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An Easy Way to Repot Plants

An Easy Way to Repot Plants

Out in the greenhouse, I found many of my garden starts and cuttings were already needing to be repotted into larger pots. Apparently a warmer-than-normal Pacific Northwest winter has encouraged some rapid growth in some usually pokey plants. In this case, my tayberries (a sweet-tart, raspberry-blackberry cross) were ready for new digs–time to repot!

Let me share my step-by-step repotting guide and an easy way to repot plants by treating the old pot as a template for the new pot.

A Simple Way to Repot Plants

repotting plant tayberry 0

1. New pot should be at least double the size of the old pot.
2. Remove plant from old pot, and fill old pot with new soil.

repotting plant tayberry 1

3. Add potting soil to the bottom of the new larger pot.


repotting plant tayberry 2

4. Add only enough soil in the new pot to bring the old pot even once placed inside it.
5. Then, fill the empty areas of the new pot with soil until both pots are even.

repotting plant tayberry 3

5. Firmly press down the soil in the new pot and add more soil if necessary.

repotting plant tayberry 4

6. Gently remove the old pot from the middle of the new pot, leaving a hole.

repotting plant tayberry 5

7. Place the plant’s root ball, like a plug in a bathtub, in the resulting cavity.

repotting plant tayberry 6

8. Gently press down the root ball and make sure the soil levels between plant and new pot are even.

repotting plant tayberry 7

9. It’s important to keep the plant at the same soil level as the old pot, not too deep, not to shallow.
10. Water gently, and watch it take off to new heights.

Tayberries Fresh ready to pick

More about Tayberries…

Normally, I plant starts directly out in the soil once the roots have developed thoroughly,  but the tayberry starts I received were particularly small. I thought a little greenhouse pampering would improve their odds of survival and future vigor.

Tayberries, first bred in Scotland, are right at home in the Pacific Northwest, thriving on mild winters and cool summers. I first discovered the tayberry at Remlinger Farms in Carnation, Washington, in the days when the place was more about its farmstand than company picnics and private parties.  The berry grabbed me by the tongue, slapped around some taste buds and dripped down my chin in juicy defiance. Dang, this was not a blackberry; this was not a raspberry. It was a most unique little gem bursting with tangy flavor and unapologetic juiciness, almost as if the cross included a strawberry. I’ve been a fan ever since, and find it best eaten fresh (in opinion), but also exceptional in jams and jellies. (Great with shortcake and cream, but tends to sog out pies if used a a filling.)

juicy tayberry

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  1. A very nifty tip, and an excellent idea. I am thinking about how I might do that with really big pots i.e. larger permanent containers, difficult to maneuver because of size, weight and awkwardness. I currently grow blueberries and raspberries in permanent containers and everything needs potting up this year. Our sandy, pH neutral high desert soil is hard on blueberries, and I never had much success growing them until I put them in containers of ‘acid soil mix’ (aka 100% shredded hemlock bark). Raspberries I have relegated to containers for the opposite reason — they run amok in my small backyard garden and I had to yank them out before they took over the entire place.

    In fact, now that I think about it, your technique would also work well for in-ground endeavors, wouldn’t it? Planting perennials, shrubs and even trees from nursery containers into the garden. Brilliant.

    • Kathy, glad to see someone else is in full garden mode. I also have trouble with blueberries even in our acid-loving pH native soil. This year I’m generously mulching them throughout the season as they tend to dry out in our short rainless summers. Good luck and thanks for the visit!

  2. Great tip for repotting, and just in the nick of time for me, too, here on the other side of the state! It’s been really warm here for February also, and things are waking up fast in the greenhouse!

  3. Tom – I love this tip and will definitely use it in the future. Very clever!! I found your site and blog a bit ago when I was looking for tips on harvesting kiwi and have been a fan ever since. We have yet to have a successful kiwi harvest but we will try again next year. Generally we have lots of fruit, but it gets moldy soon (very soon) after picking and doesn’t have a chance to ripen.

    • Hi Cheryl, thanks, and as for the kiwi, you may be picking it too early. I pick mine late around the date of the first frost. I then put them in egg cartons to ripen. Maybe give that a try.

  4. Tom – This is a clever idea. I will definitely give it a try. Found your blog and site when I was looking for info on harvesting kiwi. You have lots of helpful advice about kiwi. We harvested 40 pounds of fruit this past fall, that became a moldy mess within a few days. We’re still not timing it right – but will keep trying. I enjoy your blog, please keep sharing!!

  5. Tom, what a clever idea. I will definatly use it this spring. I will be starting tomato and pepper seeds this week. We have had some days into the seventies followed by days in the forties and low fifties. My Anna apple is opening buds and some of my plums have buds, I keep telling them that it is too soon, but they aren’t listening. I used to be zone 8a, but now the climatoligists have moved our area (40 miles south of Monroe, LA) to zone 8b. I think we may be the same zone. I have peas about 3 inches tall and planted beets on 2/9/2015.

    • Wow Carol, it’s been quite a warm winter here, too, unlike the rest of the country. I’m just getting started with my starts. My plum trees are in full bloom right now, about three weeks earlier than usual.


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