Transplanting and fertilizing indoor plants
Transplanting and fertilizing
Well, spring is here! After a long, exhausting winter, the warm rays of the sun peeked out at us again, and nature is waking up to life again after hibernation. Indoor plants may not have slept that much, but their lush growing season is also just now starting. In order for them to have enough strength and nutrients, we should transplant them and start fertilizing them more or less regularly. We havesummarized other important advice and tips for the spring season in this article , now we will focus mainly on the above-mentioned transplanting and fertilizing. Get your transplant mat ready and let's go!
Does the plant need repotting?
You don't have to strictly transplant every plant just because spring has started. Some maids don't like it much. Which ones are they? For example, climbing plants such as epipremnum and scindapsus prefer to be tightly packed in a pot and rooted all around. Like for example zamioculcas or sansevieria . Even plants from the hoya genus do not need to be transplanted so often, just try adding fresh substrate or compost to the surface. If they look happy and their roots have not yet grown out of the drainage holes of the pot, there is no need to rush.
On the other hand, if the plant is sickly, growing slowly and the pot looks like it will be torn apart by the roots in no time, repot the plant at any time of the year. After all, we also transplant plants for you non-stop throughout the year, so you can buy them from us already in a high-quality substrate with good drainage.
Photo: The plant needs to be transplanted when the root system has covered the entire pot or when the roots are coming out from above. Some plants should be transplanted every 2 years.
Which substrate to choose?
Long gone are the days when only one type of universal substrate for all maids was sold. With the growing supply of all kinds, the demand for special substrates grew as well, so that housemaids could do their best. The goal is to achieve the most suitable soil reaction, find the right ratio of nutrients and achieve the necessary water permeability.
It is best if you find out at least basic information about a particular plant. For all our plants that we sell on the e-shop, we have complete instructions on how to best grow them, get inspired!
Moisture-loving plants will do well in a substrate that absorbs water and retains it for several days, for drought-loving plants, on the other hand, choose those that allow water to pass through and dry quickly. Different types of plants understandably have different demands on the quality of the substrate. If you don't know how to deal with the exact ratios of substrate admixtures, don't despair! You don't have to mix it yourself at home at all costs, you can buy the substrate already mixed.
Substrate for orchids
Orchids are a special species with their requirements, which you should water with soft, decalcified water and grow them in special containers designed for this. The substrate must be very airy, well permeable and its components must decompose slowly. The roots must have access to light and air. You can also find a special substrate for growing orchids in our e-shop.
Substrate for succulents
Cacti and succulent-type plants do not tolerate overwatering. Therefore, you must ensure that they are planted in a well-permeable, airy and light substrate. This can be achieved by mixing soil with coarse sand, perlite and small pebbles. Or buy it straight away, already mixed as a substrate for succulents , which we prepare for you ourselves.
Photo: Remove part of the upper substrate from the plant, gently remove the roots from below and from all sides. Beware of root damage, some plants are more prone to it.
Substrate for aroids
For plants from the arum family, to which most of the most popular indoor plants belong, a substrate that is well aerated on the one hand, but partially retains water on the other hand, is great. It is prepared from a mixture of peat, sand, perlite and coconut shells. All monsters, philodendrons, epipremnum plants, aglaonemas and syngonias will thrive in it. We also mix the special substrate for aroids for you!
Mineral zeolite substrates, which are created by mixing with other volcanic materials, have the advantage that you practically never have to transplant the plants planted in them. This type of substrate does not become heavy, does not compact and does not need to be loosened in any way. It is non-toxic and does not harbor mold or insects, such as annoying ladybugs. If you also know these annoying flies or other pests, in this article you will find a lot of tips on how to deal with them. In addition, zeolite substrates are the best free medium for hydroponic cultivation.
Photo: Don't forget to add a drainage layer of expanded clay for better drainage. Plants also breathe better indoors, and rotting of the roots is less likely due to overflow. Cover the expanded clay with a new substrate and then the plant.
Don't forget the perlite!
Most houseplants will appreciate it if you add perlite to their substrate. Perlite is originally from volcanic glass that is heat treated. They are small white grains that are very porous and we can use them both for aerating the soil and for permeability and reducing the weight of the substrate. It is an excellent helper against rotting of the roots and you will certainly not damage anything with it.
Photo: Tamp the new substrate firmly from all sides. Make sure that the plant sits well in the pot and cannot twist. A regular substrate mixed with perlite is sufficient for most plants.
How about the transplant?
You have chosen a plant that needs to be transplanted, you have prepared a suitable substrate with the addition of perlite, so what now? Change the substrate for the plant with a new one. This means gently raking the roots with your hands and scraping the old soil off the surface.
Prepare a new, clean pot with drainage holes into which you will want to transplant. If the plant was well rooted and the roots filled a large part of the old pot, now plant it in a bigger one, at least up to two sizes. Put a layer of expanded clay on the bottom. Keramzite is not an original natural material, but similar to perlite, it is produced by thermal expansion, namely by the expansion of clay. They are light reddish-brown balls that act as drainage, preventing rotting of the roots.
And now just pour a small layer of substrate on the expanded clay layer and plant the plant on it. Cover it all around with a new substrate, squish it lightly and that's it.
Sometimes the plant is so rooted around the old pot that I'm almost afraid to move it with those roots. So I just take it out of the old pot, put it in a container with water so that it soaks well, and in a few minutes I put it in a new, larger pot with a layer of drainage at the bottom and cover it with new substrate. This procedure is also recommended for transplanting plants of the Calathea species, they also do not like it when their roots are moved unnecessarily... - Bětka
And how to water?
The amount and rate of watering after transplanting depends on the conditions the plant came from before you transplanted it. If it was dry and could tolerate watering even before that, don't worry about it. But if it was overwatered, it will do better in a fresh substrate without watering, into which it can slowly absorb the excess moisture.
Try mixing a weak solution of water and lignohumate for the first watering after transplanting, it helps with rooting. It is stated that the solution should be the color of weak black tea. Lignohumate stimulates the development of the root system, both in mature plants and in the rooting of new seedlings and cuttings. It improves the health of plants because it helps with better utilization of nutrients from the substrate and water, and the plant will thus be more resistant to pests and diseases. There is no harm in watering with this solution once in a while during the growing season.
I will not allow lignohumate. I season all the cuttings in its solution with water, sometimes I water all the plants with it, I wipe their leaves with a damp cloth soaked in this solution, and last fall I also watered freshly planted tulip bulbs in pots with it. And so far it looks like a rich crop of flowers in the garden too! - Baby girl
Photo: Lignohumate is a special product that you can use all year round. It supports the growth of the root system and is recommended to be used instead of regular fertilizers for several weeks after transplanting.
Do we really need to fertilize?
Of course! When plants do not have enough of the necessary nutrients and microelements, we may not recognize it immediately, but over time, their growth decreases, the new leaves are smaller and the plant will be more susceptible to diseases. For a healthy rich appearance, we have to give it a dose of fertilizer once in a while. Simply mix a measure of liquid fertilizer ( according to the type of plant ) with watering water and water (follow the exact instructions on the label). But remember that the plant should not have a completely dry substrate when fertilizing. It would then not be able to receive all the necessary nutrients and even such fertilizing could burn its roots.
Another option that is almost labor-free is fertilizer sticks . All you have to do is stick a few sticks into the substrate (according to the size of the flower pot - follow the instructions on the label) and water at regular frequency. Nutrients will be released slowly and evenly from the stick.
You can also apply the fertilizer to the leaves using wet plant wipes . Thanks to them, you wipe the dust off the plant, the leaves will shine, an antistatic layer is formed that prevents further settling of dust, and thanks to the contained fertilizer, they also partially nourish the plant.
You can also give the plant special probiotics. We recently added probiotics from Weiki to our offer, which is a natural organic spectrum of lactobacilli and other beneficial bacteria. The plant is able to make excellent use of them, they will encourage it to grow, the plant will be vital, and probiotics also work as a great prevention of diseases. You can apply them to the leaf as well as to the substrate, just mix with water in the ratio indicated on the label.
The most common mistakes when transplanting
Don't be afraid of transplanting, practice makes perfect! Just pay attention to the mistakes mentioned below and you will definitely succeed.
- unnecessarily large damage to the roots - you don't have to turn the plant from the original soil to the last crumb!
- transplanting a well-rooted plant into a pot of the same size - always use a slightly larger pot!
- transplanting a moisture-loving plant into terracotta - terracotta is a porous material that dries out quickly, which is undesirable for moisture-loving plants!
- transplanting a plant into a pot without drainage - I hope no one will do that after reading this article!
So we're keeping our fingers crossed that you and your plants welcome spring nicely and that you manage to prepare them as best as possible for the new growing season.
Author: Ing. Elizabeth Lacinová
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