Pot plants can be very aesthetically pleasing to have both indoors and out. However, if they are not given water, sunlight, and nutritious soil they will start to wilt.
Giving your pot plants nutritious soil is as important as providing them with sunlight and water!
Proper planting soil provides the necessary nutrients that allow your plant to grow and thrive.
There are many reasons why nutritious soil is important for plant growth.
It provides organic matter that firstly gives off the essential nutrients that the plant should take. These nutrients give the plant energy and allow it to grow optimally.
Plus, the organic soil matter allows it to hold moisture for longer periods, allowing the plant to absorb the necessary amounts of water it needs.
But, the age-old question is…
When should I change the soil in my potted plants?
The timing depends on the type of plant you are growing, as well as whether it’s a fast or slow-growing plant. Changing the soil is essential for when the plant looks dried out, discolored, when water drains too quickly, if the soil is becoming firm and dry and if roots are sticking out from the pot.
Plant’s dried out
If you have been watering your pot plant frequently and giving it the required sunlight but your plant still looks as if it’s starting to wilt, it might be time to change the soil mixture of the pot plant!
The soil of a pot plant, depending on the plant variety, should usually be changed once a year to once every year and a half.
After having your pot plant for around a year, the majority of the soil’s nutrients would have been absorbed by the pot plant.
If your plant is wilting or drying out it and it’s been a while since you changed the soil, it would be advisable to repot your plant in new, fresh soil.
The fresh soil will replenish your plant with nutrients and stop the wilting.
Discoloration can occur from factors such as too much sunlight exposure and not receiving enough water.
As previously said, if you have been giving your plant sufficient water and the required amount of sunlight and you notice the leaves of the plant are turning yellowish, it’s probably time to put fresh soil in your pot plant.
The nutrients in the soil combined with the sunlight provide the plant the energy to do photosynthesis.
Without these components, the plant will not be able to produce the pigment chlorophyll and ultimately, the plant will start to discolor and wilt.
Water drains too quickly
You might find that whenever you water your plant, the soil drains the water fairly quickly and almost immediately. This definitely tells you that you need to change the soil in your pot plant.
Good potting soil has a lot of organic matter in it. This allows for the potting soil to hold the water in for a longer period.
The fact that the water gets held in the soil allows the plant to absorb its required amount of water to optimally grow.
If your pot plant’s soil is draining the water too quickly it can cause your plant to dry out and start to wilt. This can ultimately cause great damage to your plant as water is a necessity for plants to survive and thrive.
Very dry and hard soil
After more or less a year of having your pot plant, the soil might start to look dried up and have a hard and firm texture.
This happens as the sun slowly evaporates moisture out from the soil and the heat can be extremely harsh, especially in the hotter season like summer.
If you have a potting soil mixture with matter such as clay or peat moss and it dries out, you will notice the dry soil becoming fairly hard and starting to compact.
The nature of clay and peat moss causes the air sockets to compact when the water evaporates from the soil.
Compacted and hard soil can be harmful to your plant as the firm soil will restrict your roots and stunt root growth, ultimately this will stunt the growth of the entire plant.
Compacted soil can also lead to the roots starting to stick out of the pot from either the top or the drainage holes. This is harmful to your plant as it will also stunt the root and plant growth.
It is advised that you repot your plant in some fresh soil if it seems as if the soil in your pot pant has become dry, firm, and compacted.
Best ways to enrich your soil
If you want to go all organic, then it’s best to cut them up and place them directly in the soil. Organic matter can be anything from fallen leaves, fruit and vegetable waste, or even eggshells.
Adding organic material to your soil will enrich it by adding nutrients. The organic matter will also allow the soil to hold more water.
Mixing certain fertilizers and compost is a great method of to amp up your soil’s nutrient content. This adds an abundance of nutrients and allows for a very happy plant.
You can also add some earthworms to your soil mixture! These little guys are brilliant for enriching and loosening up the soil.
As the earthworms move through the soil they will churn it up, this will loosen the compact soil creating numerous air pockets.
Earthworms also transport food and excrete worm deposits which create healthy manure for the plant, adding more nutrients into the soil.
For more tips on pot plant soil and how to choose the best soil for your plant, better read up on them in one of the articles in this site.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.