Choosing The Right Time For Transplantation
Choosing the right time to repot or transplant your chlorophytum depends on where you grow it and its growth cycle. For indoor plants, the best time is usually spring through summer, when temperatures are warm and daylight hours are long. During this active growing period, the plant’s roots are also growing rapidly, so it will recover from transplantation more quickly.
The ideal time to transplant a chlorophytum is when new shoot growth and leaves start emerging in spring. Do a gentle check under the top layer of soil with your finger to ensure the new roots are 1 to 2 inches long before transplanting. If the roots are longer than this, the plant should still do well when transplanted, but may experience more shock.
According to Wikipedia,Spider plant,” Chlorophytum comosum,”the most common variety of chlorophytum,generates new shoots in spring and early summer. This is an ideal time to refresh the plant’s pot and soil and divide the shoots into separate plants. Transplanting during this peak growing season will allow the plant to recover quickly, especially if you are dividing and propagating new spider plant babies.
Water and fertilize your chlorophytum plant a week before transplanting to ensure the soil and roots are moist. This will minimize shock to the plant after repotting. Check the roots for circles – if the roots look very crowded in their current pot, transplanting will benefit the plant’s health and growth. Pot up one size and replant so the top of the roots sit about 1 inch below the rim of the new container.
Preparing The Soil And The Pot
Selecting the proper pot and soil for your chlorophytum is key to its health after transplanting. Choose a pot one size larger than the current one, with drainage holes in the bottom. For most varieties of chlorophytum, a pot with a diameter 2 to 4 inches larger will give the roots more room to grow.
Well-draining soil is essential for chlorophytum plants. Aim for a mixture of:
- 2 parts peat moss or coconut coir
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part compost or worm castings
This creates a loose, airy mixture that drains well while still holding moisture. Commercially packaged potting mixes for houseplants also work well for chlorophytum as long as drainage is adequate. Avoid heavy, dense soils that can lead to root rot.
According to the Wikipedia, the optimal soil pH for spider plants is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6 to 7. Test your soil to determine the pH and adjust as needed with lime (to raise pH) or aluminum sulfate (to lower pH).
Chlorophytum plants do not require fertilizer immediately after transplanting, but will benefit from a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer once new growth starts appearing. Look for an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 and follow the directions to dilute it to 1/2 the recommended strength. Pinch off any flowers that start to form after transplanting so the plant can focus its energy on root growth.
Fill the bottom 1/3 of the new pot with the prepared soil mixture. Gently remove the chlorophytum plant from its old pot and loosen the roots slightly if the roots are densely wrapped around the root ball. Place the plant in the center of the new pot and fill in soil around the sides and base, making sure the top of the roots remain at the same level as before. Firm the soil gently around the base to support the plant.
Water the freshly transplanted chlorophytum thoroughly until water flows from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. This will settle the soil around the roots and wash away any air pockets that could lead to root drying or rot. Place the plant in a warm spot with bright, indirect light, and check the soil moisture regularly as it becomes established in its new pot.
Transplanting The Chlorophytum: Step By Step
Once you have selected an appropriate pot and well-draining soil, it is time to transplant your chlorophytum plant. Carefully removing it from the old pot and placing it in the new container will help minimize stress and set it up for success.
Gently remove the chlorophytum from its current pot. Turn the pot upside down while supporting the base of the plant. Gently tap and squeeze the sides of the pot to loosen the root ball. If roots are dense and tightly wrapped around the root ball, use a sharp knife to make several vertical cuts into the roots to stimulate new growth.
According to Wikipedia, root bound spider plants may benefit from root pruning in addition to repotting. Cut 1 to 2 inches off the outside of the root ball to remove thicker, woodier roots. This will generate the growth of new feeder roots better able to absorb moisture and nutrients.
Remove any dead or dying leaves at this time. Check for any signs of disease or pest infestation and treat as needed. Discard any plant parts that are infected to avoid spreading to healthy sections.
Center the chlorophytum plant in its new pot and fill in soil around the sides, tamping gently as you go to remove air pockets. Add soil until the top of the root ball ends up about 1 inch below the rim of the pot. The plant should sit at the same level it was originally planted.
Water the transplanted chlorophytum thoroughly until water flows freely from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Let the excess water drain away for 10 to 15 minutes to allow some air back into the soil, then move the pot to its new home.
Place in a warm spot with bright, indirect light. While the plant is becoming established in the new pot, allow the top 1 to 2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings. Fertilize lightly once new growth begins in a few weeks. Prune the plant to shape it as desired once it begins actively growing. Repot again in 2 to 3 years if it becomes top heavy or produces abundant new shoots.
Proper aftercare, including moisture maintenance and pruning, will help your freshly transplanted chlorophytum recover and thrive in its new container. Watch for any signs of stress after transplanting and take appropriate action. With the right conditions, your plant should make a quick transition to its new pot.
Post-Transplantation Care: Watering, Fertilizing And More
Proper care after transplanting is key to your chlorophytum plant’s recovery and continued health. For the first week after repotting, water the plant thoroughly but allow the top 1 to 2 inches of soil to dry out slightly between waterings. After the initial week, you can return to a normal watering schedule.
Most varieties of chlorophytum, including spider plants, prefer soil that dries out moderately between waterings. Check the top of the soil with your finger – if it feels dry about an inch deep, it is usually time to water. Water until it flows freely from the drainage holes, then discard the drained water. Never leave a chlorophytum sitting in water, as this can lead to root rot.
Fertilizer can be started 7 to 14 days after transplanting. Look for a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Follow the directions to dilute the fertilizer to 1/2 the recommended strength. Fertilize chlorophytum every 2 to 4 weeks during the growing season. Reduce or stop feeding in the fall and winter when growth slows down. Always irrigate with plain water at least one time between fertilizer applications.
Pruning a chlorophytum after transplanting should be limited to pinching off any dead or dying leaves and spent flower stalks. Limit pruning for the first month after repotting so the plant can focus its energy on new root growth. Once the plant has recovered, you can prune to shape it and remove any unwanted shoots.
Place your newly transplanted chlorophytum in a warm spot with bright, indirect light, such as near an east- or west-facing window. Temperatures of 65 to 80 F are ideal for most varieties. Repot when the plant becomes top heavy, produces abundant shoots, or every 2 to 3 years. Care for a freshly repotted plant the same as after initial transplanting.
Monitor your chlorophytum in the weeks following transplanting and take appropriate action if you notice:
- Drooping leaves: Water immediately and check soil moisture
- Sparse new growth: Increase fertilizer, move to a brighter spot
- Pests or disease: Treat with insecticidal soap or appropriate fungicide
- Leaf drop: Usually temporary, continue normal care unless excessive
With the right post-transplantation care, your chlorophytum will make a full recovery and thrive in its new home. Provide the essentials – water, light, and nutrients – and your plant will reward you with healthy, vibrant new growth.