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Repotting your Trending Tropicals® Houseplant

By Karen Weir-Jimerson

Congratulations for owning a Trending Tropicals® houseplant!

If this is your first plant from Costa Farms’ Trending Tropicals® collection, you will be excited to find that you are part of a large fanbase of plant collectors. 

Right out of the mail-order box or from the garden center, your plant is ready to assume a spot in your home where you can see and admire it. You just need to water and feed your new plant. Here's more about plant care.

The need to repot: signs
When it comes to repotting, you won’t need to worry about that for a bit. “You should not have to transplant the plants you buy immediately,” says Dr. Mike Merida, Foliage Production Manager at Costa Farms. According to Mike, repotting is something you shouldn’t typically need to worry about for at least a year or so.

Your plant will help you determine when it’s time for a bigger pot, says Mike. “A simple check of the plant's root ball will determine when it’s time to repot into a larger pot. Once the roots have outgrown the current pot, it will benefit the plant to be transplanted into a bigger container with fresh soil."

So how can you tell the plant has outgrown its pot? The roots will be obvious. According to Mike, when the soil in the root ball is only about 25% visible, it’s time to repot. (That means that the makeup of the pot’s contents is 75% roots and 25% soil -- more roots than soil…) In short, the age of the plant (about a year) combined with the root growth will let you know it's time to repot. 

Here’s another quick way to tell: If the plant roots are growing out the drainage holes at the bottom of the black interior pot, it’s your plant’s way of asking for a larger pot.

Costa Farms’ soil mixture
The potting soil that Costa Farms mostly uses is a blend of coir and wood fiber. Coir is a sustainable plant byproduct made from cocoa husks. This potting medium is natural and over time breaks down, releasing nutrients to your plant through decomposition. Decomposing materials help nourish the plant.

Inside the pot
When you take your plant out of the pot, you may discover another pot inside. This pot (called an Ellepot) promotes growth quality and uniformity of the plant as well as 30% faster root development. These organic, biodegradable pots are inserted into the sustainable coir/wood potting medium.

Usually these pots decompose in several months, allowing the roots to spread out into the coir potting mixture. You don’t need to remove this internal pot, or cut it with scissors. The pot helps hold the roots (not trap them), so your plant will grow more successfully.

Repotting your Trending Tropicals® houseplant
Use a potting area that allows you to work freely without being cramped, suggests Mike. “Work in an area that’s preferably under shade or a covered patio,” he says. “Water the plant the day before repotting, so that the root ball has moisture before filling the pot with fresh new soil,” recommends Mike. “If the soil of the plant is dry when repotting, it can wick the moisture from the new soil, and possibly cause the newly planted houseplant to wilt.

Here is how to repot your plant:

1. Choose a container just slightly larger than the original container and add a little soil in the bottom of the pot.

2. Remove the plant from the ceramic cachepot.

3. Turn the plant in the pot on its side and gently slide the it out of the pot.

4. Gather up the root ball and/or Ellepot and set into the new pot at the same height it was growing in its original pot.

5. Fill the empty area around the plant with soil.

6. Make sure that no roots are exposed. Tamp down lightly.

7. Water well.

If you’ve never repotted a plant before, “Don’t be nervous, just have fun with it,” says Mike. Repotting is the next stage of growth for your plant. Enjoy the experience! It's an important step in becoming a gardener. 

Get more tips on repotting houseplants. 

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