Gardening: The Rich Brothers give tips on planting with pots

BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time Q&A was hosted by Peter Gibbs this week with a plethora of experts answering Britons’ burning gardening questions. After the experts answered several questions, RHS Wisley gardener Alex Young explained to listeners how to repot their houseplants. Mr Gibbs said: “It’s all too easy when you buy an indoor plant to just treat it like a piece of furniture I suppose.

“We bring it home, we pop it where we hope it’ll be happy and then walk away.

“Just a case of watering it when we notice it’s a bit thirsty.

“But of course we can all do better. This time of year is perfect for treating your beloved indoor plant to a new home.

“Here’s RHS Wisley’s Alex Young with a guide to how to do it properly.”

Mr Young said there are a few ways to tell when your pot needs to be repotted.

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“If roots are visible on the surface of the pot or are trying to escape out the drainage holes, this indicates your plant is pot bound and will most definitely need a new pot,” he explained.

The gardening expert also said you can tell whether your plant needs re-potting by how it’s behaving.

He said: “If the new growth is substantially slower and smaller than the older growth, there’s a chance the roots could be a little bit constricted and aren’t drawing up enough water and nutrients and will therefore need more room to play.”

Mr Young said you can repot houseplants at any time of year as long as you can give the plant “everything it requires”.

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These requirements include a good amount of light, plenty of water and nutrients, the right temperature and the ideal humidity level.

Winter is a good time to repot as the plant will be less stressed and pots will be less prone to drying out, according to Mr Young.

He recommends repotting in mid-February with gives the plant enough time to get used to its new pot.

He added: “When spring arrives in March, gifting us more light, your plant is ready to romp away.”

Choosing a new pot isn’t as complicated as you may think.

You need to go up a size by a minimum of two inches.

If the pot is too big, it could hold too much water and put your plant at risk of health problems such as root rot.

When you repot your plant, Mr Young said it’s important to try and tease off as much of the old soil as possible without damaging too much of the root system.

Mr Young recommends using a chopstick to poke the root bulb gently which will knock off any soil and move it away from the roots.

He also told listeners not to reuse old soil as plants often drain soil of its nutrients.

The RHS Wisley gardener also said Britons should check what soil their plant needs by doing some research.

Certain plants may need better drainage compared to others, for example.

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