The glossy foliage and heart-shaped blooms make anthuriums more endearing to houseplant owners and gardening enthusiasts. They’re also low maintenance, requiring minimal care to survive.
Repotting, one of the plant care routines, is pivotal to the continuous blooming of your anthurium. While the plant grows relatively moderately, you might have to repot anthurium sometimes in its lifetime.
Are you new to repotting? Want to know the why, and how of repotting? These are probably some of the questions on your mind. No worries; we’ve answered all your questions here. Now, let’s explore the world of repotting anthurium.
Why Repot Anthurium?
As humans outgrow their clothes, plants outgrow their pots. While you don’t have to repot regularly, your anthurium will thank you for this. Repotting is a care routine that you need to incorporate for the healthy growth of your anthurium.
Here’s why you should repot your plant. Understanding these reasons will help you determine if repotting is suitable for your anthurium.
Anthuriums planted in pots or containers will outgrow them over time, making their roots cramped, inhibiting the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients for growth and survival.
Rootbound anthurium has its root encircling the surface of potting mix and growing through drainage holes. With no room for roots to spread out, the plant soon stops growing. Repotting anthurium gives it a chance to grow and bloom.
Rootbound anthuriums absorb most of the nutrients in the soil, resulting in nutrient depletion and soil degradation. This destroys the soil structure, reducing its moisture retention capacity.
Though adding fertilizer to plants replenishes lost nutrients in the soil, old potting soil may not have the same amounts of nutrients as fresh potting mix.
Typically, soil quality may not be a significant reason to repot since it depletes years after. However, this can be necessary, especially when the plant outgrows its pot and you need to refresh the soil.
Pests & Diseases
Pests and diseases can be a reason to repot your anthurium. These microorganisms live in the soil, attacking the roots of plants and causing havoc. You’ll need to get rid of the soil to prevent more damage.
Furthermore, empty and wash the container to eliminate these vermin. A more effective way to remove pests is to repot your plant to reduce the chances of reinfection.
For plants too large to repot, refresh the soil by removing the topsoil and adding fresh potting mix.
Many beginners don’t provide a drainage system for their houseplants, which can be a drawback. A poor drainage system can culminate into issues for your anthurium. It can also cause root rot, pest infestation, and increased humidity.
If your plant isn’t well-drained, you should consider repotting it. Moreover, you don’t necessarily have to change your old pot; remove your anthurium, create drainage holes in the pot and replant it.
Generally, root rot is one of the main reasons many houseplant owners repot their anthuriums. When root rot occurs, the only way to salvage the situation is to repot the plant.
Symptoms like leaf discoloration, slow growth, and rotten smell from plant base can indicate root rot. Once you notice these symptoms, it’s about time to repot.
Improve the Aesthetics
Besides the health benefits it offers, repotting can improve the look of your anthurium. Moving houseplants from the nursery to a new pot helps you to remove outdated pots that don’t complement your decor or plant.
For example, you can move a plant from a hanging basket to a flower pot or container. Sometimes, you may have to perform repotting to move the plant from a damaged or old pot to a new one.
The Leaves Are Wilting, Yellowing, or Browning
If the leaves of your anthurium are wilting, yellowing, or browning, this could be a sign that the plant needs repotting. These symptoms usually indicate that the plant is not getting enough water or nutrients.
When a plant is rootbound, it can’t absorb enough water or nutrients from the soil, which can cause the leaves to wilt, yellow, or brown. If you notice these symptoms, repotting may be the best solution.
When a plant outgrows its container, it won’t have enough room to breathe. Soon enough, the root encircles the plant, mounting pressure on it and pushing it out of the soil. This can disrupt the plant’s natural growth and make it suffocate and die.
To prevent this, you need to repot your anthurium in a larger container, giving the roots more room to grow and the plant more space to breathe.
Accumulation Of Mineral Salts
Mineral salts from fertilizer may build up in the soil, affecting plant growth. Meanwhile, the salts will deplete if you don’t fertilize anthurium.
If not checked, the plant will soon become nutrient deficient. Repotting anthurium with a fresh potting mix will resolve nutrient deficiency in no time.
As plants grow with multiple stems crowding the pot, you’ll need to repot to create new plants. When you repot, you can divide the rootball into two or more sections and plant them in separate pots, giving you new plants to grow separately.
Remember to choose a pot that’s big enough for the rootball and has drainage holes. Also, use a high-quality potting mix that drains well. After repotting, water the plant thoroughly and place it in a location with bright, indirect light.
When Is The Best Time for Anthurium Repotting?
Typically, anthuriums don’t grow fast when grown indoors, so you might not need to repot frequently. It’s recommended to repot once every two or three years.
The best time to repot is early spring and summer during the growing season.
Meanwhile, you’ll have to do that once it outgrows its container, particularly when it’s 20 inches tall with a 5-inch diameter.
Overall, the best time is summer when anthuriums release excess energy, helping the plant recover quickly from shock or stress due to transplant.
In addition, during this period, the plant becomes well-established so it can withstand unfavorable conditions during winter. However, there’s no suitable repotting time; it’s not one-size-fits-all, as this depends on other factors.
If you notice the following, you’ll need to repot as soon as possible.
- When plants start growing slowly with drooping, yellowing, or brown leaves.
- When root rot and molds occur
- When soil seems tightly packed
- When soil isn’t well-drained, and roots grow through drainage holes
- When the root mounts pressure on the plant
- When the container is bent or cracked
How to Repot Anthurium
Learning how to repot is vital to keeping your green friends healthy and looking their best. Here’s a step-by-step guide to repotting anthuriums.
Step 1: Water Your Anthurium
Ensure anthurium is well moistened before repotting to reduce the chances of transplant shock. Due to the stress of uprooting and moving the plant, it may not be able to absorb much water.
Therefore, watering anthurium beforehand helps to prevent dehydration. It would be best to do this a few hours before the process, as the moist root ball is easier to work with.
Experts advise that you check that anthurium is well hydrated before transplant. The best way to do this is by dipping your fingers in the soil medium. If it feels dry to the touch, water it.
Step 2: Use the Best Pot
Don’t forget, one of the reasons you’re repotting is because there’s no room for new growth, so you need to get a new pot. The pot should be a size larger than the current one.
As a rule of thumb, the diameter of the new container should be about an inch or two larger. Choosing a new pot is virtually the first thing on your repotting checklist.
Nonetheless, your plant doesn’t have to outgrow the existing container before repotting. You can repot to reduce pest infestations or chances of old problems arising.
Ensure the pot you choose for repotting doesn’t have narrow openings, as these can make the process difficult and reduce water evaporation from the soil.
Step 3: Prepare the Right Potting Mix
The next step is to prepare a suitable potting mix for the anthurium since soil forms the bedrock of most plants. Choosing the right pot and soil medium for your anthurium is as crucial as the repotting process.
Typically, anthuriums thrive in rich, slightly acidic soil mediums with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. The soil is usually a combination of peat, pine bark, and perlite. While you can purchase soil online or from a garden store, it can be expensive.
An alternative is to prepare your potting mix, which allows you to tailor the mix to meet your plant’s needs. Here’s how peat, pine bark, and perlite support plant growth.
- Peat moss: This is an essential component of the potting mix, which doubles as a seed starting medium. Generally, peat moss should make up one-third to two-thirds of the total volume of the mix. This soil component helps retain moisture, lightens the mixture, and nourishes the mix.
- Pine bark: Pine bark, another constituent of substrate mix, improves drainage and soil structure. It also acts as a firm anchorage for plants.
- Perlite: The natural soil additive has numerous benefits. This volcanic glass speeds up germination, improves drainage and promotes aeration.
- Coconut coir: This is an excellent alternative to peat moss as it possesses the same properties as the former.
Follow the steps below to create a well-drained potting mix for your anthurium.
- Combine equal parts of pine bark, perlite, and peat moss in a large container.
- Add lukewarm water to the mixture to hold the components together.
- Ensure the soil isn’t completely wet, just moist.
Step 4: Uproot Plant From Its Old Pot
After preparing your potting mix, proceed to start repotting. You may have a hard time removing root-bound anthuriums. So, follow the steps below to uproot plants.
- Carefully remove the plant from its old container.
- Hold the plant around the stem base.
- Turn the pot upside down and gently slide the plant out of it.
- Give the root a hard knock to remove clumped soil around it. You can also loosen the soil using your fingers.
- If this proves difficult, use pruning shears or scissors to prune the pot’s edges to remove the root.
While working the roots, they’re likely to break, but it doesn’t matter since they won’t hurt anthurium in any way.
Step 5: Clean the Roots
After removing anthurium from the soil, you’ll need to clean the root thoroughly by using running water to remove the remaining soil around it.
In addition, you can apply hydrogen peroxide to the root to prevent fungal or bacterial infection in the future. Inspect the roots to ensure they’re in good condition, and trim off any brown, black, or damaged roots.
Step 6: Sterilize Work Area
Experts advise that gardeners sterilize work areas and tools used during repotting to prevent the spread of diseases. For example, most anthurium species contain calcium oxalates which are dangerous to humans and pets.
Therefore, during repotting, ensure you wear sterilized gloves when handling sensitive parts of the plant, like roots.
Step 7: Trim Anthurium Leaves
It won’t hurt to clean your anthurium before repotting. Prune yellowing, faded, and dead leaves on the plant. Remove the stipules from the stem as well. Not removing these leaves will give your anthurium a messy look.
Step 8: Repot Anthurium
Now your plant is all ready for repotting. Place anthurium in the new pot containing the potting mix. Fill the pot with soil so it covers the root.
For plants with exposed stems, you might need to cover them up to the petioles with soil. Ensure the anthurium is at the same level as in the old pot.
Depending on the situation, add or remove soil till it reaches the right level. Use your hand to tamp down the soil but ensure you do this gently to avoid making it compact.
Step 9: Water Lightly
After repotting, water the anthurium thoroughly to settle the soil. You may have to add more potting mix.
Note that the plant may look unsightly and slightly wilt after repotting. Nevertheless, don’t worry about this as anthurium is trying to recover from transplant shock.
Anthurium Plant Care Tips
After repotting, your plant will need some time to adjust to its new environment. Here are some valuable tips to incorporate into your anthurium plant care routine.
Place Anthurium in a Suitable Location
Keep the plant in a shady area for some days, maybe 4-7 days. If you’re used to fertilizing your anthurium, you might want to take a break till the plant is established. Warm temperature and light watering will help your plant a great deal.
Maintain a Humid Environment
As tropical plants, anthuriums thrive best in warm and humid environments. Therefore, place the plant where temperatures range between 70°F and 85°F.
That said, consider placing the anthuriums in your kitchen and bathroom. These areas have a suitable temperature that supports the anthurium’s growth.
Repotting Leggy Anthurium: Take Cuttings
Some anthuriums grow tall, having long stems reaching 4-8 inches. So, it can be a hassle repotting leggy anthuriums unless you use a deep pot, which isn’t readily available. So, it would be best to plant anthurium cuttings instead of repotting. A benefit to this is that anthuriums easily grow from cuttings.
Adopt Light Watering
Overwatering is a common mistake many gardeners make in their care routine. This practice will cause fungal growth and root rot, which is detrimental to the plant’s health. Water the anthurium when the soil is dry to touch.
Adopt a watering schedule that you strictly follow while ensuring that the container has drainage holes to control moisture retention.
Tools Required For Repotting
You need essential tools to facilitate the process to repot your anthurium properly. Below are some tools needed for repotting.
- Soil mix for planting
- A new pot with many drainage holes
- Gloves for handling plant
- Scissors, clean, sharp knife, or pruning shears to trim anthurium’s roots and foliage before repotting.
- An antiseptic solution to sanitize blades between cuts to prevent the spread of disease.
- Floor covering or old towel to prevent soiling the work area.
Regarding the pot used for repotting, ceramic, terracotta, granite, and plastic potting vessels are best suited for planting anthuriums. However, anthurium can thrive in any container so long it has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
While some people prefer terracotta because it dries up fast, others choose plastic pots as they can keep a close watch on the plant. Meanwhile, glazed ceramics are less breathable, sealing more moisture than bare clay.
Plastic and fiberglass may be a better option if you’re scared of underwatering your anthurium since they’re less porous than other pot types. Above all, the pot type used for repotting depends on what works best for your plant.
Caring for anthuriums may seem like a lot of work, but it’s a worthwhile investment. Following the steps listed above, repotting is easy peasy. Though it’s recommended to repot once every two years, you should repot once you notice root rot symptoms and infections.
Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.