Now that you’ve brought your houseplants back indoors from their outdoor summer vacation, check whether they have outgrown their containers. Do they need repotting? They will send out some signals. If there is wilting between waterings; if lower leaves turn yellow; if foliage appears stunted; if roots appear at the soil surface or poke through the drainage hole, the plant’s quarters probably are cramped and they need a larger container with more soil.
How to repot plants
Mix thoroughly equal parts of sphagnum peat moss, sand or vermiculite and sterilized potting soil. Put pieces of broken clay pot or pebbles at the bottom of a replacement pot and cover with a thin layer of well moistened peat. Then fill half of the pot with the soil mix you have prepared. Remove the plant with its soil ball from the old pot and set it into the new container.
Fill the remainder of the pot with your soil mix and firm it around the plant root ball. Water thoroughly for several weeks. Don’t overwater, since air as well as water is needed. If you prefer not to make your own soil mix, there are soil-less mixes at your garden shop.
You can also use sphagnum peat moss because it remains friable for a long time, is essentially sterile, holds up to 20 times its weight in water, is 95 per cent organic, and outlasts other peats, which are more decomposed when you buy them.