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Repotting Tips

Why Repot:
As a plant grows, its roots take up more and more space while the amount of mixture in the pot steadily diminishes. Once this occurs, plant growth will slow and the plant will eventually become unhealthy. Permanent house plants generally will require repotting once a year until they reach a mature size. Outdoor plants grown from seed will need to be repotted several times within the first few months until reaching maturity.

When to Repot:
Taking a plant out of the pot and looking at the roots is the best way to tell if it is time to repot. To remove a plant from the pot, first make sure the soil is thoroughly moistened, then:

Place your hand on top of the pot, with the main stem between two fingers. Turn the pot over and gently tap the rim against the edge of a table or tap your hand against the base of the pot. After a few taps, the root ball should loosen and the pot can be lifted away. If not, then run a knife blade around the inside of the rim.

Carefully examine the root ball. If fresh root tips are showing all over the surface, the plant is ready to be repotted. If the roots are densely matted or are forming a thick spiral around the base, repotting is overdue and should be done immediately. The best time to repot is at the beginning of the plants' growing season, unless the plant is severely root bound and showing signs of distress during the growing season, in which case it should be repotted immediately. Never move plants when they are in a dormant or rest period.

How to Repot:
Repotting is messy, so give yourself plenty of room on a surface that can handle exposure to water and soil. Choose a new pot that is a size or two larger than the existing pot. You'll want 1 to 2 inches under the roots and 1 inch on the sides and top for the fresh Hoffman potting soil.

Check root ball for dead roots and thick root spiral around the base and remove using a sharp knife. Place enough Hoffman potting soil in the bottom of the pot to position the top of the root ball 1 inch below the rim.

Add Hoffman potting soil around the sides and work it in with a stick or your fingers, compressing it lightly. Then add 1/4" of potting soil as top dressing.

Top Dressing:
Top dressing is an alternative to repotting when the plant is rather large and it is not feasible to repot into a larger container.

Gently scrape away the top inch or two of existing potting soil with a spoon or small trowel. Remove as much soil as possible without exposing major roots. Refill the pot with fresh Hoffman potting soil to the original level.

Double Potting:
Most decorative containers have no drainage holes, making it difficult to grow plants in them. In these containers it is a good idea to use double potting. To double pot: put gravel in the bottom of the decorative container. Set the plant in a proper size clay or plastic pot inside the decorative container. Then fill the sides between the two pots with Hoffman Sphagnum Peat Moss. This method allows for good drainage, reduces the frequency of watering and still makes an attractive planter.

Why Your Choice of Potting Soil is Important:
Soil is the key to a plant's ability to properly absorb air, water and nutrients the key to life, the key to being a successful gardener. A good soil mix must provide the proper balance of air and water to the plant. To produce healthy plants, the soil mix must act as a reservoir for plant nutrients, hold water, and provide aeration and anchorage. A good growing media does not happen by accident, it is designed for the environment that the plant will be growing in - Commercial Greenhouses, inside homes, outdoors - All require different mixes. Top soil straight from the garden is not a good choice for potted plants. By nature, soil is designed to drain over several feet of depth, not the several inches contained in a pot. Additionally, top soil can contain weed seeds and disease organisms.

What to Look for when selecting Potting Soil:
There is a wide range of potting soil choices in the marketplace today, from low cost, low quality dirt in a bag to higher cost, highest quality scientifically researched and formulated Peat based mixes. Don't be fooled into thinking that dirt is dirt and any soil will do. Invest in a quality soil as an insurance policy to help protect your house plant purchases.

Peat-based potting mixes, since their introduction in the 60's, have set the standard in both commercial and homeowner mixes. These soilless mixes contain ingredients which are sanitary and free of harmful salts, weeds, and plant pathogens. The primary ingredient in peat-based mixes, which out performs all other material, is CANADIAN SPHAGNUM PEAT MOSS. It's unique cell structure helps regulate moisture and air around the plants roots, creating ideal growing conditions. Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss is a key ingredient in the complete Hoffman Potting Soil line. For the home gardener, Peat based potting mixes are the safest, most convenient and fool proof mixes available today.

Always check the soil bag to see what the ingredients are that make up the mix. With bags that either do not list any ingredients or are vague and say "may contain some of the following", you do not know what you are getting. Look for soils such as Hoffman, which clearly states every ingredient on the bag and carries a money-back guarantee.

Hoffman Potting Soils are uniquely designed to meet the needs of the home gardener, providing good water holding capacity to help the plant survive infrequent and irregular waterings, balanced with proper aeration to help reduce the risk of over watering, the number 1 killer of house plants.


Good Earth, Inc.
Marketing Department
P.O. Box 290
Lancaster, NY 14086
Tel: 716-684-8111
Fax: 716-684-3722

, Good Earth, Inc.