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Random houseplant advice: A plant will always let you know when it wants a new pot. If you see roots poking out of the bottom of the pot, that means it wants to dig deeper. Try to give it a new pot before you get a messy tangle of roots trying to escape!

Some plant repotting tips:

• Withhold water for a few days (as long as the plant doesn't mind). Dry soil is much easier to work with (and less messy).

• Put down a bunch of old newspaper or repurposed plastic bags, because this is going to be messy.

• Prepare your new pot first. Line it with soil and dig a little cavity in the middle for your plant's roots to go into.

• Ideally, you want to avoid disturbing the roots as much as you can. They're sensitive, delicate, and easily injured. Repotting will stress a plant, playing with its roots more so.

• If you're repotting a tree, try just lifting it from the trunk. Sometimes the whole thing just lifts out.

• If the pot is plastic, you can massage it a little to loosen the soil inside.

• Some plants have clingy roots. Especially epiphytes or plants which grow in cracks (bromeliads, for instance, can be pesky). You may need to be a little rough.

• Support the plant's stem when removing it from its pot. You do not want to injure it.

Some more plant repotting tips:

• After moving the plant to its new pot, press it down a little so it's snug.

• After filling the pot in with soil, pat that down too.

• Pour a little water into your bathroom sink and put the pot into it so the soil can soak up water from underneath. Your plant could use a drink.

• A plant will be a little upset after all of this and it'll probably stop growing for a few days. It'll recover soon.

• Don't worry too much. As long as you don't do your plant any mortal injuries (like a broken main stem), it'll be just fine.

(This advice is mostly for @dreadfulwaIe, who asked for it, but I thought it might help a few others too.)

@InvaderXan it can also slow or stall growth don't want them getting root bound

@testie
True, and you'll often get a burst of growth after repotting. Though it depends a little on what kind of plant you're talking about. Some actually like having cramped root space. Notably chlorophytum and gynura.

@InvaderXan you are right! I love to see more plant enthusiasts on the fedi...and the plant species I mostly work with don't like to be cramped up...and we obey their wishes...bc they contain important alkaloids... desirable organic compounds. Was this a toxin developed to drive humans away...that backfired? Or is it a way to enslave homo sapien? At this point it doesn't matter I like them in my life 😂

@testie
TBH, many of the chemical compounds produced by plants which humans find agreeable (whether for culinary or other reasons) were originally defences. Nicotine is a notable one. It's a very effective insecticide in nature.

Though just FYI, not all of those compounds are alkaloids. Xanthines, tryptamines and opioids are, but cannabinoids are not.

@InvaderXan yes! Just so you know I like seeing what people know to understand where they are in life...and cannabinoids aren't actually my favorite although I have extensive experience with Cannabis... more ornamental for me though....
@InvaderXan they are...and actually I like the smell of them when they are in peak flowering stage...how do you feel about cacti?

@testie
I don't know so much about cacti TBH, though I've kept a few in the past. They're very interesting though!

@InvaderXan lophophora williamsii is my favorite of course...I've had baby buttons and also grafted them to increase growth rate. The thing is if you haven't worked with a certain group or species much ..it just means it's all the more exciting that you still have unexplored areas to experience! I used to be on the forums for many years before they finally died off...and I'm hoping to bring that type of community here on the fedi...I miss it so much..also worked with many species of fungus...p. cubensis , pan cyan , wood lovers ... etc. Worked with mAny hydroponics systems ...I liked to make hybridized systems. Are you a hobbyist or do you have an educational background in botany...or both?

@testie
Actually, I'm a physicist. Botany is more of a side interest...

@InvaderXan
That's cool too...what other interests do you have(can be both science and not science lolz)?

@InvaderXan Yeah, one repotting technique that still kinda freaks me out is to trim off the circling roots if your plant is rootbound, so the new roots can grow out into the fresh soil. I thought it'd hurt them but they turn out fine.

@ziggurat
Well, it does hurt them. I’m pretty sure the plant takes longer to recover from that.

In my experience, plants whose roots I’ve accidentally injured take a couple of weeks to recover, rather than a few days.

I’ve never purposefully trimmed a plant’s roots myself, and I’m not convinced it’s necessary or even helpful in most cases.

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