I have a 4-5 year old fig that needs to be repotted….it is quite tall. And I’d appreciate any tips/suggestions around this. I can’t attach a picture (tried-size incompatible)
Repotting a large plant is a 2 person job!
First, be sure the plant really needs to be repotted. Fiddle Leaf Figs like to be pot bound.
However, potting soil naturally compresses over time, reducing the pore space for oxygen in the soil (necessary for healthy roots) and draining excess water more slowly. Mineral buildup from past fertilizing will also damage roots if the soil isn’t replaced periodically.
So, if your pot seems to be completely full of roots, especially if they seem to be impeding drainage, are coming out of the bottom of the pot, or reaching above the soil, it is time for a new pot.
If so, choose one about 2″ wider in diameter and fill in somewhat with new potting soil.
Readily available premixed potting soil works well for most house plants, but if you prefer to create your own, we recommend 1 part loam, 1 part peat moss, and 1 part coarse sand or perlite.
Next, ask someone to help hold the plant while you loosen the soil ball from the pot. Run a sharp knife around the inside of the pot to loosen it from the pot.
If the roots seem to be very entangled and tightly woven, use your fingers to loosen them up a bit.
Then nestle the plant in the new pot, and fill the space around it. Tamp the soil down gently and water well.
Now, if you don’t have anyone you can ask to help, you can try carefully placing the potted plant on its side. Again, using a knife to loosen the soil and roots away from the sides of the pot, shimmy the plant out and the proceed as above.
Be aware that the plant may sulk because of this disturbance, and drop some leaves.
You might like to review our general Guide to Growing Houseplants.
Good luck with the repotting!
September 19, 2023