Have you ever started repotting a houseplant, have you found it may need a smaller pot? How do you know it needs a smaller pot?
My friend sent me a picture of a pink aglaonema she purchased for a great price at her local Fresh Thyme Market. I couldn’t resist, so I ran out immediately, bought one for myself and went back to get one for my daughter. She loves pink plants. Who doesn’t?
Repotting a houseplant from a too large pot
When I bought them, I felt they were a bit overpotted, meaning they were in a pot that was too large for the plant.
So, how do you know when you should “down-pot” a plant? Here is why I thought it was in a too-large pot and what I did to rectify the problem.
When repotting a houseplant check proportion
First, when I looked at it, I felt the plant was too small for the pot it was in. In other words, the plant is quite disproportionate to the size of the pot. This is a 6″ pot and the plant needs to be in a 4″ pot.
When repotting a houseplant, check the potting medium
I took the plant out of the 6″ pot and as you can see above, there aren’t too many roots showing. In fact, I only see a couple of small roots, and the potting medium was a bit too wet. Read more about aglaonema roots here.
Check the roots
As you can see there isn’t much of a root system even with most of the potting medium removed. It is enough roots to support the plant, but not enough to use all the water in the surrounding potting medium.
Does that make sense? Too much wet potting medium around the roots leads to root rot and the eventual collapse of the plant.
Check the stems
(I apologize for the pictures, as I took them with my phone and didn’t check them until I had already potted the plant.)
I noticed that the potting medium was also a bit too high on the stems. Some of the bottom leaves are planted too deep in the soil. (Read more about that problem here.) When I re-potted it, I planted it so that the stems were above the medium line.
When repotting a houseplant get good potting medium
I used a new potting medium, which is one that I mix myself. I moistened it before planting, as it is better to use a moistened medium when potting up plants.
Finding a new pot when repotting a houseplant
So, what is the answer to a plant in a too-large pot? Down-pot the plant. I took it from a 6″ pot to a 4″ pot.
A better fit
The plant from above shows the plant is in a better size pot and the reason I had to run out and buy it. Isn’t that a gorgeous pink plant?!
I also washed the extra soil off the stems and planted it at the right level.
Don’t be afraid to down pot a plant if you feel it has too much soil around the root system. It is definitely better for the plant to be under-potted than over-potted.
A plant with too much wet potting medium around the roots is never good.
Have you ever down-potted a plant? Or wish you had…..?
Have a great week, plant friends!
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