They’re there day after day, almost part of the furniture, but houseplants deserve more than a weekly watering, they also need to be re-potted into fresh compost from time to time.
Their roots will stretch out into this fresh medium, & you’ll notice that water stays in the pot to be gradually taken up by the roots …. instead of passing right through dense, compacted old compost. The plant will flourish, look better, be more healthy & less prone to disease.
What you’ll need:
First water the plant to make it easier to remove from the pot, then gather together all you’ll need.
- A dust-sheet or similar, to work on.
- Multi-purpose compost, with added grit for drainage. Succulent plants need a mix with more grit for extra drainage, they hate sitting in damp soil.
- A new pot, the next size up is just right. A much bigger pot has more compost than the plant needs, & it says wet for too long after the plant is watered.
- Gardening gloves, my hands get very dry if I don’t use them. I recommend Showa gloves, this isn’t sponsored, they just fit like a second skin & are easy to work in.
Put a layer of new compost into the new pot, gently set the plant in it making sure the stem is at the same level as it was in the old pot. The first layer of soil may need adjusting, to make sure the plant is at the right level. Then add compost in-between the roots, gently firming it into place with your finger-tips & tapping the base of the pot on the table, this helps settle the soil into place.
Leave an inch between the top of the soil & the rim of the plant to allow for watering. Succulents & fleshy leaved plants appreciate a thin layer of small shingle over the compost, it keeps the leaves dry.
Finally, give the plants a thorough water, standing them in a sink or the bath works well.
I put this sort of job of for so long, in fact it takes little time & makes me feel so happy to have got round to it. Houseplants have great benefits, they reduce levels of carbon dioxide, increase humidity & help to make us feel good.
all photos: Jill Anderson