Transplanting a Houseplant

It’s time to  transplant your houseplants when they get too large or spindly, when they don’t look as healthy, when leaves start dropping off, when a part of the plant begins to die or you want to have more plants.

Here are some important points to remember while transplanting a houseplant:

  • The plant needs to be well watered and works best if you water the soil thoroughly the day before you decide to transplant.
  • The key to working with root systems is to be gentle while separating different plant sections and while removing the plant from the old pot.
  • The roots must be kept moist. Water the new plants every day for a week and don’t put them in direct sunlight for at least two weeks while they get used to their new environments.
  • Cover the drainage hole of the new pot for some days. It will prevent the new soil from washing out the hole when you water, and will also keep out insects.
  • The best way to grow a new plant in case of damage is to propagate houseplants by using stem cuttings. To use the method of stem cuts, cut off a four to six inch end of a growing stem with a sharp knife. The cut needs to be made just below the place where a leaf joins a stem for the best root development.
  • You can buy root promoting powder at nurseries. Dip the cut end into the powder if you have it. Then put the cutting into a container of perlite-peat mixture or moist, coarse sand. Water and keep in a cool location out of direct sunlight but where there is some light.
  • A greenhouse is the best environment for propagating plants. If you want to, you can cover the container and cutting with a clear plastic.
  • After three or four weeks, gently take the cutting from the mix and check for roots. If you see roots formed, it’s time to put the plant into a pot.
  • When a new plant forms, fill a pot that is at least five inches high with a good soil mix. Keep the soil moist during this important time of growth.
  • It’s important to have everything close at hand before you start so that the roots don’t dry out during the transplanting process.
  • A number of other plants have leaves that are able to produce roots. These include gloxinias, African violets, and some begonias. Fill a jar with water, cover the top with foil and pierce small holes in the foil, large enough for the leaf stems. When you see the roots have developed heartily, transfer each of the cuttings to a pot.