Here’s the situation: You just bought a brand-new philodendron, repotted it in a pretty ceramic vase, put it on a sunny windowsill and fed it some water. Three days later and it’s already looking all sad and wilted. Where did you go wrong? It turns out that what you do (or don’t do) before repotting is just as important as how you care for your plant once it’s in its new home. Follow these simple steps to keep good ole Phil happy and thriving.
1. Let it chill for a bit. Believe it or not, there’s an adjustment period after you bring houseplants home from the garden center. They face environment shock when moved and need a couple of weeks to get acclimated to new light, temperature and humidity.
2. Time it right. Most plants do best when repotted in the spring, when plant growth is most active, so plan your purchasing and repotting accordingly. (If you have a winter bloomer, repot in early fall.)
3. Practice preliminary watering. Feed your plant a good amount of H2O for three or four days before repotting to ensure it’s hydrated and to minimize the initial post-transfer shock. And if you’re repotting in terra-cotta, soak the pot for a few hours beforehand. It turns out that new terra-cotta sucks up moisture from the soil, leaving your plant thirsty.