Table of contents:
- Partial soil replacement is needed in several cases:
- The procedure for changing the top layer of potting soil consists of several steps:
Video: Partial Soil Replacement For Indoor Plants
Sooner or later, a transplant is necessary for all indoor plants. But in the case of giants, indoor large-sized ones, it is not carried out as long as possible, since this is not an easy task. And rarely do any adult plants need an annual transplant, not having time to master all the soil in pots. In years when no transplant is carried out, it is almost always recommended to perform a mandatory procedure - a partial soil replacement. The topsoil is replaced both for hygiene purposes and to maintain the normal state of the substrate.
Partial soil replacement is a simple procedure that does not require any special skills or knowledge to replace the top layer of the substrate in pots with indoor plants.
Partial soil replacement is needed in several cases:
- when the plant is transplanted not annually, but with a frequency of once every 2-3 years or less, instead of replanting at the optimal time, the contaminated topsoil is replaced;
- for large growers who are grown in concrete or stone flower boxes, as well as containers that are too heavy to transport or move, replacing the transplant itself with this procedure;
- if the soil becomes acidic, contaminated, moldy, compacted too often and the top layer needs to be replaced to ensure normal air and water permeability;
- if the plant is infected with pests or diseases, the lesions are serious, it has lost leaves, after treatment with fungicides or insecticides, replacing the upper level of the substrate reduces the risk of a recurrence of the problem, allows you to remove pollution and sources of disease from the substrate;
- if the plant's roots come out on top of the pot, but the plant has not yet filled the substrate and there is no need for a transplant (or there is no possibility to carry it out), the contaminated soil is partially removed and a higher layer of earth is added to cover the roots.
Replacing the top layer of the substrate is traditionally recommended to be carried out at the same time as plant transplantation, but early spring or late winter are not at all the only time for such a procedure. In fact, a partial soil replacement can be done any time it is needed. If a transplant is replaced with it, then it is true - from the end of February to May. But if a replacement is needed to urgently improve the condition of the substrate, is associated with hygienic, preventive purposes, then it can be carried out at any time, except for winter, and preferably at the stage of active plant growth.
The classic approach to replacing soil instead of replanting has become the reason for another misconception, according to which partial replacement is carried out only once a year, like the transplant itself, for young or actively growing crops. For most small plants, this is really the best option. But if we are talking about indoor giants, which are difficult or impossible to transplant at all, then soil replacement must be carried out at least 2 times a year. After all, they do not completely change the soil for these plants, and in order for the procedure to have even a minimal effect, it will be necessary to replace the top layer of soil in the pot 1 time in six months. In this case, the replacement is carried out in spring and autumn. When replacing the top layer for hygienic or prophylactic purposes, it is carried out as many times as necessary, but not more often than 1 time in 3 months.
How much soil can be removed and replaced is always determined individually. The maximum amount of removed substrate that can be removed from the pots is a quarter of the total soil. But it is always better to focus on a specific plant. The golden rule of replacing the topsoil in pots with indoor plants is that only the contaminated soil layer can be removed before the roots of the plant begin. Since contact with the rhizome must be avoided (even the slightest), sometimes we are talking about a very thin layer of soil.
The procedure can only be carried out on a dry substrate. For plants that prefer stable moisture, allow the top 3-4 cm of soil to dry. But in any case, it is undesirable to remove the wet substrate and several days should pass after watering.
There is nothing complicated in the process of replacing the upper layer of the substrate. But one should be very careful and attentive, act carefully to eliminate the risk of grazing the roots.
The procedure for changing the top layer of potting soil consists of several steps:
- The container with the plant is transferred to a flat, smooth surface, covered with an insulating film on top or a tub, the container, flower girl is surrounded by film and paper so as to avoid contamination of the floor surface.
- Dry leaves are removed from the culture, the crown is examined, if necessary, sanitary cleaning is carried out, cutting off dry and damaged shoots.
- The leaves are cleaned from dust and dirt with a soft sponge or textile cloth (if possible).
- If the soil is compacted, a crust has formed on it, water permeability is disturbed, a fork or any convenient tool for working with indoor plants slightly loosen the soil without touching the roots.
- The soil is carefully scooped out first along the edge of the pot or container, carefully removing a few centimeters of soil around the circumference or perimeter of the container.
- Having removed the substrate from the edge, they carefully move to the shoots of the plant, deep into the pot. First, all visible contaminated areas are removed, and then all available soil, which can be removed without touching the roots.
- After removing all the soil, a fresh substrate is poured on top, suitable for the given plant. The soil level in pots and containers is left unchanged, except for those cases when the roots of the plant were exposed on top: for such a procedure, the roots are covered with a substrate so that at least 5 mm of the soil layer forms on top (optimally 1-1.5 cm).
- After carefully cleaning the container, removing dirt, the plants are rearranged on pallets and watered. If the soil subsides heavily, it is slightly filled up.
Plants, for which the topsoil has been changed, resume normal care immediately. Unlike transplantation, there is no need to limit feeding in adaptation or reduction of watering (of course, if such measures are not due to the health of the green pet). For plants that compensate for the lack of transplant in this way, stopping feeding can lead to a lack of nutrients. Obligatory, regular feeding allows you to compensate for the lack of fertility of the rest of the substrate. If the transplant has not been carried out for a very long time, then it is advisable to increase the concentration of fertilizers or add a long-acting fertilizer to the freshly created layer.