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Repotting Houseplants

I was really frustrated when the “easiest houseplant plant to grow” was looking like it was on its way out.

“What am I doing wrong?” I begged a local garden shop owner. He knew immediately.

“It's your soil," he said. “It's way too healthy for this cactus. Cacti thrive in poor, sandy soil but what you've got is potting soil. There is too many nutrients for this little plant."

Too many nutrients? Who knew there was such a thing.

I guess I thought plants were like people - if they took to many vitamins they'd just… flush the extra down.

Not so with plants. This is a good reminder when you start repotting your houseplants this Spring.


Keep in mind your soil types. You simply cannot put everything in general potting soil unless your plant thrives within that mixture.

Cacti and aloe tend to love a more sandy porous soil that allow water to quickly wet and drain.

Violets like the one pictured above thrive in well aerated soil so that the soil can get moist but not soggy.

When repotting your houseplants take note if you need to update or completely change their soil.

If you only have general potting soil on hand add a little sand and perlite to aid in aeration and drainage.

You can also put broken pottery or a bottle cap, to help with drainage, followed by some soil in the bottom of the new pot.

Place your plant in a new pot about 1-2" larger in diameter than the pot you are moving it from.

If the roots are tangled or bound at the bottom, gently cut with a knife or your hands to break them apart and allow them to grow more freely.

Then fill in the rest of the pot with your soil making sure to leave 1" of space from the crown of the plant to the rim to allow for water to pool and soak through.

Happy Repotting!

What tricks have you learned when repotting your houseplants for the spring?

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