When you buy a container of plants at the store, it is usually not a good idea to simply leave the arrangement as is for too long. Most store-bought container plants have already outgrown the container they were planted in. The stores want these to look full and lush because they sell better that way. But unfortunately, they don’t live well that way.
Since the container is overcrowded, the plants have little room to breathe let alone grow. So if left in the container as you bought them, the plants are likely to die not long after you’ve brought them home.
The best way to keep these container plants alive is also a wonderful way for you to have more plants in your home:
Separate them into multiple containers.
1. Once you’ve found a container of plants at the store you really like, be sure to also buy a few extra pots if you don’t already have some waiting at home, and buy extra organic potting soil too. I recommend going to a reliable nursery that sells only quality plants.
2. When you get home with your new materials, you’ll repot some of the plants from the container you just bought. You don’t have to do this immediately, but it is best to do it within a few days of bringing it home.
Most indoor container plants are quite hardy, so you don’t have to worry too much about hurting them.
1. First, you’ll need to set up all your materials. Set the new container of plants on a table or counter, then put the empty pots and potting soil close by. I prefer to do this next to a sink because you’ll be watering the new containers after transplanting and having the sink on hand just makes this easier.
2. Now, if the container full of plants is a bit dry, soak it with water really well first. This will loosen the soil and make it easier to remove plants from.
3. Next, turn the plant container over on your hand, so the plants start falling out. Usually, the container is so full and crowded that all the roots are intertwined, thus the entire plant arrangement comes out as one piece.
4. With the plant roots showing, pick one or two sections – or individual plants from the arrangement, and gently break its roots away from the main root section. You will break some of the plant’s roots when you’re doing this, but a little breakage doesn’t usually hurt anything. Just be sure you don’t sever the plant from its roots entirely.
Sometimes its easier to simply use a knife or spade to cut the plant roots apart. You can separate and sort out the entire original container arrangement first, or you can do it one section at a time.
5. Once you’ve got one or more sections of the container arrangement separated, you’ll put them into the empty pots. Fill one of the pots at least half-way with the new potting soil. If the soil is a bit dry, soak it well with water and let it drain. Then dig one or more partial holes in the soil of the new pot, and put one section of the original plants you’ve broken off into each hole.
You can put one section into each pot, or you can put 3-5 sections into each pot. It all depends on how large your new pots are, and how large each plant section is that you’ve broken off from the original. You want to be sure there is space for each section in the new pots though because the sections you’ve broken off will grow and fill in quite fast – usually within a couple of weeks – and you don’t want to have to move it to another pot again so soon.
6. Once you have the plant sections in place, fill in the remaining area around them with more potting soil. Press it down a bit, add some more water and let it settle, then if needed: Add a bit more soil.
7. Once you have the soil level covering the roots and at an appropriate height, soak the new planting pot with water again and let it drain.
You’ll need to rinse off the outside of your pot most likely, then you can set it anywhere in your house with enough light. Repeat this process for however many sections of plants you want, and within just a couple of weeks, you’ll have several new indoor container plants looking wonderful in your home!