The first thing people do after buying a new houseplant (besides stare at it passionately vowing to love it unconditionally) is place it in its entirety into a more aesthetic-looking pot. While it may be acceptable to keep your plant like that for the time being — you shouldn’t leave it like that forever.
What You Need to Know
Unless your plant was propagated, it was most likely sitting in the plastic pot you bought it in for a while, after all, it did have a life before you. It was packaged, shipped, and stocked onto the shelves before it made its way into your loving arms. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means that your plant may be approaching the end of its time in its current home. If you don’t have the time to re-pot it immediately, it’s okay to wait a few weeks. Just keep in mind that if you purchased the plant during peak summer growing season – it may be time to give it a new home.
How Can I Tell?
There are several indications that your plant needs a new home. First of all, you may notice roots popping up through the pot’s drainage hole or through the top of its soil. This means that the plant’s roots, whose mission is to absorb nutrients and water have run out of room to grow. To be sure, all you need to do is lightly pull your plant out of its plastic — if the roots are compressed to the edge of the soil and look like they are growing in a circle, be sure that its time for a different pot.
Getting Your Hands Dirty
When you come to terms with the fact that it’s about time you change pots, you’ll need to lightly shake off any loose soil so all that’s left is the plant and its roots. Take your new pot, add a thin layer of new soil into your new pot. Your new pot should be around one or two inches larger in diameter than your current one and have a drainage hole. If you find ourself with a pot without a drainage hole, have no fear! You can put a shallow layer of pebbles or lava rocks to help with drainage. The next step is putting your plant in, packing soil around it tightly, and voila! You’re good to go!