Easy Calathea Repotting: A Step-by-Step Guide

Understanding the Needs of Your Calathea

Calatheas, also known as prayer plants, are beloved for their beautiful foliage that can elevate the aesthetic of any indoor space. Originating from tropical areas, these plants thrive in humid environments and require particular care to flourish. One crucial aspect of Calathea care is repotting, which supports growth, refreshes soil, and reduces the risk of root-bound plants.

When to Repot Your Calathea

Typically, Calatheas require repotting every 12 to 18 months, but they’ll let you know it’s time when you spot roots growing through the drainage holes, the plant stops growing, or water runs straight through the pot. The best time to repot is in the spring or summer when the plant is in its active growing phase.

Step-by-Step Guide to Repotting Your Calathea

Step 1: Choose the Right Pot

Select a new pot that is one to two inches larger in diameter than the current one. Ensure it has adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Terracotta or ceramic pots are excellent choices for balancing moisture levels.

Step 2: Prepare Your Supplies

Gather your supplies including potting mix, the new pot, water, gloves, a trowel, and pruning shears. Opt for a well-draining, peat-based mix designed for indoor plants. Having everything on hand will make the process smoother and quicker.

Step 3: Remove the Plant Gently

Water your Calathea a day before repotting to minimize stress and root damage during the process. To remove the plant from its current pot, turn the pot sideways, hold the plant gently by the stems, and tap the bottom of the pot to loosen the root ball. Ease the plant out carefully.

Step 4: Inspect and Trim the Roots

Once your Calathea is out, inspect the root ball for signs of decay or circling roots. Use sterilized pruning shears to trim away any unhealthy roots. This will encourage the growth of new, healthy roots.

Step 5: Add Fresh Soil and Repot

Place a layer of fresh potting mix into the new pot. Center your Calathea in the pot, and fill the surrounding space with more soil. Be sure not to bury the plant any deeper than it was in its previous pot to avoid stem rot.

Step 6: Water Thoroughly

After repotting, water your Calathea thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Allow the water to drain completely, as Calatheas do not like to sit in water.

Caring for Your Repotted Calathea

Post-repotting, place your Calathea in a location with indirect light, as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. Maintain consistent moisture by watering once the top inch of soil feels dry, and keep the humidity high. You might also opt to hold off on fertilizing for about a month to allow the plant to acclimate to its new pot.

Repotting can be stressful for your Calathea, so don’t be alarmed if it takes some time to adjust. With the right care, your beautiful prayer plant will continue to grow and thrive in its new home.

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