants are low-maintenance (don’t forget to water!) they occasionally need to be re-potted. Signs that an indoor plant is struggling include yellowing foliage and excessive leaf loss, sluggish growth, poor flowering as well as a mass of roots emerging from the base of pots. Compost can become depleted of nutrients over years and stressed plants are also more prone to aphid infestations. You should repot houseplants into fresh, peat-free compost every two to three years. Spring, the start of the growing season, is the best time to settle houseplants into a new pot (repot).
How to repot houseplants?
- Choose a container that’s only slightly bigger than the current one, around three to five centimetres larger in diameter. A pot with plenty of drainage holes is essential, to reduce the risk of overwatering.
- To help ease plants from their old pots and minimise damage to roots, water plants a day before repotting.
- To remove the old pot, hold the plant by placing your fingers over the surface of the compost at the base of the plant.
- Turn it on its side and gently ease the root ball from the pot. If a plant is heavily pot-bound, you might need to tap the base of the pot to detach it. Where roots have spiralled, use your fingers to tease old compost away and remove any dead or damaged roots.
- Fill the base of the new pot with a couple of handfuls of houseplant compost, then sit the plant in the new pot, adding or removing compost so it sits around 1cm below the rim of the pot. This will prevent water spilling over the edges of the pot when watering.
- Fill the gaps at the sides of the root ball with fresh potting mix, gently firm the compost and water well.
Because houseplants will be spending several years in their compost, it pays to choose a quality mix that’ll stand the test of time. Westland Houseplant Potting Mix is peat-free, formulated to promote healthy growth and lush, green foliage. The blend includes Seramis granules which optimise water and nutrient availability. With added perlite to boost drainage and direct airflow to roots – essential for healthy root development. Whether you’re repotting a snake plant, Swiss cheese plant or prayer plant, the formulation contains all essential nutrients for healthy growth and foliage.
In addition to repotting into fresh compost, regular feeding is essential when houseplants are actively growing, between March and October. Liquid feeding every second watering using a balanced houseplant fertiliser will ensure that leaves retain a rich, green appearance and encourages flowering plants to bloom. If you’re prone to forgetting to feed (most of us are!), a droplet feeder offers the ultimate in convenience, delivering ready-to-use feed that keeps plants nourished for four weeks.
Exotic orchids bloom profusely indoors, filling homes with magnificent flowers over a long season. Despite their tropical appearance, popular orchids such as Phalaenopsis and Dendrobium are easy to grow. They thrive in open, free-draining, specialist compost. Over time, however, bark in these special mixes can degrade and become compacted, so orchids will benefit from repotting every few years. Westland Orchid Potting Mix holds the key to getting the most out of your orchids. It is formulated to promote healthy growth and an abundance of flowers. Added pine bark creates excellent airflow and drainage for healthy root development. The Seramis granules optimise water and nutrient availability. As with all of Westland’s indoor composts, the sustainable formulation is peat-free.
Oranges, lemons and kumquats… citrus plants create an atmosphere reminiscent of warmer climes in our homes. Whether you’re providing an annual springtime top-dressing of compost or repotting the entire plant, a specialist mix will keep citrus in tip-top condition. Peat-free Westland Citrus Potting Mix is rich in loam, which helps to retain nutrients and boost fruit development. While the formulation is optimised to provide the perfect balance of nutrients for hungry citrus plants. The blend contains Seramis granules, too, which absorb water and nutrients then gradually release them. This creates the perfect growing conditions.
Cacti and Succulents
Cacti and succulents are among the least demanding of indoor plants because their fleshy leaves store plenty of water. Plants do, however, need good drainage and if compost is past its prime, it’s time to repot. Westland’s Cacti & Succulent Potting Mix contains added grit and also sand, providing plants with the free-draining growing medium they crave. It’s ideal for a host of cacti and succulents including Aloe vera, Echeveria as well as Agave. It contains essential trace elements and nutrients to promote healthy growth. The specialist, peat-free formulation incorporates Seramis granules which optimise water and nutrient availability. This helps cacti and succulents to thrive.
Growing miniature bonsai trees is a fascinating hobby and choosing the right compost holds the key to a collection to be proud of. When it’s time to re-pot, Westland Bonsai Potting Mix has been expertly blended for strong roots and healthy trees. Bonsai demand a careful balance of drainage, water-retention and aeration. This specialist, peat-free compost mix has been formulated to address all three requirements. These are essential for healthy growth. Added wood fibre creates an open structure for improved aeration, drainage and water management. The Seramis granules optimise water and nutrient availability. Whether you’re growing a Ficus, dragon tree, money tree or even an umbrella tree, this specialist mix has been formulated to keep these miniature trees at the peak of good health.
Good aeration, moisture-retention and effective drainage are the three essential ingredients for healthy root development. This can be enhanced by adding Gro-Sure Perlite to compost when potting-on plants and rooting cuttings. Perlite is made from naturally occurring volcanic rock that has been heated to high temperatures to produce lightweight, micro-porous granules. By mixing the granules into compost, they stimulate strong, healthy root growth. They also help to increase absorption and water retention. Crucially, the granules improve aeration and drainage. This creates a growing medium that indoor plants will relish getting their roots down into.
How to Repot Houseplants?