Repotting in-container plants

(Question)

Dear Master Gardeners,

Kindly advise me on whether these plants need to be repotted. They’ve grown quite a bit since they were given to me. I want to make sure they have enough room to grow even more. Please help us!

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(Answer)

Glad to hear that you are enjoying your lovely plant! From the picture I am going to guess that this is a Money tree (Pachira aquatica). This is a very popular houseplant as it grows easily and has few problems associated with it.

I cannot really tell from the picture if your plant needs to be transplanted to a larger pot but I can give you some guidelines to look for so you can decide for yourself. It looks as if you have the plant growing in the plastic pot that the plant was purchased in and this pot has been placed in a decorative ceramic pot. This is very handy as you can take the black pot out to have a closer look. You want to see if the roots are becoming restricted by the pot. When you look at the top of the pot and through the bottom holes you want to see lots of soil. If mostly roots are visible with hardly any soil then the plant would probably appreciate more growing room for the roots. Also the pot will feel very hard when you press on the sides of the plastic pot and there will be no give to it. On the other hand if you see mostly soil and the pot gives a bit when you push on both sides of the pot then the plant has enough room to grow some more. Some other reasons to tranplant may be that you find you are constantly watering because it is drying out so quickly, salt deposit on the top of the soil, the soil is becoming rock hard or water take a long time to absorb into the soil.

If you find that you will be repotting your plant, have a look at the link below. It is a very comprehensive guide and will give you all the information you need.

Happy potting!

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/homeowners/010303.html