Only with good enough soil and the right nutrients will your plants thrive. Find out when the best time to repot has come, what needs to be considered and how best to spoil your plants.
When is the best time to repot plants?
Plants can only develop, grow, bloom and be vital under optimal conditions. In addition to sufficient light, heat, water and fertilizer, sufficient soil is important for plant development. Regular repotting is therefore of great importance for potted plants, container plants and indoor plants. Transplanting means a change for most plants — sometimes repotting is also stressful. Therefore, if possible, you should not repot plants in winter. With the beginning of the growth phase ( from February) repotting is ideal. However, if you find out in summer that your houseplant is struggling and the pot is too small, you can of course repot it then. Bedding and balcony plants that are bought in summer are also happy about a larger pot. In winter, when there is less light, houseplants should not be repotted. Repotting in spring is also recommended for potted plants. Regular repotting is part of the optimal care of plants! This is the only way for the roots to have enough space to develop.
When and why are plants repotted?
- after winter
- with the beginning of the growth phase
- as soon as the earth is completely rooted
- to improve stability
- if the pot is damaged
- with reduced plant growth. Houseplants often become lighter and produce only a few new shoots.
- When the leafy green gets lighter. Signs of deficiencies can occur if the substrate is heavily rooted.
to separate offshoots from the mother plant.
Repot after the moon
After repotting, all plants should form new roots and establish themselves as quickly as possible. According to the lunar calendar, transplanting into a new pot is best in spring when the moon is waxing and in autumn when the moon is waning. The result is good root formation and rapid growth.
What is needed to repot plants?
Depending on the size and type of plants, repotting is a recurring activity.
The following things are necessary when repotting plants
- garden gloves
- if necessary, hand spade/planting trowel
- matching pot with drainage hole
- drainage material
- Plant fleece for separating the drainage and potting soil, especially useful for shrubs and perennials
high-quality soil – special soil is necessary, especially for orchids, bonsai, ericaceous plants, citrus plants, herbs and cacti
Which points you should consider when repotting plants
- For repotting, choose planters that are at least 1 to 3 inches taller than the previous one. For large plants, the new pot can also be 5 to 7 cm larger in diameter.
- Use good quality soil for transplanting. That’s the only way the effort and work is worth it. Cheap soils with inferior ingredients are not suitable for repotting.
Make sure the plant is sufficiently watered before repotting. Make sure that the substrate used is not too dry. However, it must not be completely soaked either. Buy planters inside
What soil should you use for repotting?
Which potting soil you use depends on the plant species. Choose from the special earths:
- hydrangea soil
- bog soil
- rose soil
- bonsai soil
- cactus soil
- orchid soil
- citrus potting soil
- herbal soil
- potting soil
Green plant and palm soilThese special mixtures are specially tailored to the needs of the respective group. They contain the necessary proportion of fertiliser, the pH value is adjusted to the type of plant and differs significantly in terms of their structure and composition. With a potting soil you have a versatile substrate which can be used for all woody plants, perennials, vegetable plants and balcony plants can. It consists of structurally stable materials that optimally store water and nutrients and deliver them to the plant as needed. This universal soil is less suitable for plants that need a pH value of 4 to 6 or prefer particularly loose soil. Propagating soil from the plant propagation accessories are not suitable for repotting indoor plants because the loose and airy structure does not store enough water and nutrients. Only use this special mixture for seeds and cuttings. Our gardening tip: store your soil protected from the weather. This means that the storage should be specially protected against drying out or waterlogging. Direct sunlight also leads to a reduction in quality. Seal opened bags as tightly as possible and use the soil promptly after opening the pack.
Soils from Pflanzen-Kölle
Our soils have an excellent composition and support the growth and flowering of your plants. Whether herbs, indoor plants or orchids — we have the right soil for your plants.
Buy potting soil
Potting soil without peat
Peat is contained in common soil mixtures because it has the ability to optimally store water and release it back to the plant when needed. In addition, peat is structurally stable. This means plants that are sensitive to compacted soil grow better in substrates with peat.
Alternatively, today there are many peat-free potting soils with good properties for ecologically sensible gardening. This new organic soil consists of coconut pulp, wood fibers and compost and can be used for planting all plants and for repotting.
Repot indoor plants
Many indoor plants develop splendidly immediately after purchase. Repotting green plants is often only necessary after 2 to 3 years. You never have to repot short-lived flowering houseplants such as begonias, flaming Katy or cyclamen. In this case, buying a new one makes more sense. If you want to repot your green plants, spring is the best time. With fresh potting soil you give your indoor plants the best conditions for root growth and stability.
The basic rule is: Check whether the roots are growing out of the pot and the root ball is completely rooted, because then the time has come to repot indoor plants.
Our gardening tip: Leave a 1 to 2 cm gap between the soil and the edge of the pot. This so-called pouring rim prevents the water from overflowing.
Step-by-step instructions for repotting indoor plants
- If possible, place the houseplant in a bucket filled with water and submerge the plant with the pot until no more air bubbles rise. Water large houseplants thoroughly.
- Remove the plant from the old pot.
- Loosen the root ball slightly with your fingers.
- Remove old and dead roots.
- Put a layer of drainage in the new pot. Make sure that the new pot is three to four centimeters larger than the previous pot.
- Fill in fresh soil.
- Place the plant upright in the pot.
- Fill the gap with potting soil and press the soil down lightly. About two centimeters should remain free up to the upper edge of the pot so that the water does not run out of the pot when watering.
- To eliminate the cavities, you can shake the pot slightly and add more soil if necessary.
Water the houseplant well. Be careful not to water the houseplant too much after repotting. The soil should not be waterlogged, but should never dry out completely. Pro tip: Quality houseplant soil contains fertilizer. Fertilization is therefore only necessary 4 to 6 weeks after the houseplants have been repotted.
Special cases when repotting indoor plants: please do not repot these plants
Houseplants that have their main flowering period in spring should not be repotted until early summer. This is particularly important with camellias, as bud shedding can result after transplanting. Other plants that should only be repotted occasionally:
- Palm trees
Bonsai repotting is an important maintenance measure. The miniature plant only has a limited space in the bonsai pot. After a certain time, this is completely rooted and the bonsai finds it difficult to form new roots. The existing bonsai soil is solid and lacks oxygen for the roots. Basically, you should repot the young bonsai every 2 to 3 years. Older bonsai (10 years and older) are repotted every 3 to 5 years. Important when repotting bonsai is the use of special bonsai soil. Its structure is tailored to the needs of the rarities and is ideal for repotting bonsai. Deciduous bonsai are repotted in spring, coniferous bonsai in late summer/early fall.
The right time to repot orchids depends on the type of orchid. Flowering orchids should not be repotted. Late summer is usually the ideal time to repot orchids. With orchids, it is often enough to change the substrate and only rarely is a larger pot necessary. Replace the old soil when repotting the orchids and give the fascinating epiphytes the best conditions for growth, flowering and vitality. Orchids should only be repotted in orchid soil. Conventional potting soil (universal soil) stores too much water and the orchid roots rot.
Pro tip: Once the fleshy roots are sticking out of the pot, it’s time to repot the orchid. Healthy orchid roots are bright and fresh. Dry and dead roots can be a sign that the orchids need to be repotted.
repotting palm trees
Palm trees usually feel comfortable in their pot for a long time. You can repot young palm trees every year. Older palm trees can be repotted every three to five years. It is optimal if you transplant the palm trees at the end of April to mid-May. When repotting palm trees, make sure that you only use palm soil. Conventional potting soil stores too much water and the palm roots suffer.
Repot hydroponic plants
Hydroponic plants should be repotted regularly. As with repotting other indoor plants, the best time is spring. Repotting hydroponic plants is easy and quick to do.
The following materials are required for repotting the hydroponic plants
- Plastic inner pot
- expanded clay
Water level indicator (should be the height of the pot)
Step-by-step instructions for repotting hydroponic plants
- Remove the plant from the old pot. If the houseplant has developed roots that are too strong, the inner pot may have to be cut open.
- Dead roots can be removed when repotting the hydroponic plant.
- Place the new inner pot in the planter.
- Place the water level indicator on the edge of the planter. Make sure that the water level indicator is as long as the pot is high.
- Put expanded clay in the inner pot.
- Place the plant on the expanded clay and fill the cavities with expanded clay.
Water the plant until the water level indicator is at optimum. Trivia: Hydroponic plants require much less repotting than houseplants in conventional soil. However, hydroponic plants sometimes need a larger pot to establish new roots.
Repot balcony plants
Annual balcony plants bring a lush abundance of flowers to your balcony and terrace within a very short time. In order to be able to enjoy this rich blaze of colour, you need to give geraniums, petunias, fuchsias & co. the best starting conditions. This includes sufficiently large vessels and the best potting soil. This is the only way for the popular perpetual bloomers to develop into vigorous plants in just a few weeks. 2 to 3 liters of soil volume per balcony plant is optimal, with less volume the maintenance effort is greater. Your bed and balcony plants will always develop better in larger tubs, hanging baskets or boxes than in containers that are too small. You can buy the right garden soil in our online shop.
Soil requirements for your flower boxes
Repot potted plants
Container plants are planted in larger containers immediately after wintering. Depending on the size of the pot and the type of plant, repotting is advisable every 2 to 3 years. Supplied with fresh soil, the trunks and pyramids start the new balcony season stronger.
Freshly bought potted plants do not necessarily have to be repotted immediately. Most of the time, however, the plastic culture pots have roots and are not visually appealing. Therefore, transplanting into a terracotta or other material vessel is a great way to combine the useful with the beautiful. The increased soil volume is beneficial for growth, abundance of flowers, stability and care intensity. Read more about this in our bucket garden guide .
Proper watering after repotting
Immediately after repotting or potting, it is important that the plant is thoroughly watered. This will ensure that the soil settles and the plant gets a good grip. The water requirement after repotting depends heavily on the temperature, the amount of sunlight and the type of plant. A rule of thumb is hard to pin down. It is important that until new roots have formed, it is only watered when necessary.
Correct fertilization after repotting
High-quality special and potting soil contains sufficient fertilizer so that fertilization can be dispensed with immediately after planting. Depending on the type of plant, growth behavior, location and volume of soil, you can start fertilizing 4 to 6 weeks after transplanting.