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These Pro Tips Saved My Plants, And They Can Help Yours Too

These Pro Tips Saved My Plants, And They Can Help Yours Too

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Let’s say you’ve got a plant that has outgrown the pot it lives in. You can tell that the pot is bulging and the roots are coming out of the bottom of the pot. 

So, you grab all your gear, pull out the plant, and set it into its new, bigger, more luxurious home with the right type of soil and drainage holes in the bottom.

But now comes the big question: What about the watering? Should you give your plant a drink of good old H2O or not?

1. Watering After Repotting: To Do or Not To Do?

There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about this. Some say you should water immediately, while others recommend letting the roots settle for a week before the first drink. 

Well, my plant friends, you absolutely do need to give your plant a drink of water straight after repotting. In fact, you need to give your plant a thorough soaking so that every inch of soil is saturated.

What about if you only watered the plant yesterday? Surely giving the roots yet more water will damage the roots? Ahh, yes, this is where the common misconception lies and it’s completely understandable

The Misconception About Overwatering

You might worry that watering right after repotting could damage the roots, especially if you watered the plant just yesterday. Well, not quite exactly. 

We often hear about the horrors of overwatering and become super cautious. But even if you watered your plant an hour before, you should still water in your newly repotted plant. 

And that’s the key term: watering in.

What Does “Watering In” Mean?

I was also confused by this term when I first heard it – I just assumed it meant giving the plant a drink of water to hydrate the roots, but there’s more to it. 

Watering in is all about settling the soil around the roots, eliminating air pockets, and providing moisture for the roots to establish themselves. Without this step, your plant will suffer

No amount of shaking or tapping will displace the excess air in the pockets around the roots – only water will do this.

You might be worried about the risk of overwatering because you’ve recently watered your plant. Trust me, this really isn’t an issue. You won’t kill your plant by giving it a drink twice in quick succession. 

Overwatering is more about prolonged saturation of the soil over a long period that deprives the roots of oxygen and invites root-rotting bacteria (your plants can handle being given a drink the next day as a one-off).

Related: This Simple Hack Will Keep Your Houseplants Watered Even If You Are Gone For Days

2. Avoiding Compact Soils At All Costs

Once you finally get to repotting that plant you’ve been ignoring, have you ever found the root ball you are dealing with is rock hard. This is a sure sign that the soil is extremely compact and really bad for root health.

They need oxygen to breathe after all, just like you and me. 

The problem occurs if you leave the plant too long between waterings and the soil becomes hydrophobic (it literally repels water).

Pouring water over the top a couple of times won’t cut it. Water will skid off the top and run down the sides, leaving dry patches in the middle of the root ball. 

The solution? Give them a bath! 

It might sound weird, but soaking the plant in water for a good hour or so softens everything up and makes the soil more willing to take in water. After that, watering won’t be such a challenge.

This might be helpful: Transform Your Garden Soil From Drab To Fab With This Sweet And Simple Trick

3. Elevating Plants For Better Light Exposure 

Getting great light to your plant should be houseplant goal number 1. 

Without great light, we ain’t getting great plants

Keeping the plant next to a window might not be good enough if it’s not facing the right direction. You know, plants want a view of the sky!

Even where they sit next to one another matters because a smaller plant next to a giant one will get less light. 

The solution is as simple as it is brilliant (well, in my book anyway) – raise them up! 

I started doing this recently and it made a big difference. Sit a smaller plant on top of an upside-down pot or another decorative item to give it a better chance at getting the light it needs. 

This way, your plant won’t get on its tippy toes to stretch out and become leggy. You can get creative and use decorative pots, retro food tins, or crates to make your living room trendy.

Were you familiar with any of these tricks before? I certainly wasn’t, and they made a whole world of difference for my green pals. Now, my plants are repotted, well-watered, and filled with sunshine! 

I sincerely hope they’ll help your plants, too! 

Also read: 3 Tips To Help You Protect Houseplants From Central Heating