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Transplanting Into Bigger Pots 101

As your plant goes through its growth cycle, it will be required to transplant the plant into a larger pot as it outgrows its smaller pot.

A plant has the ability to tell you when it needs to be transplanted. Common indicators include roots poking out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot and having to feed multiple times a day. 

A good rule of thumb for transplanting is a foot per gallon. This means that a plant in a 1 gallon pot should reach 1 foot of growth before being transplanted.

Before we can even start the transplanting process, make sure you have foliar sprayed and fed your plant with B vitamins 48 hours prior to transplanting.

When we want to transplant, make sure to get the right size pot. It wouldn’t make sense to transplant from a 1 gallon pot to a 2 gallon pot because the plant will likely outgrow this quickly. The best thing to do is to go 2 sizes up, so instead of a 2 gallon pot we would use a 3 gallon pot. This will give the plant more time to grow in the pot before it needs to be transplanted again.

Now that we know what size pot we need to transplant into, we need to make sure the pots we are using are adequate for drainage. Most pots come with drainage holes at the bottom but not all do. If you have a pot that has no drainage holes make sure you drill holes into the bottom of the pot before transplanting into it.

Once you have the correct sized pot,  you can now prepare your medium. In this demonstration we are using potting soil with a blend of perlite. We are using a 50/50 mix because we want to reduce soil compression and increase drainage and aeration.

Perlite is ideal to have mixed with any medium. It allows for better drainage, reducing the risk of salt build up and pH imbalances. It also helps with reducing the effects of soil compression which hinders root growth. Perlite also creates pockets of air throughout the pot allowing for adequate aeration for healthy root growth.

One thing to note when using a lot of perlite in your medium is that it does not retain a lot of water, meaning that you will notice that your pots dry out faster than when not using as much perlite. This is a good thing as it will force your roots to search for water which ultimately means that your roots will have to grow.  Just don’t forget to feed your plants on time.

When you begin to add the medium mix into the pot make sure to put enough of the medium at the bottom of the pot so that the plant foliage is above the lip of the pot. Using lava rock as a base makes this easy to do and also provides better drainage. 

Once you have done this you can now transplant your plant. Start by holding the pot with one hand and gently grabbing around the stock of the plant with the other. Using the hand holding the pot, slowly rotate and squeeze the pot. This will allow for the dirt to loosen around the pot, making it easier to slide the plant out of the pot and reducing any stress on the roots. 

If your plant is root bound (meaning that the roots have begun to wrap around the medium) gently rotate the root ball in your hands, gently squeezing the root ball as you do so. This will help soften the root ball and loosen the soil around the roots. This will allow for the roots to start growing sooner than later after being transplanted.

When you put your plant in the new pot for the first time make sure you have indeed added enough medium at the base of the pot so that the foliage of the plant is above the lip of the pot. If it is not, add more soil to the base before moving forward.

Once you have the plant in place start adding your grow medium around the root zone. Keep your plant centred as you do this and make sure not to compress the grow medium with your hands. Once you’ve filled the pot to the top, tap the pot on a table or against your hand as this will allow the grow medium to settle without compressing it.

You have now successfully transplanted your plant!

The last thing you need to do now is feed your plant. Because this is a very stressful experience for your plant make sure to feed it B vitamins, as this will help it recover faster. You also want to add food for the roots, which you can buy from any reputable nutrient supplier.

When feeding your plant make sure to apply the majority of water where the existing roots meet the new soil. This will reduce the risk of the new soil drying out the root ball and will also force the roots to grow into the new soil. 

When your plant is ready for another feed you can continue on the feeding schedule you were on prior to transplanting at half the strength or you can feed it a B vitamin and root builder solution one more time.

At this point, the most important thing to do is feed you plant on time. The plant is already under a lot of stress from being transplanted and forgetting to feed it after this process will result in extreme stress and potential death. So remember to feed you plants accordingly.


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