All plants grow – some more quickly than others – and as such, all will need bigger pots at some point during their lives. Everyone knows that not too much happens with plants in the colder months, but can you repot indoor houseplants in the winter?
Although it might take a little more care and attention, you can successfully repot your indoor houseplants in the winter – let’s have a look into the best ways to do this.
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Can You Repot Indoor Houseplants In Winter?
You can, obviously, repot any plant, any time. But what about in winter? Can you repot your houseplants in winter – and should you?
It may surprise you to know that winter is actually a really good time to repot your indoor houseplants.
Plants generally slow down their growth and even go completely dormant in the winter, so repotting them now will stress them out less.
Repotting your plants before the new growing season is a great way to encourage new growth in the coming season, especially if their previous pot was too small.
- Choose a pot that is consistent with your interior décor, so that you don’t dislike the plant in its new habitat.
- Go for a pot that is around 2 inches bigger than the original pot, and ensure that there is enough space for it where your plant was before.
- Ensure you pick a pot with drainage holes, and stand the pot on a saucer or plate to catch the excess water draining out.
- Half fill the pot with potting soil mixed with fertilizer to give the repotted plant a bit of extra nutrients.
- Gently remove the plant from its original pot, loosening the root ball if it is tightly coiled up.
- Place the plant in the new pot, then backfill with more soil around the edges. Firm it in gently.
- Water the plant thoroughly; this will give it a much needed drink and also help the soil to settle.
- Keep the plant out of direct sunlight for a few weeks and limit watering, to allow it to settle from the stress of repotting.
After this process, you should see your plant almost sigh with relief, and the coming season’s growth will be stronger and more vigorous.
How Do You Repot A Plant For Winter?
Repotting a plant in preparation for the inter is a great thing, especially if its previous pot was getting a little cramped.
- Choose the right sized pot – around 2 inches wider and deeper than the previous pot is ideal.
- Use multi purpose compost – don’t worry too much about using fancy compost or adding too many nutrients!
- Gently pull apart or even prune back the root ball if it is tightly coiled up with nowhere to go. Try to avoid the main tap root when doing this.
- Don’t repot a plant you have repotted in the last year – it will not thank you for the extra stress, and may even develop health issues because of it.
- Remember that some plants, like a Peace Lily for example, actually need to be “root bound” in order to thrive, so check the species before you repot.
- Make sure you choose a pot that has drainage holes, and wash it thoroughly if it previously housed another plant, to prevent the spread of disease.
- Water it in well after repotting, to settle the soil and give the plant a treat after its stress.
- When repotting in the winter, you should avoid adding fertilizer to the soil – the plant will be dormant so it won’t appreciate the extra nutrients at this time of year.
Here’s a beginner’s video guide to repotting:
Can You Repot Indoor Plants Any Time Of Year?
You can, in an emergency, repot your plants at any time you need to – but there are definitely times of year that are better for doing this.
Repotting in the winter or early spring is the best time to move your plants around. This is because they have not yet started the new year’s growth.
Repotting your plants at the height of their growing season will stress them out, and can have an adverse effect on their growth, flower development and even leaves.
Houseplants are slightly different to outdoor growing plants, as they tend to spend their entire lives in a pot.
If you spot signs that your plant is becoming pot bound – ie too big for its pot – then it is time to find it a new, bigger home.
It is best to avoid repotting a plant that is very young,or that has been repotted in the last year.
When Should You Not Repot Plants?
You should avoid repotting your indoor houseplants at the times of year when they are in active growth mode.
Repotting them at this time can cause the plant too much distress, and it may have problems with growth in the future or even die.
If you are repotting your indoor plants while they are outside for the summer, try to repot them at least 3 weeks before you bring them inside for the winter.
If you have repotted your plant less than a year ago, you should try to avoid repotting it – unless, of course, it is drastically too small for its pot.
Repotting too often can stress the plant too much, so you should try to make sure you leave it at least a year between moving your babies’ homes.
If you have a sick plant, you may think that repotting it can help it – but actually the opposite is true!
Repotting causes stress to the plant, and can make a sick plant even sicker.
Repotting plants is one of the joys of gardening – seeing the plant sigh with relief as its roots are given more space and then it rewarding you with better growth – nothing beats it!
Now you know how to successfully repot your indoor houseplants, even in the winter, you can keep your little forest happier than it’s ever been.