The most common health issues we see in indoor plants are directly related to the potting material and medium used. Maintaining a healthy root system is the number one factor in keeping a plant healthy, growing, and thriving. You can control the health of your root system by potting your plant in the appropriate medium and housing it in a breathable and well-draining planter.
FAQ ABOUT POTTING
Soil is your plant’s nutrient life-force - it’s vital to use the right soil and amendments to keep your plant thriving. The type of soil used will vary from plant to plant. Generally, there are 2 types of soils:
TROPICAL SOIL for tropical plants (most all indoor houseplants are considered tropicals).
CACTUS SOIL for all desert plants (like cactus, succulents, and palms.)
What you pot your plant in matters! We recommend terra-cotta across the board. It is the most lightweight, breathable, porous, widely accessible, and generally inexpensive material. Terra-cotta allows air and moisture to move effectively through your plant’s root system. It will keep your plant happier and make your life easier!
We do not recommend using heavily glazed ceramics, plastic, or planting in woven baskets as all these materials generally cause rot, mold, and problems with bacteria over time.
Generally speaking, when repotting a plant that has outgrown its current pot, you want to upsize about 2” in diameter. So if your plant is current in a pot that is 4” in diameter, you would want to upgrade to a 6” pot.
Putting a plant in a pot that is too big too fast can cause your plant to stress and go into shock. Think of them like little hermit crabs - they are very picky about moving into a new shell and gradually choose bigger ones that fit them as they grow :)
If you want your life and your plant's life to be easier and healthier... every pot you use NEEDS a drainage hole. Sure, you can use rocks and charcoal and other amendments to absorb excess moisture in a pot without drainage - but it is not the same as allowing water to actually move out of the planter. The water will still sit and get stagnant at the bottom of your vessel. Your plant’s roots are way more susceptible to root rot if you use a planter that does not drain.
But won’t the water just run out the bottom? Yes - that’s the point! To make sure you aren’t getting water all over your floors or furniture, we recommend taking your plant to a sink or bathtub to water it. Let all the excess water drain out the bottom before putting it back in its spot.
Catch trays or glazed plates catch excess water from your freshly watered plant and some pots even have corks or rubber stoppers that fit in the drainage hole to stop extra leakage after you’re done watering.
Usually, if you haven’t changed anything in your plant’s watering routine or environment, if it starts acting finicky or dropping leaves or wilting for seemingly no reason - it might be time to repot it. If the roots are too confined and the soil is old, hard, and dry, your plant is probably begging for some fresh soil with more room to grow.
Plants absorb nutrients from soil and over time need fresh soil and fertilizer boosts to keep them healthy. When soil gets hard and dry you also run the risk of air pockets and improper moisture retention which can also can stress to a plant’s root system.