Do Potted Plants Need Their Soil Changed Periodically?

Potted Plants

Do potted plants need their soil changed regularly? Yes. and here’s why…

If you garden mostly with potted plants, it is hard to change the soil without breaking some roots.

However, unless your plant is dying, looks unhealthy, or you insist on checking the plant roots area.

So, if your soil seems washed out or the plant has outgrown the pot, to remove most of the soil in the roots area, prepare a container bigger than the last pot, pull the plant out from the pot gently, submerge its root in a water-filled container and wiggle the roots a bit.

However, to fill back the soil in the pot, place the plant roots in your desire position and fill it with potting mix that is made into slurry.

This usually works quite well for small plants, as the weight restriction and ease of handling.

As a farmer and gardener, it is fun to get, messy, and dirty at times doing what you love. If for some reason you are allergic to dirt but loving gardening.

It’s recommended to take some medicine to remove parasites from your body, if necessary.

After all, doing all of that messy and uncomfortable thing we did to the plant, is always one of the best things about gardening.

Do Potted Plants Need Their Soil Changed
Do Potted Plants Need Their Soil Changed

Ways To Change Potted Soil 

When it comes to potted plants’ their roots can grow upwards, thus we only need to top it off with organic matters.

Once fresh soil mix is added to the potted plant, new roots will grow in that area, and organic matter will be dissolved slowly into nothing besides a clump. Those clumps can be discarded and top back with another organic matter.

However, less organic matter at the bottom of the pot also means less microbial activity. No stinky water-logged, Cow Dung to be worried about.

Potted Plants Main Issue

One of the biggest problems with a potted plant in container soil is that the plant roots slowly compacts and squeezes together over months and years.

Potted plants in containers tend to close up the spaces that need to be occupied with water and air.

Even if you have the correct amounts of fertilizer, compacted soil will slowly throttle the plant.

Nevertheless,  that is why plants need to be repotted every year or two if you grow them in a container.

They can also be repotted into the same pot if you don’t want them to grow bigger but it depends on the type of plant you have.

Apart from what some individuals think, the old soil as possible should be washed or pulled out, and 1/4 – 1/3 of the plant’s existing roots can be trimmed away. this is ideal for succulent plants such as Aloe vera.

Potted plant soil is not like the soil in your garden on the ground. The soil outside in your garden is constantly being replenished by the breakdown of vegetable matter.

These orgonic matters include fallen leaves, broken stems, cut bits, etc, and animal life bugs, fungi, bacteria, and so on.

Do Potted Plants Need Their Soil Changed Periodically?
Do Potted Plants Need Their Soil Changed Periodically?

Does Potted Plant Need Soil Mixture After Planting?

Nost if not all potted plants including bonsai need a soil mixture that has these 3 requirements; Good Drainage, Good Aeration, and Good Moisture Retention.

If these 3 requirements are present in a soil mixture, the plant will grow healthy.

Roots breathe air and soil requires good aeration. However, overwatering and stagnation of too much water will kill the plant. The soil must have good drainage either at the bottom or side.

A potted plant’s soil should retain moisture so that the plant can absorb the nutrients and water till the next watering.

But what happens is that over time, the soil breaks down and compacts the soil.

All the air spaces that were once in the soil are closed preventing the roots from breathing and also preventing the drainage of water flow.

Over a period of time, all the nutrients in the soil deplete. Even if you add fertilizers it won’t make a difference. The microbes present in the soil mix which helps the fertilizers to break down and make them available to the plant also diminishes over time because the organic matter in the soil also gone.

This is the reason why the soil in potted plants is changed periodically so that fresh organic nutrients and microorganisms are available so the plants can become healthy once again.


So, in conclusion to the question; Do Potted Plants Need Their Soil Changed Periodically?

The answer is Yes!

The main thing is that you use only sterilized potting soil medium. Never ever garden soil, nor even mixed in with stuff like sand and gravel and compost.

Garden soil dumped in a pot is never a balanced and healthy ecosystem.

The non-beneficial insect will easily ravage a trapped plant outside the large body of garden soil.

Usually, I transplant at the same time when the plant itself has outgrown the pot.  On a personal level, I only enlarge the pot by 2″ maybe 3″ in diameter as well.

Having a small plant in a big pot of soil is a disaster waiting to happen.

When using fertilizer there is a lot also found in the potting. You want to be in charge of the fertilizer knowing exactly what you are adding and why.

Osmocote, 14–14–14 extended-release is what I would recommend for newbie gardeners just starting out.

Within the lasts 6 months to a year depending on the plant, sunlight, and environment is critical. Do not guess the Safest fertilizer amount of fertilizer to apply to your potted plant.

Use only half of what the directions say because remember you are planning in a container and the soil mix usually has fertilizer already.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *