It is recommended by gardeners to wait at least one week after repotting a succulent before watering it. This is important because you need to give the damaged roots time to heal before you water them.
After one week, soak the soil in the pot until the water starts flowing through the drainage holes at the bottom.
Why do you need to repot succulents?
The most obvious reason you need to repot your succulents is to give the roots more space to grow. It is best to repot your plant in a pot only a little bigger than the old one. This gives the roots space to grow but it is not so big that there will be too much water in the soil and cause root rot.
Keeping a succulent in a pot that is too small for it can restrict its roots and stunt its growth, which is why it is necessary to transfer a growing plant into a bigger pot.
Another reason you need to repot your plant is to replace the soil with fresh soil that is full of nutrients.
Some succulents are also quick to reproduce and grow pups, or offsets. Repotting gives you a chance to separate these so you can propagate them.
How do you repot succulents?
Before repotting your succulent, you need to gather the following: the succulent you wish to repot, cactus or succulent soil, a new pot that is about two inches bigger in diameter than the old pot, and gardening gloves.
When you have everything you need ready, prepare the new pot by filling it a third of the way with your soil. If you do not have succulent soil, you can use regular gardening soil and mix it with equal parts sand and perlite.
Remove the succulent from its current pot and shake the roots gently so the excess soil falls off. You can agitate the roots with your hands if you need to so the soil falls off quickly. This will help lengthen and spread the roots so that they stabilize better in the new soil and pot. Inspect the roots and pull off any that look black or brown. Those are old or dead roots that you need to get rid of. If there are any dead or old leaves near the base of the succulent, pull them off as well.
Dig a hole in the soil and place the succulent into it. Cover the roots with more soil until you feel the plant is stable enough. Make sure the soil is covering the base of the plant, but not so much that it reaches the bottom leaves. Do not let the leaves touch the top of the soil, as this can cause them to rot.
Once you are satisfied that the plant is stable, you can start decorating by adding sand, pebbles or rocks on top of the soil. Just make sure that the material that you place on top drains easily and will not hold any water stagnant at the surface. Any water you put on it should drain down to the roots.
Place your succulent in an area that has sufficient light for a few hours a day and make sure you bring it indoors if it starts to rain outside.
When do you water a succulent after repotting?
When repotting, do not water your plant before transferring it to the new soil and pot. You need to wait at least one week before you can water a plant you have just repotted, because when you pull a plant from its current container, its roots undergo a traumatic event. The tiny root hairs that grow on each individual root get decimated, and you also need to cut or pull off old and dead roots before replanting. Thus, the damaged root hairs and the areas where the roots were cut will need some time to recover from the trauma. Waiting one week after repotting will give the plant’s roots enough time to adjust and recover so that they can once again efficiently absorb water and nutrients.
How do you water a plant after repotting?
After giving the repotted plant one week to recuperate, help it bounce back by watering it and encouraging growth.
Succulent roots know when there is water nearby, and the plant will start to grow roots in that direction. Repotted plants that have had old roots removed will want to grow new roots to replace the old ones.
Use a watering can with a long spout so that you can pour water directly onto the base of the plant. Make sure all of the soil is soaked through with water, and keep pouring until you can see the excess water coming out from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
You may think that watering succulents a small amount every day is a better way of watering, but you would be wrong. If you water a small amount, it will only reach the top of the soil and deprive the bottom roots of any water. This can lead to poor root growth.
Make sure you drench all the soil with water so there is moisture trapped in the middle, which the roots can absorb easily. The better the deeper roots are drinking, the stronger they will become at anchoring the plant and keeping it stable.
After repotting your succulent, you will need to wait at least one week before you can water it.
Succulents that are pulled from the soil of their current pot will endure a certain level of damage to their roots. You need to give the roots some time to recover before watering them. The root hairs will need to grow back so they can effectively absorb water and nutrients from the soil.
After you have waited a week, you can go back to your regular watering schedule.
Image: istockphoto.com / Duygu Coban