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Video:Revive a Pot Bound Plant

with Susie Bradford

Is your houseplant in desperate need of some TLC? Learn how to tell if your plant is pot bound and how to transplant it from one container to another.See Transcript

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Transcript:Revive a Pot Bound Plant

Hi, I'm Susie Bradford for About.com. Today, we're going to repot this plant because it has become what they call pot bound.

Definition of a Pot Bound Plant

One of the reasons why a plant might not be doing so well is that it becomes what we call pot bound.

When the root system forms into a tight ball, it's so thick that water and nutrients absolutely cannot penetrate it. If this plant isn't repotted soon, it will get sick and it will die.

Put Pot Shards in the Pot

Most clay pots have holes in the bottom. When you are potting, you want to make sure that the hole is always kept open.

So you take a piece of pot shard, you break it up, and you put the pieces in the bottom to make sure that neither the roots nor the soil clog the bottom.

Inspect the Roots of the Plant

This is the plant we're going to repot today. It's an Antherium, and as you can see, it has a really healthy root system.

You go into the root mass, and knock out the old soil from within the roots. This plant obviously has a healthy root system because the roots are firm and white.

If the plant has been over-watered, which is the most common cause of houseplant demise, the roots will be brown and spongy.

Select Soil to Repot the Pot Bound Plant

The first thing you need to repot a plant, aside from the plant, is some soil. This is potting soil. It's sterilized, and you can get it at your garden center.

The one thing you never do is dig it out of your garden. By doing that, you can bring viruses and critters into your home. The viruses can go to other plants, and the critters can just be nasty.

Tips for Repotting Plants

The basic rule of thumb when you're transplanting a plant from one pot to another is, you only leave about an inch around the circumference.

The most common error when you're re-potting a plant is to try to save time by putting it in a pot that's way too big. Then you will over-water it and literally kill it with kindness.

Put the Pot Bound Plant in the New Pot

You fill the pot up about this far. Then you put the plant in. Take a look to see how it's fitting in the pot, and you pat the soil in around the edge. As you put the soil in, you pack it down, all the way around. Do it evenly.

When to Fertilize the Plant

Most people repot their plants in the spring, and that's a good thing, because it's the beginning of the growing season.

Once you've repotted it, water it -- don't fertilize -- and watch for new shoots. When you have new shoots, then you can fertilize.

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at homegarden.about.com.
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