My cart (0)

Store info


OFFICE M-f 10-5pm


Durham, NC

Durham, NC


OFFICE M-f 10-5pm

10 Steps to Keep Your Plants Happy with a Yearly Soil Refresh

How to Keep Your Plants Happy: Yearly Soil Refresh


You want the best for your plants and we do too. 

I almost named this post "how to keep your plants alive" but the goal is not to keep your plants alive, you want to make your plants happy so they can thrive. 

​In order to keep your plants alive, thriving, and happy we recommend refreshing the soil of your plants every year or so.

After a year or two, plant soil can become depleted of nutrients and compacted over the years by watering and root growth. The soil we mix for our plants is sandy and fluffy so that water can properly drain and oxygen can reach roots. This is also a great time to asses your plant and its roots and check for signs of over or under watering. To read more about these signs read our blog "What Your Plants are Trying to Tell you: 5 Signs to Watch Out For"

Step by Step: How to Refresh your Plant's Soil and Check the Health of the Plant

How to Start Your Yearly Soil Refresh with a Cactus or Succulent

​1. Begin by dumping the plant. We recommend doing this into a container.

We will soon have plant tarps for planter assembly and care available in the shop. We will add a link here when they are finished.

​You will want to get rid of the old soil and sand. It is not a good idea reuse old soil because it can transfer plant problems like pests that may have moved in. Though our special white sand does deter pests. But you can throw it outside to avoid the landfill. 

​2. Gently remove your plant from the planter and place the planter aside in a clean spot. 

Lorenzo Large Cactus being taken out of planter for yearly soil refresh
Botanist checking the roots and soil of the Lorenzo Cactus to check how healthy the plant is

3. Check the base of the plant to look for any signs of overwatering like darkness or for signs of under watering like wrinkles. 

Make sure the roots are strong and that theyre not mushy from too much water or breaking off dry from underwatering. 

​4. Brush or wash away any old soil from roots so they can have full contact with the new soil.

Our soil does not clump as much as others. We formulate our soil to be high in nutrients, drainage, and air flow.

If you are saving/refreshing a plant that is not ours, most cacti and succulents soils are so dusty and fine that they slide out of the growers cup as one solid dust rock. This soil holds water agains the roots of the plant and causes root rot. Please use water to remove this soil because it is very dusty and will get into your nose and mouth. Gently remove this soil under the water in a container then dump outside. 

If the roots of your plant are very long, if ours they should not be since out planters keep plants from outgrowing their planters, you can trim them down to fit well inside your planter again.

​Repotting your plant into a bigger planter just because it has lots of roots can cause overwatering since the more soil a plant has in its planter the more water it holds and is consumed by roots.
Botanist brushing away debris from a cactus plant during yearly soil refresh
How to clean a handmade ceramic planter during yearly soil refresh
5. Now you can dust dust or wash your planter.

We designed our planters after lots of research to best replicate the natural environment of each plant. Our cactus and succulent planters are finished differently from our houseplant planters even though they have the same matte finish.

Our planters are designed to hold exactly the right amount of water for the plant it comes with. We make our planters with a unique finish to be glazed but still absorbent like terracotta.  

If you are saving a plant find our planters without plants *here* Or make sure to always use a terracotta planter that is the correct size.

6. Gather fresh soil.

We mix our own soil that is great for cacti, succulents, or low maintenance houseplants since these plants do not need to be moist constantly. We only sell these plants since they are hardy and low maintenance. 

We have a special soil mix by request that we make for plants like ferns, calthea ornatas, or any other plant that require constant moisture.

We also use a special white sand that slow releases the water to the roots of the plant and again, prevents pests from moving into the soil of the plant.

You can find our soil and sand
by clicking *here*

The Best homemade soil and sand for cactus and succulent care
Hand putting fresh, handmade soil in a handmade ceramic planter during yearly soil refresh

7. Add soil to the bottom of the planter.

You want to add enough soil so that the roots of the plant will not touch the bottom
- but -
​the plant will still have space to be placed in the planter.

8. Add the plant.

Hold the plant where you want it in the planter. Make sure it is deep enough that the plant wont fall over
​that the main body of the plant is above the soil and sand enough to not have water sit in too many of the crevices of the plant. 

Find our plants with planters and soil *here* or at the bottom. 

​9. Add soil around the base of the plant. 
Hand adding plant in plant care kit assembly
Hand finishing the plant care kit assembly by adding sand to top of plant and planter


10. Top the plant with our special sand that slow releases water to the roots of the plants, prevents pests, and gives a clean minimal look.

This method is a great way to refresh plants you have or to attempt to save a plant that you buy that is not in the correct soil or planter.

Studies show that caring for and plants makes us feel happy, fulfilled, and relaxed. And that looking at plants makes us more focused and calm. 

Its a crazy time right now but we hope this brings you some relaxing fun with your plant friends while you are social distancing! Just let us know if you have any questions! We will have more plant activities for you soon! 

xo, Seana

Unique Super Hardy and Easy to take Care of Lorenzo Cactus Plant in a Modern Handmade Ceramic Planter