The first step is to gently coax the plant out of its pot. I did this by laying to pot on its side and gently squeezing and rolling the soft plastic of the nursery pot. Then pull the plant out of the pot.
how to repot a plant
This plant’s been in the same soil since I got it years ago and is due for a repot. Although it hasn’t outgrown its pot, the soil is extremely dry and no longer retains the moisture the plant needs. So here’s how to repot a plant while changing out most of its soil!
here’s what you need to get started:
- your plant
- a nursery pot
- a quality potting mix (this ficus elastica is a tropical plant, so I’m using Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix)
- a potting mat or tarp (optional)
- a shovel or soil scoop (optional)
let’s gro #plantproject
Using your fingers, begin to gently remove some of the old soil from the root ball.
Plants don’t particularly like having their roots disturbed (think about it: how often does someone come along and dig a plant up to tear apart its roots in the wild?) and being too rough can cause damage which can lead to root rot. You do want to remove some soil, though, so the roots can access the nutrients in the fresh new soil.
TLDR, gently remove as much soil as possible while doing as little damage to the roots as possible.
Grab the pot you’re planning to pot the plant in. The rule of thumb is to choose a pot that’s ~2 inches bigger than the root ball. (I decided to plant mine back in the original pot, as it was still an appropriate size, it was just the soil that needed changing.) Fill the bottom of the pot with a couple inches of soil. Then place your plant in and fill the sides and top with soil!
I like to wait a week or so after repotting before watering the plant. That way, hopefully, any root damage should form a callus and avoid root rot with the additional moisture.