Sometimes you just gotta get down and dirty… and repot.
With our appetite for cacti and succulents in the studio (seriously, it’s like a nursery in here now), it’s no wonder that we have to spend a bit of time repotting. It’s honestly something I really dislike doing but it’s kind of a necessity, so sometimes you just gotta get down and dirty and repot. Read on to see how.
When Should You Repot?
Although many succulents and cacti actually like a tight pot, there will come a time when you need to repot, or maybe you just want to take it out of it’s placates pot and put it in something nicer. But how do you know when a succulent or cacti needs repotting? Here are a few signs:
- If you can see that the roots are tightly packed or sticking out of the drainage holes
- If when watered the water just sits at the top of the soil and doesn’t soak through
- When the plant looks like it’s too big for the pot
- Or if the soil has become poor quality, such as it dries out quickly or has come away from the sides of the pot.
A general rule of thumb is to repot every two years, at least as a way to provide fresh fertile soil. The best time to repot is at the beginning of a succulent’s growing season for the highest chance of survival. Early spring is the optimal period for most cases but take note, some do start growing in autumn or winter.
Step-by-Step Guide to Repot Your Suculent
1. Remove the plant from its original pot. You'll see that the root system is really packed and has probably been choking in that pot!
2. Open up the compacted soil and try to gently spread out the roots. Clear away the old soil but be careful not to pull too hard or break them. It's helpful to use a stick to remove the old soil. Also look out for dead roots, which should be pruned off. You'll want to choose a pot that's bigger than the current one, but not too big.
3. Place a few rocks at the bottom of the pot for drainage. Fill the pot halfway with soil mixture (a mixture of 1/3 sand and 2/3 soil is ideal), put the plant on the mixture and add more to the top. You want to press the soil gently down so as to make it compact again. Do not water the succulents immediately after re-potting. Wait a week to give them some time to adjust to the new soil.
- It is important to remember that you should never repot your succulent if it starts to flower. Repotting may stop the blooming process, and the flower may fall off the succulent.
- Do not overwater: During the repotting process, be careful not to soak the plant in water for too long or water it right after you put it in a new pot. Your succulent will get root rot if it gets too much water in the process.
While repotting succulents is not hard, it is crucial that you should follow the instruction carefully. However, succulent is a resilient plant, so if you just want to switch from your current pot to other cute pots, do not be afraid to experiment and have fun with the plant. Good luck!