NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

February 6, 2013

Tim's Tips: When re-potting a plant, measure correctly

This week will be a potpourri of things you need to know for this time of the year.

During the last two weeks, I had many people come into the store with houseplant problems. The problem concerns insects on the houseplants. In most cases, the plants had been outside last summer and then were brought back into the house. While outside, they were exposed to many insects, but natural predators kept the insects in check. Once the plants were inside, the insect population began to grow due to the lack of natural predators. At this point, an application of an insecticide will get the insects under control. Depending on the type of insect, you may find that using a systemic insecticide may be your best bet.

Most of your houseplants will soon go into a period of new growth. Some will need to move up to a larger size pot. If you are not sure whether or not to repot your houseplants, take a few moments to do a quick test. Slide the pot off the root ball of the plant and then look at the roots. If the roots are white along the outer edge of the soil, then the plant doesn’t need to be repotted. If the roots along the outer edge are brown, then it is time to repot.

If the plant needs to be repotted, you will need to measure the size of the pot across the top. You want to increase its size by one to two inches in diameter. If the plant is in a small pot, say 4 inches across the top, then you want to use a 5-inch pot when repotting. If the plant is in an 8-inch or larger pot, then you want to use a pot that is 2 inches larger.

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