by Succulent MarketFeb 1, 2021
Starting and maintaining a succulent collection is a great hobby. There are so many to choose from, each with their own unique aesthetics and benefits. Best of all, for the most part, they are very easy to maintain, which only adds to their appeal.
Having said that, they still do need to be taken care of every once in a while. One of the key practices is repotting as it helps them to grow healthy and potentially produce even more plants.
This guide will show you what you need to successfully repot a succulent, as well as a step-by-step process so you can do it at home with confidence.
The new potting mix should contain 70-80% mineral material, such as perlite, fine gravel or volcanic rock, and 20-30% organic material, such as a regular soil mix, pink bark or compost.
The new pot should be bigger than the original. It should also be strong enough to hold the new soil mix and have plenty of holes in the bottom for proper drainage. Note that the pot’s material will impact its durability.
Not only does a pebble mulch regulate moisture in the soil, but it also prevents the top half of the succulent from touching the soil. As such, this keeps the plant’s leaves and stem dry, preventing it from rotting.
You will need a small shovel for scooping the soil, pebbles, etc into the pot, a two-pronged fork to lift the succulent from its original pot without harming it, and scissors to prune any unwanted roots, stems and leaves.
Gloves are also advised to protect your hands from the plant’s sap and soil, bubble wrap for handling spiny succulents, a cover to place on the surface to keep mess to a minimum, and mesh to prevent any soil seeping out of the drainage holes.
How To Repot Succulents
Start by watering the succulent two to three days before you repot it. This ensures the soil contains enough moisture for the plant to be removed without damage, while maintaining enough moisture in the soil to keep it alive before the next water.
Cover the work surface for easy clean up after repotting.
Put the pair of gloves on and remove the surrounding soil from the succulent to expose the roots. This is particularly important if you’re repotting a new plant.
Inspect the roots for signs of rot or pests. Trim away any brown roots using the pair of sterilised scissors.
Wrap the plant in the bubble wrap to keep it safe, as well as keeping your own hands away from potential irritants. For example, Sedum morganianum has very delicate leaves that will easily fall off if not handled properly.
Remove dry stems and leaves and dispose of them. If you notice that your succulent has a lot of plantlets, divide and propagate them before continuing with the repotting. Make clean cuts on the mother plant and plant the new ones separately in another container.
Prepare the new pot for the soil. It should be wider than the succulent’s body (a diameter double the size of the plant’s root system will be more than enough for sufficient expansion). Also double-check for drainage holes and place the mesh at the bottom.
Pour the potting mix into the pot. Continue pouring until the mix reaches between two and three centimeters thick. Carefully remove the succulent from the bubble wrap and place it in the centre of the pot with one hand. Gently pour more of the soil mix around the plant with the other hand.
Once in, gently pat the soil and the succulent’s stem and poke it with the fork to ensure there are no large air pockets.
Continue to pour soil mix until the roots are completely covered, but don’t fill the pot up to the rim.
Spray the soil with water and top-dress with pebbles. Move the pot to a spot that gets a lot of sunlight and plenty of ventilation. After two to three days, make sure to give your succulent a thorough watering. Give it some time to adjust to its new container before treating it as normal.