Succulent plants

Succulent plants

Question: succulent plants

how and when to repot succulent plants

Answer: succulent plants

Dear Paolo,

succulent plants, such as cacti, are repotted just before the vegetative restart period, that is at the end of winter, or even in autumn, when they are already entering vegetative rest. Furthermore, it is always advisable to repot a cactacea soon after purchase, because often in the nursery, to have a rapid development, we tend to cultivate them in a soil that is not suitable for the subsequent development of the plant.

Generally repotting takes place every year, or every two years, therefore it is not always necessary to change the pot; if it is, choose a pot that is slightly larger than the previous one. Earthenware pots are ideal, but plastic ones are fine too.

Remove the plant from the jar, avoiding damaging the roots; if it is a large and thorny cactus, you can prepare a long band, using rolled up newspaper sheets, or a thick polystyrene sheet; place the band around the plant, without applying excessive pressure, and join the two sides; at this point you can use the band as if it were a kind of handle, with a loop around the plant itself. In this way it will not be necessary to press excessively on the barrel. If your plant has been in the crock pot for a long time, before trying to extract it, pass a clean and sharp knife over the inside edge of the pot to remove any roots that may have clung to it. If, on the other hand, it is in a plastic pot, place it sideways on the ground (or on the table) and gently squeeze the pot with your hands, also compressing the earth and root bread. Once the plant is out, you can transfer it to the new pot. Remember to try to remove the old soil, even the one between the roots; if these should break, before repotting, leave the plant to dry for a couple of days.

It uses a very porous and incohesive compound, consisting of universal soil, mixed with lapillus, pumice stone or pozzolan, in order to obtain a very well-drained substrate, which is easily crossed by water. Repot the plant, lightly tapping the pot on the ground or on the table a few times, to prevent the formation of air bubbles, which will otherwise fill with water tomorrow.

Wait a few days before resuming watering as usual.

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