Why Do My Plants Die After Repotting?

Repotting plants is often necessary to give them enough room and root space to grow and thrive. However, it can be pretty stressful for the plant! If you need to know why do my plants die after repotting then read on – we will give you the reasons why, as well as try to help you avoid this problem in the future.

Why Do My Plants Die After Repotting?

Why Do My Plants Die After Repotting

Repotting a plant is similar to us moving house – there is a great deal of stress, and it’s a big change.

Your plants need a little more TLC after repotting, to make sure that they settle into their new home and do not die from the shock (they may still die of old age though)!

Sometimes, although we try our best to be gentle, roots can get broken or damaged during repotting, and this can cause the plant to look less than its best.

Check that the soil you are repotting into is the right sort of soil – your plants need good drainage as well as good nutrients.

It is always our instinct to water well after a repotting – after all, don’t our plants deserve a little treat?

However, too much water directly after the shock of repotting can really do more harm than good.

This is a good video showing you the reasons why your plants die after repotting, and how to prevent this:

How Do You Keep Plants Alive After Repotting?

Some plants flourish after repotting, while others can keel over a little from the shock! There are ways to minimize these issues, however:

  • Water your plant well a couple of days before repotting. This will ensure that it is hydrated, which can lessen the shock.
  • Be careful with the roots. A plant which is pot bound may have very tightly woven roots; be careful when separating these so as not to damage them.
  • Go for a pot which is no more than 2 inches bigger than the old pot. Too much space suddenly can shock the plant and prevent it from growing well.
  • If your plant is already looking sick, try to nurse it back to health before repotting. This may not always be possible, but it can minimize the stress that repotting can cause.
  • If the roots have been damaged by overwatering or pest problems then you should remove the damaged parts before repotting.
  • Add drainage. Placing a few pebbles or a bit of gravel in the pot is a good idea as this will help the plant to not become waterlogged.
  • Hold off on watering. Give your plant a break from the watering can for a bit, or only water very lightly, to avoid stressing it.
  • Add a little feed. Placing some water soluble fertilizer in your plant’s pot after repotting should give it a few more nutrients to build its strength back up.

How Long Does It Take A Plant To Recover After Repotting?

This depends on many factors. Some plants bounce back as if nothing had happened, while others may take a little longer.

Larger plants tend to take longer to recover, as the repotting operation would have been a bigger job and it can be more shocked.

Smaller plants generally come back a bit quicker, and will be back to full health within a few weeks.

Your plant may show signs of drooping leaves, wilted branches and even discoloration or leaf death.

This is all caused by the disruption to the roots caused by repotting, but it should pass quickly with the right care and attention.

How Long After Repotting Can I Water?

How Long After Repotting Can I Water

Obviously you want to love and look after you plant after it has been repotted, right? And surely this means you should give them a big drink, right?

Actually, this is not the best thing you can do – and it can even be detrimental to your plant to do this.

Too much water straight after a shock, when the plant has withdrawn into itself to try to recover, can actually stress it out more.

Try to give it about a week before you reach for the watering can or the spray bottle – after this time you can water at will and watch your plant bounce right back!

Should You Remove Old Soil When Repotting?

Removing old soil when you repot your plants is a bit of a tricky balance… On the one hand it might be beneficial, on the other you risk stressing the plant.

If you are repotting your plant due to a pest invasion, you should definitely remove as much of the old soil as you can.

Changing the soil over in this way can help to remove the eggs and living bodies of the creatures that are invading.

However, if you remove too much of the soil and inadvertently break the plant’s roots then you’re in for an unhappy plant!

If you are simply repotting to make a bit more space for your plant, you don’t have to worry too much about removing too much of the soil.

Leaving a bit of the old soil on the plant’s roots can actually be a good thing; think of it as a university student taking their old cuddly teddy with them on their new adventures!

You may have discovered that your plant is really not thriving in the soil that you have planted it in – in this case it is certainly acceptable to remove the old soil before repotting.

Potting a plant into soil that it likes rather than soil it doesn’t like can only do good, not harm. Check each plant for its individual requirements before you plant it!

Final Thoughts

Having some knowledge up your sleeve is key to being able to grow healthy, happy plants. Now you know the best ways to repot, you can increase your plants’ space!

Repotting a plant doesn’t have to be a death sentence; in fact it supposed to help your plants be healthier and grow better!

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