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Give Houseplants a New Home

Are your houseplants looking a bit stunted and stressed?  A new home may just be the answer. 

Pot bound houseplants often have stunted growth and water passes quickly through the root filled soil.  You can double check by sliding the plants out of their container about halfway through the watering cycle.

If roots fill the soil or circle around the root ball it is time to move the plants to a larger container.  Select a container with drainage holes only one no more than two inches bigger in diameter.  Add a bit of soil to the bottom of the pot so your houseplant will be growing at the same depth as it was before.  Slice through or tease apart any circling roots.  Circling roots left unchecked will continue to circle the pot and eventually strangle the plant.  Fill the space around the roots with well-drained potting mix and water thoroughly.

Be sure to adjust your watering schedule to accommodate the new growing conditions.

A bit more information:  Root pruning is an alternative to moving plants to a larger container.  Though a bit risky, this may be the only solution for gardeners that lack the space, larger containers or strength to move large plants into the next size pot.  Carefully remove the plant from the container.  Trim about an inch of roots off the bottom and around the sides of the root ball.  Add fresh potting soil around the rootball so the plant is growing at the same depth as before pruning.  Water thoroughly and whenever the top few inches of soil are slightly damp.  Wait for the plants to fully recover before fertilizing.  And be sure to adjust your watering schedule to meet the root-pruned plant’s needs. 

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