Plants feed our souls and provide the calmness we need in our lives. In return, all they ask for is a little care. Succulents are the most exquisite plants of all. They are beautiful, easy to grow, and maintain and fill our lives with colors and hope. Though most people keep succulents in their homes because they are easy to grow, they still need repotting at least once in a year or two – depending on how well they are growing.
Whether you’re a succulent guru or just a beginner, repotting succulents can be a tricky task. It requires a specific technique and an eye for figuring out whether it’s time for repotting a succulent or not. So here is a complete guide on how to repot succulents and why you need to do it.
Why Repot Succulents?
Succulents might be drought resistant, resilient, and easy plants to take care of, but their growth and health gets compromised if they are not rightly potted. Therefore, it would really help if you learned how to repot a succulent to ensure proper growth and a long and healthy life.
There are several benefits if you religiously remember to repot your succulents that are:
1. Better space to breathe for new succulents
Freshly bought succulents need to be repotted immediately. Repotting new succulents allows a bigger space for the plant to breathe and lets you inspect for pest or rotten roots in the process.
2. Promotes healthy growth
Repotting helps succulents to grow better in new soil. New soil holds crucial nutrients that are important for the improved growth of plants.
3. Prevents tangling of roots
Succulent’s roots can get tangled and knotted by staying for longer periods in the same pot, which hinders the growth of the plant. Regularly repotting ensures that roots are healthy and absorbing the required amount of water.
When to repot succulents?
Succulents are low maintenance plants, so you do not need to repot them every now and then. However, with time the succulents will grow out of the existing pot and need to be repotted in a specific manner. Therefore, you might need to repot your succulents once in every 12 to 18 months.
It’s essential to learn how to repot succulents but more critical to understand when you need to do it. There could be several scenarios where you would need to repot succulents before the typical tenure. These include:
1. You bought a new succulent:
Always repot a newly bought succulent as soon as possible simply because the small plastic pots that plants are usually sold in do not allow them to thrive. Small pots can sometimes stress the roots of succulent, obstructing its growth. Also, who wouldn’t want to get rid of the cheap not-so-great looking pots, right? Therefore, repot your freshly bought succulent to facilitate its growth.
2. Your succulent’s water capacity
If the succulent is soaking more water than usual, or not soaking water at all, there are clear indications that it needs repotting. This could happen when the current pot is too small for the plant.
3. Rapidly growing succulent
If the succulent has started to outgrow the pot or if its roots are sticking out from the bottom of the pot, do your succulent a tremendous favor and repot it. Succulents need room to grow, and if the pots are too small, their roots would be frazzled, and their growth will reduce. This will also impact the health of your beloved plant.
Here’s a pro tip, even if it’s technically not the time of repotting succulents, changing the soil every 6 to 8 months is a good option. New soil contains many essential nutrients that your plants need to survive, thrive, and impart a healthy growth.
How to repot succulents?
Consider repotting succulents an art that needs its preparations and time. Wrong repotting can adversely affect the plant, and in the worst case, your plant might not survive. So it’s essential to learn how to repot your succulent correctly.
Before moving on to learning the art of repotting, make sure you water the new soil regularly and do not let it dry. This makes the soil healthier and softer for new plants to make their way in it.
Here is step-by-step procedure that you can follow to repot your succulents in an effective way:
Step-1: Extracting soil and succulent
Start by slowly extracting the top layer of soil from the pot using a trowel. After digging out more than half of the soil, turn the pot sideways. Hold the plant from the base of the stem and slowly give a few gentle pulls to the succulent. Be sure not to harm the plant in this process and be as gentle as possible.
The succulent might have come out by now, and if not, give the pot a few shakes. Dig out a little more soil from the sides and then try again by gently pulling out the succulent.
In case the succulent is squished and there is no space for the plant to move around, break the pot by gently hammering it. This is the only way of safely pulling out the succulent.
Step-2: Work on succulent’s roots
Succulent’s roots might get tangled or sometimes can break while trying to extract the plant from the pot. It’s normal, so don’t worry.
Gently untangle the roots using your fingers to loosen them up. You can also give them a few trims if you want. The roots need to be healthy for your plant to grow better. So go ahead and clean the roots as you want; just be cautious and patient during the whole process.
Step-3: Repotting succulent
Once done with cleaning the roots, take the new pot and pour a little soil into it. Hold the succulent in your hands and place it at the center of the pot. Start pouring in more soil until the plant can hold itself straight without your support. Please do not push the soil in nor try to make it flat in any way. This will give enough room to the roots to breathe inside the pot.
Do not water straight after repotting if the soil is moist. Give the succulent enough time to rest before watering or fertilizing. Water your succulent more for the first time because the water would drain to the bottom. Succulents are tough plants and do not need continuous watering. Keep in mind to always water the succulent once the soil is completely dried. If you have placed your succulent inside the house, remember never to water its leaves. Use a bottle or a flask with defined mouth to only water the soil.
Watering your succulent every 10 to 14 days is the right frequency because succulents do not like to sit on wet soil for more than 2 or 3 days. Only water the plant when needed and keep the pot in the right amount of light where it’s not too much of direct sunlight (or your can use a grow light for succulents) and there should be enough space for the plant to breathe.
There you have it, you have successfully repotted your succulent, and it’s ready to spread light and hope in your home again. Happy planting!