Should I Repot My Alexanders?

By Kiersten Rankel

Mar 27, 20244 min read

  1. Roots peeking or circling? Time to repot your Alexanders.
  2. Spring/early summer repotting ensures the best transition.
  3. Choose the right pot and soil for healthy growth post-repotting.

Spot the Clues: When to Repot

๐ŸŒฑ Root Tango: Tangled and Peeking Roots

If you spot your Alexanders' roots staging a jailbreak through the drainage holes, it's repotting o'clock. Roots should be cozy, not cramped. When they circle the pot's interior like a botanical whirlpool, it's a silent scream for more space.

๐Ÿ’ง Water Woes: Poor Drainage and Overwatering Signs

Water zipping through the pot faster than a greased pig? That's your cue. Overly quick drainage can mean there's more root than soil. And if your watering routine feels like pouring one out for your homiesโ€”because the water just hits the deck and leavesโ€”grab a new pot.

๐ŸŒฟ Growth Halt: When Your Plant Stops Growing Up

When your Alexanders hit a growth plateau, it's not slacking off; it's subtly hinting it's time for a change. If it's more stationary than a forgotten gym membership, consider a pot upgrade. Remember, plants grow in all directions, not just up.

The Repotting Rundown: A Step-by-Step Guide

Prep Work: Choosing the Right Time and Tools

Timing is crucial. Spring or early summer, when plants enter their growth phase, is ideal for repotting. Gather your arsenal: a new pot with drainage holes, fresh potting mix, a trowel, scissors, and gloves. Lay down newspaper to catch any mess.

Out with the Old: Safely Removing Alexanders from Its Pot

Hydrate first; water your Alexanders a day before to ease the transition. Tilt the pot and coax the plant out with a supporting hand. If it clings, use a knife to gently loosen the soil. Inspect the rootsโ€”trim any dead ones, and untangle the rest with care.

In with the New: Transplanting into a Fresh Home

Place a layer of fresh soil in the new pot. Position Alexanders in the center, ensuring it's at the same depth as before. Backfill with potting mix, pressing down lightly to secure the plant and eliminate air pockets. Water lightly to settle the soil and give your Alexanders a welcoming toast to its new abode.

Picking the Perfect Pot: Material Matters

๐ŸŒฑ Terracotta vs. Plastic vs. Ceramic: Pros and Cons

Terracotta, the breathable choice, allows air and water to move through its walls, promoting healthy roots by reducing the risk of root rot. However, its porous nature means more frequent watering, and it's heavy, so it's not ideal for those who like to rearrange their plant displays often.

Plastic pots are the lightweights of the pot world, great for moisture retention and easy to move. They're a boon for the forgetful waterer but can create a swamp-like environment if you're too generous with the watering can. Plus, they may not win any environmental sustainability awards.

Ceramic pots blend style with function, offering a less porous option than terracotta but still some breathability. They're often more expensive and can be heavy, but they come in a variety of designs to suit any decor. Just make sure they have drainage holes to prevent waterlogged soil.

Size It Up: Finding the Right Fit for Roots

Choosing the right size pot is crucial. A pot that's too large can lead to water retention and root rot, while one that's too small can cramp your plant's roots. Aim for a pot that's 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current one to give your Alexanders room to grow without drowning in excess soil. Remember, the shape of the pot should match your plant's rooting pattern to ensure optimal health.

After the Move: Ensuring a Smooth Transition

๐ŸŒฑ Soil Selection: Best Mixes for Alexanders

Choosing the right soil is crucial for your Alexanders post-repotting. Aim for a mix that strikes a balance between moisture retention and drainage. A blend of potting soil with some coco coir and perlite can offer this harmony. Remember, your plant's roots crave a comfy bed, not a swamp or a desert.

๐Ÿ’ง First Water: When and How Much

After repotting, it's time for the first watering. This isn't a baptism or a flood scenario; think of it as a welcome drink. Water thoroughly to help the roots settle, but ensure the soil isn't soggy. Check the soil's moisture before the next wateringโ€”let it be dry to the touch on top.

๐ŸŒž Settling In: Light and Location Tips Post-Repotting

Your Alexanders need to acclimate to their new abode. Keep them in bright, indirect light, similar to their previous spot to avoid the botanical equivalent of a culture shock. Don't shove them into the limelight too soon. And as for location, think of it as a plant's personal spaceโ€”somewhere familiar but with a fresh perspective.

Repot your Alexander with confidence and ensure it has the room to grow ๐ŸŒฟ by letting Greg remind you when and guide you through the process with personalized, step-by-step care tips!