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How To Repot a Succulent

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Your succulent needs regular repotting, which will signal you if you don’t. Generally, repot in spring at the start of its growing season, and your succulent soil should be dry before you repot it.

Succulents require suitable soil that offers good drainage in pots that support the soil’s function. Proper drainage prevents root rotting as well as other bacterial and fungal problems. Root-bound succulents will become stunted or develop chlorosis. Repotting also refreshes nutrient availability.

Table of Contents

Questions You Need to Ask

There are several factors you need to consider before repotting your succulent:

  • Will my succulent benefit from a new pot or fresh soil?
  • When is the best time to repot my succulent species?
  • What should my succulent’s new home offer?
  • What do I need to repot my succulent successfully?

Will My Succulent Benefit From a New Pot or Fresh Soil?

Don’t fix what’s not broken. If your plant is happy in its current pot, leave it there. Listen to its distress calls if it’s showing signs of distress or bursting from its seams. These may include:

  • Roots are escaping out of the drainage holes
  • Your plant is showing signs of chlorosis (the yellowing of leaves)
  • You need to add a new support structure
  • Your plant needs better ballast, indicated by being top-heavy
  • It’s still in the soil you bought it with
  • It’s been years since it had a change of root-environment
  • Growth has been stunted

Roots Are Escaping Out Of The Drainage Holes

If the roots start coming through the pot’s bottom, it’s time to size up. This is a clear indication that it’s time to pot on your cactus or succulent.

Your Plant is Showing Signs of Chlorosis (The Yellowing of Leaves)

The second sign you must repot is when your leaves start yellowing. Chlorosis is generally a sign of root rot or drought, but with succulents, it’s unlikely that the cause is drought.

With chlorosis, it’s good practice to check the roots out.

Put it in a container with new soil if there are no indications of soil pests. Before repotting your plant in new soil, you must treat any soil pests that may be present.

You Need to Add a New Support Structure

If you need to add a support structure to support an epiphyte succulent, you must repot the plant to avoid root damage. Inserting support while the plant is still in the pot may damage roots.

Your Plant Needs Better Ballast, Indicated by Being Top-Heavy

One reason succulents can retain turbidity even in droughts is their ability to store water in their fibers and cells. Water weighs quite a bit, and as the plant grows, you may find it becoming inclined to topple over.

Solving this will require a pot with a broader base or one made of a heavier, more substantial material.

It’s Still in The Soil You Bought it With

Another indication that your plant requires repotting is when you have recently purchased a cactus or succulent.

Even though it may be in a gorgeous container and appear lovely as is, you are unsure of the soil used or whether there are any soil pests.

Every time you acquire a new plant, it’s a good idea to take it out of the pot, remove the old soil, and pot it up into top-quality, well-draining cactus and succulent mix.

This is because many garden nurseries, to save costs, frequently use a lot of peat and other elements that aren’t ideal for cacti and succulents.

It’s Been Years Since it Had a Change of Root-Environment

It’s a good idea to repot a cactus or succulent if the soil hasn’t been changed for a while, say five years, even if it just involves adding new dirt (rather than swapping to a larger pot).

Growth Has Been Stunted

Finally, if your succulent or cactus appears to have stopped growing for no apparent reason (it receives the proper quantity of light and water, etc.), it’s probably time to repot.

In some situations, the root system may cause the plant’s failure to grow.

Therefore, this is yet another excellent chance to remove it from the pot to freshen the soil, which frequently offers the plant a little boost and inspires it to come into new growth once again.

When is the Best Time to Repot my Succulent Species?

Most cacti prefer repotting at the start of the growing season. However, flowering species like the Christmas Cactus should be repotted only after flowing.

What Should My Succulent’s New Home Offer?

Below is an overview of the six key concepts of good soil, whether for succulents or any other containerized plant.

The interplay of these soil factors may vary according to environmental factors; read on to find out how to ensure the right combinations for specific conditions.

Succulent Soil Considerations

Your ideal soil will offer your plant the following:

  • Soil Moisture Management
  • Soil Air Management
  • Nutrient Retention and Availability
  • Cultivating a Soil Biome
  • Plant pH Requirements
  • Plant Anchorage

Below is a list of materials great for succulent growing media.

Composted hardwood:A different type of organic additive to bark is denser, less absorbent, and slower to decompose. It is made from composted, shredded hardwood mulch.
Expanded ShaleIncreases soil porosity while offering slow decay and pH stability. It is lightweight, economical, and readily available. It has a saturated porosity of 30% and a field capacity of 38%, meaning it is great for managing a balance between air and water retention.
Granite-grit:These are mall pieces of sharp-edged granite commonly used for poultry and wild bird gizzard health. Grains measure 1.5-4 mm in the “Grower” variety. Has a saturated porosity of 30% and a field capacity of 38%.
Pea gravel:Smooth gravel with rounded surfaces, deep gray, and 2-6 mm in size. Sold for construction purposes. It helps with water drainage and improves aeration.
Perlite:It floats on water, has a very low density, and is covered in numerous small bubbles, some of which can hold water. Due to its capacity to enhance drainage, it is widely used in succulent gardening.

How To Repot a Succulent?

  • Repotting a cactus can be challenging, so take your time. For cactus and succulents, make potting soil that is light and drains well.
  • Select a pot that is just a little bit bigger than the one it is in now. Make sure the pot has drainage holes.
  • Remove the plant from the pot with the soil ball, then gently separate the roots. If the potting soil is compacted, use a little water to wash it away from the roots gently.
  • In the new container, replant the succulent so that the top of the root ball is approximately an inch (25 mm) below the pot’s rim. Fresh potting soil should be inserted around the roots, and the soil should be lightly patted to remove air pockets. Don’t overwater it.
  • Place the repotted in an area where it can harden off for two to three days before moving it into its usual position.

In Closing

In this article, I have shown you when and how to repot a succulent. While succulents are low-maintenance plants, repotting is one of those things any potted plant occasionally needs.

If you keep your succulents happy, they will continue providing you with decades of clean air, mental health, and other benefits.

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