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Durham, NC

Durham, NC

Online ALL THE TIME

OFFICE M-f 10-5pm

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

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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 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 assess your plant and its roots to check for signs of over or under watering. To learn more about these signs read our blog "What Your Plants are Trying to Tell you: 5 Signs to Watch Out For"

What you don’t have to worry about when it comes to repotting:

  • Root bound plants don’t die from being rootbound. If a plant seems rootbound, you can either plant in a bigger planter or gently trim back the roots so it can stay in the same container. 
  • You don’t necessarily have to up-pot or go larger. ​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.

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

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

We recommend doing this into a container or on a plant tarp like the one in our shop.

2. Dump the old soil.

You will want to get rid of the old soil and sand. It is not a good idea to reuse old soil because it can transfer plant problems - you can throw it outside to avoid the landfill. 

3. Wash your planter.

Use either a brush to clear off the debris left in the planter or a light soap to clean it a little deeper. 

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 to address the plants needs, though both have a matte finish.

We make our planters with a unique finish to be glazed but still absorbent like terracotta.  Our planters are designed to hold exactly the right amount of water for the plant it comes with and so that you never have to up-pot to a larger size. 

4. Check the plant.

Look for any signs of overwatering like darkness or for signs of under watering like wrinkles. Prune any necessary spots on houseplants. If the roots of your plant are very long you can trim them down to fit well inside your planter again. Make sure the roots are strong and that they’re not mushy from too much water or breaking off dry from underwatering. 

If you aren’t sure what you are looking for, check out our blog to figure out What Your Plants Are Trying to Tell You

5. 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 against the roots of the plant and causes root rot. Gently use water to remove this old soil because it is very dusty and will get into your nose and mouth.

6. Grab your clean planter or new planter to re-pot. 

If you are repotting one of our plants in our planters, you can use the planter you cleaned in step three! If you are saving a plant and need a new planter, find our planters without plants *here* or make sure to always use a terra-cotta planter that is the correct size.

7. 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 also use a special white sand for cacti and succulents that slowly releases the water to the roots of the plant and prevents pests from moving into the soil of the plant.

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

8. 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.

9. Add the plant.

Hold the plant where you want it in the planter. Make sure it is deep enough that the plant won’t fall over

-but-

that the main body of the plant is above the soil enough to not have water sit in too many of the crevices of the plant. 

10. Add soil around any roots still visible and the base of the plant

11. Top the plant with our special sand 

This step is optional but we highly suggest it for cacti and succulents. Our speciality sand slowly releases water to the roots of the plants, prevents pests, and gives a clean minimal look.

12. Water your plant

This method is a simple and great way to refresh plants you have or to attempt to save a plant. Studies show that caring for plants makes us feel happy, fulfilled, and relaxed. And that looking at plants makes us more focused and calm. 

If you have any questions about repotting your plant, email us at care@tierrasolstudio.com  


xo, Seana