Text by Adrian Higgins (c) 2019, The Washington Post
Houseplants, which are trendy again, need re-potting every year or two to remain vigorous and healthy.
How do you tell whether a plant needs repotting? Turn the pot over: The most obvious sign of a pot-bound plant is roots are growing out of the drainage holes. Hold the lower stem of the plant firmly and pull off the pot. If you see a thicket of pale roots in the shape of the pot, it's time for action. If the pot won't slip off, it's probably gripped by congested roots. If the pot is plastic, you can cut the container away - I use pruners, but mind your fingers. If it's clay, you may have to break it with a hammer.
Another sign of a problem is if the plant seems continually thirsty - that is, wilting - despite diligent watering. This is because the ratio of roots to soil has become too great. The same problem can also lead to an obvious drop in plant vigour.
Water the plant thoroughly the day before re-potting to reduce the stress of the ordeal and make the roots more workable.
Washington Post gardening columnist Adrian Higgins explains when, why and how to re-pot a houseplant:
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