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Repotting an Overgrown Shrub

All permanent shrubs need repotting into a bigger container. This gives the roots more space to grow and an energizing "meal" of fresh potting mix.

Repot Permanent Shrubs for Continued Root Growth ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Remove the Plant

Lay the pot on its side, ask someone to hold it and gently ease out the plant by pulling its stem. If you’re in danger of damaging the plant, or it is stuck, slide a long kitchen knife around the insides of the pot to free the root ball.

Lay Plant on Side to Ease it Out of Container©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Pry Out the Roots

The roots will probably be in a tightly congested lump, in which case use a hand fork to pry out the encircling growth and shake off the old dead soil and surface moss. Aim to create an open spread of roots.

Shake Out Soil From Root Bound Plant©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Cut the Main Anchoring Roots

Cut back the main thick anchoring roots by up to one-third, but leave the thin, fibrous roots unpruned. Pruning promotes the growth of more thin roots, which absorb moisture and nutrients.

Cut Back Anchoring Roots to Promote Growth©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

Place New Plant

Replace the old crocks in the base of the new, bigger pot, pour in some potting mix and position the plant. Once the plant is centered and upright, pour in more potting mix, firming it down, and water in well. Top off with gravel.

Pour in New Potting Soil After Plant is Positioned©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007
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