Some gardeners get nervous at the thought of repotting their plants. You worry that repotting your green friend to a larger space will be fatal, even though you know it would be happier there.

Repot the plants if they need to move for a new pot. Maybe it’s grown too big for its container. Perhaps the soil needs to be changed. Or it could be a problem with bugs or diseases. Even though you repotted your plant, you’ve noticed it’s slowly fading.

Because of root damage or other causes, your plant dies after you repotted it. By reading this guide you will be able to know Why Do My Plants Die When I Repot Them.

Why Do My Plants Die When I Repot Them | Guide to Solve It

Let’s start,

If you just moved your plant to a new pot and then watched it die right in front of your eyes, you wonder what went wrong. A plant can die after being repotted due to several circumstances, but you may minimize the damage by taking a few simple precautions.

Plants that wilt soon after being repotted may have suffered root damage during the process or stand struggling to adjust to their new environment. To keep your plants from dying after being repotted, give them extra attention before and after the process, and be careful not to damage the roots.

Why do plants need repotting? 

The overgrown plant requires repotting. Maybe you’ve decided to repot your plant because you’re sick of the old container and want to show it off in something fancier. Or perhaps you’ve put off the inevitable and need to provide more space for your plant.

Repotting a plant can be a daunting and dirty process. However, if you have the correct tools, know what you’re doing, and have done this before, the process will be short and relatively painless for you and the plant. Repotting a plant is only necessary for a select few situations.

1. Improve drainage.

Have you ever noticed that water seeps out of the bottom of the pot as soon as you water it? Your plant is probably root bound, in which the roots grow too tightly around the edges of the container and eventually kill the plant.

Because this makes passageways for the water, it’s far easier to water a root-bound plant than a normal one. You can help your plant acquire the water it needs to satisfy its thirst and make leaves lush by repotting it.

2. Divide offshoots and pups.

Many plants can divide when they get overcrowded, resulting in both new plants and more space for the originals. When it’s time to repot your plants, you can use this as an opportunity to separate offshoots and pups into their plants.

3. Assist in new growth.

The same goes for your houseplants: more space means happier plants. The stimulation of new growth is another justification for unrooting a plant that is too confined in its pot.

Re-potting allows plants to thrive and flourish in new environments. Your plant will be happier and more productive if you give it a healthy, expanding root system.

4. Prevent diseases.

Have you ever drowned a plant? Have no fear. It’s something that every single one of us does. The problem is root rot, which occurs when roots are overwatered and become injured, turning a dark brown or black color.

They cannot absorb water and are therefore susceptible to illness (which is why an over-watered plant can sometimes seem thirsty). Overwatered plants can recover more quickly if you trim off the weakened roots, and this practice also protects against fungal and bacterial infections effectively.

5. Fresh soil helps to boost nutrition. 

Your plants will get most of their nutrition from the earth. The soil’s fertility declines steadily over time. After a period of growth and prosperity, your plant may suddenly show signs of distress, such as little, oddly colored leaves or new development.

Even if you fertilize your plant frequently, repotting (sometimes called “potting up”) with new soil will give it the nutrient boost it needs to take off.

How to know that plants need a new room to grow? 

Here are some signs that your plant needs a new room to live:

  • It just looks like the plant is too big for its pot.
  • The roots grow out of the holes where water drains away.
  • Water sits on top and isn’t absorbing in.
  • The soil is dry or looks like it’s breaking up.

It looks like the soil is packed in very tightly. The ground can’t hold as much water. (It either sits on top or runs straight out the bottom without soaking in.)

  • The plant stops growing or grows slower than usual.

Why do plants die when repotting them? 

Your plant may be having trouble recovering from being repotted for several reasons. So, let’s look at some of the typical reasons that affect to die the plants when repotting them.

1. Unsanitized pot.

Pathogens cause plant diseases, and many of these pathogens can find in the soil. These microorganisms can thrive in the trace amounts of the ground that may leave in discarded containers because of their minuscule size.

Repotting a plant into one of these potentially disease-infected pots is not recommended. A symptom of many plant diseases is leaf dying. However, this is just one of several symptoms.

2. Poor soil quality. 

Depending on the soil they’re planted in, plants may need adjustments. Because of this, they will need time to adapt if the soil type alters.

Low-quality soil is another issue. Remember that plants will experience significant stress during the transplanting process. They’ll need a lot of nourishment while their new roots are developing. Without these nutrients, development may inhibit.

3. Wrong fertilization schedule.

Plants will require nourishment, much like many of the other items here. After transplanting a plant, they play a crucial role in helping the roots establish themselves in their new location.

There is a thing as too much of a good thing. A typical result of overfertilization is plant death. It can cause the plants to develop more slowly and make them more susceptible to pests and illnesses.

4. Plant diseases.

It may reduce its capacity to consume resources. Odd behavior like slime oozing from the plant’s leaves or stem could catch your eye. It could spread in one of three ways.

The first possibility is that it predates the transplant. The trauma of the transplant may exacerbate symptoms. The problem can also cause by the new soil you are utilizing. The plant can infest due to the storage circumstances. Wet ground is ideal for gnats and other insects that like to breed there.

5. Root damage.

There is always a possibility of tearing the roots of a plant during repotting. It can be a significant problem because it reduces the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients.

The tiny roots that sprout off larger plants’ roots sometimes provide most of a plant’s water absorption.

They are so delicate that they can be broken or damaged only by loosening old soil, which significantly affects the plant’s ability to absorb water. The happy news is that, with good maintenance, these roots can grow back over time.

6. Improper watering.

Remember to monitor how much water your plants are receiving. It holds before and after you have transplanted them. If there is too much water, they could drown since they won’t be able to breathe. If there isn’t enough water, the roots will dry out. Because of this, the likelihood of transplant shock makes it more challenging for them to adapt to their new surroundings.

7. Pest attack.

There will be moments when the issue is obvious. There are pests in the ground. Depending on the species, they can eat the roots or the leaves. It places the plants under even more strain. Consider the following as examples of common pests: Aphids, spider mites, Mealybugs, Caterpillars, etc.

8. Unsterilized potting mix.

When you repot a plant, you expose it to potential disease-causing agents in the potting medium. Buying potting soil sterilizes, but if you use garden dirt to fill a container, you risk bringing in disease-causing organisms.

9. Improper lighting.

All plants, including those kept indoors, need access to sunshine. It’s necessary for photosynthesis, allowing them to draw moisture and nutrients from the ground. A certain quantity of sunlight is ideal for some species, while others prefer shade.

If there isn’t enough light, photosynthesis won’t happen. But if you give it to the plant in excessive amounts, the heat will kill it.

10. Transplant shock.

It is a common cause of the plant’s distress. A plant’s roots show signs of stress in a new environment. They are still too young to use water or nutrients effectively. And the plant’s resistance to pests and environmental extremes will decrease accordingly.

You can tell whether your plants are suffering from transplant shock if they exhibit any of these symptoms: discoloration of the leaves, stagnation, curling leaves, lack of harvest, etc.

11. Climate changes. 

It’s also essential to maintain an ideal temperature. The root system will have to work harder to obtain water and nutrients if you aren’t in the perfect temperature range. The plant’s already high levels of stress will rise due to this.

12. Unsalvageable plants.

There is a moment when a plant will permanently wilt and die. Herbaceous plants with soft stems cannot save if they have fallen over and cannot prop back up.

A quick scratch test determines the viability of a plant with a woody stem. To expose the cambium, the second layer of the plant’s stem, scratch it with your fingernail. If the cambium is green, the plant is healthy; if it’s brown or yellow, it’s dead and should throw away.

How do I save a plant that is dying after repotting it?

Why Do My Plants Die When I Repot Them | Guide to Solve It

Moving plants from one location to another is not in their design. Uprooting them or attempting to relocate them will likely lead to complications.

Weakening, limb loss, or even death are all possibilities for a plant after it has been dug up and transplanted. We name this condition “transplant shock.” Root damage sustained by a plant when being transplanted is the direct cause of transplant shock.

You can fix or lessen the stress that repotting puts on a plant with a bit of care and prevention.

1. Know about the best time to repot 

To avoid withering, many plants should repot in early to mid-spring, when they show signs of vigorous growth. The plant is beginning to expand its root system rapidly but still has a tiny new leaf to support its weight.

After repotting in the spring, the plant’s roots are more likely to grow rapidly and powerfully, allowing it to quickly establish itself in its new container.

Because of their unique needs, different plants thrive in different environments and at different seasons of the year. Learn what your specific plant needs to thrive.

2. Be careful not to harm roots.

Most plants have a compact root ball when first dug up. Carefully loosen the roots and set them aside. Even if you don’t have to untangle the strands, you should disperse them.

Use sharp sears if you need to manipulate or cut the roots. It will lessen the blow, allowing the plant roots more time to mend.

There are measures you can take if post-transplant root damage is still evident. First, you should remove some of the upper leaves. As a result, the plant can thrive on fewer nutrients.

3. Be sure to sanitize the container.

There is a solution to sanitize the container. Use 1 part bleach to 9 parts water to clean a used pot, and let it soak for 10 minutes. Then, you can wash it with dish soap and water to remove any bleach still on the container.

Steel wool or a wire-bristled brush can require for cleaning obstinate material from clay pots. Rinse the pot thoroughly with water to complete the cleaning and sanitizing processes.

4. Use rich fertile soil. 

It’s preferable to utilize a soil composition similar to the plants originally grew. Soil NPK testing may perform if you suspect that nutrients in the soil are at fault. The ratio of soil nutrients can determine. If the pH level is off, a fertilizer mixture can add to correct it.

5. Sterilize the potting mix/garden soil.

The garden soil should sterilize well before repotting a plant. It provides better results for your plants.

How to sterilize soil?

  • Amend the soil by adding equal parts peat moss or vermiculite to the garden soil; without this amendment, the earth will dry out and be unusable for planting.
  • Wet the soil mixture and spread it out on a wide baking pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the soil mixture for an hour.
  • Put the soil in the fridge for at least an hour before using it.
  • If you plan on baking the soil, use only vermiculite and not perlite. Perlite may emit fluoride when heated, which is toxic to plants.

6. Make a proper watering schedule. 

There should be a slight increase in the water you provide after a transplant. Be sure to give it a good soaking a day or two before you plan to move it.

The roots can loosen with this method. Once you’ve finished transplanting, water it again. Ultimately, this will aid the animal’s adaptation to its new environment. The roots need to be kept wet at this time.

Given that a plant’s roots may not be fully functional for several days after being repotted, excessive watering might cause root rot as the roots remain in contact with the wet soil but cannot absorb it. It’s essential to install proper drainage. Don’t let water pool on the soil’s surface.

7. Provide proper sunlight for plants.

Here, it’s best to specify the species you’ve settled. Comply as best you can with its specifications.

8. Consider climate changes.

Changing a plant’s location is a common practice following repotting and can be a significant factor in the plant’s decline. It frequently occurs when transplanting indoor-started seedlings into larger containers in preparation for planting outside.

Unfortunately, many plants cannot survive the ordeal of being transplanted to a new container and then moved outdoors, where the environment will be drastically different in terms of temperature, humidity, and lighting. When preparing indoor plants for outdoor use, I usually advise repotting, waiting a week, and taking appropriate measures.

Repotting a houseplant in a new container might be an excellent opportunity to assess the plant’s health and determine where it would thrive best in the home. If you change your plant’s environment in a big way, you might hurt it in the short term.

Once again, wait until you are confident that the plant has fully recovered from repotting before making any drastic adjustments.

Moving the plant to a location with moderate lighting and temperatures will usually help it thrive after being repotted, especially if exposed to high light or temperatures.

9. Feed your plants well.

It’s vital to nourish the species heavily immediately after transplanting. The roots receive the nourishment they require in this way. If you need to use something, try to find one that is high in phosphates but low in nitrates. There may even be transplant-specific fertilizers available.

Adding sugar to water is another alternative. To assist plants in recovering from transplant shock, this method of stimulating growth recommend. The time to apply is right after you have transplanted them.

How to use eggshells for plants?

You can plant seeds in them and then transfer the young plant to a larger container without first discarding the crate or the shells. The plant will experience less stress if you use this strategy to move it from its current location to your garden.

10. Keep on an eye on pests’ problems and diseases. 

You can reduce the likelihood of pests and illnesses attacking your plants by taking a few basic precautions. 

How can prevent pest problems and diseases?

Prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged. It’s better to keep the soil consistently moist. However, it would help if you didn’t let it get too wet. Many unwanted organisms will utilize this as a breeding opportunity. It’s a perfect environment for the spread of fungal illnesses.

Incorporate neem oil into your routine. This insecticide is effective against pests both on the plant and in the soil. With this, you can take preventative measures by spraying your plants once a week.

Pick your soil carefully. Before you plant anything, be sure the ground is suitable. No one wants to use diseased equipment or supplies.

Separate plants. Whenever an issue is detected, the plant must isolate itself. Do this to prevent it from spreading to the rest of the houseplants.

11. Trim away the plant’s uppermost leaves.

Shrubs should have excess foliage pruned off before being moved. Plants will need less stress, water loss, and resources to recuperate from the shock. Remove rotting or lifeless components, such as stems, branches, and old leaves.

12. Please take care of the plants.

It is not uncommon for flies and other pests to attack a recently transplanted.

How to repot a plant successfully? 

Let’s double-check that you have everything you need before you begin working.

What materials do you need to report a plant? 

  • New pot (must have drainage holes)
  • Potting mix
  • Trowel
  • Gloves
  • Sharp knife or scissors
  • Watering can

What are the steps of repotting a plant?

There are a few steps to follow when you are going to repot a plant.

Step 1: Choose a suitable container.

In the first place, take a bigger pot. The plant has to repot because it has outgrown its existing container. It’s essential to give the plant’s roots plenty of areas to support the attractive foliage you see adequately.

Make sure the depth of the new pot matches its width. Depending on size, the plant should give at least an extra inch.

Ensure that your new container has drainage holes. Without draining the excess water, your plant could rot. It is better to use a porous material, such as a coffee filter, to cover the holes.

Step 2: Fill the new container with soil.

Make sure the new plant’s roots have room to spread out by adding a layer of dirt before bringing it indoors. Give it plenty of room to prevent your plant from outgrowing its container.

Step 3: Water the plant.

It has to carefully water before being repotted. It maintains the integrity of the rootball and supports the plant’s continued health.

Step 4: Gently remove the plant from the old pot.

You can avoid damaging the plant by turning the pot upside down and placing your palm over the top of the plant instead of pulling it out. Loosen the plant by rotating it a few inches in both directions so it can fall out. A sharp knife can use to ease the plant out of its container.

See how many roots there are! You can see how they initially grew in a ring around the base of the container before pushing through the drain holes.

Step 5: Massage and prune the root ball.

Providing these roots room to spread and take in oxygen, water, and nutrients is essential. Start by loosening the roots at the base with a bit of massage. Keep rubbing the plant’s roots until they are lost around.

The plant roots may be displaced as you work, but that’s to be expected and is not cause for alarm. If you want to keep the roots intact, don’t pull on them too hard.

The plant’s growth in its new container will be aided by removing older roots. Roots that are extending out from the main rootball cut off. Now that the fresh, healthy roots remain, you can disentangle them to encourage them to spread outward.

Step 6: Place the plant into a new pot. 

Ideally, the new pot should be 1 to 2 inches bigger than the old one in which the plant’s house. Because there won’t be enough roots in the new, larger container to soak up the water, root rot is almost inevitable if you try to transplant your plant. The news is not good. Soil that remains soggy is the leading cause of houseplant death (even more so than underwatering!).

First, fill the bottom two-thirds of your new pot with fresh potting soil, and then carefully place the plant in the container, holding it so that the base of the stem (or stems) is a quarter to a half inch below the rim of the pot.

The plant’s height can adjust by adding or removing dirt underneath it. While still supporting the plant, fill the area with fresh potting soil.

Do your best to fill the pot with soil. When the container is full, pat the earth down carefully to secure the plant. To help settle the dirt, gently tap the bottom of the pot on a table or floor.

Step 7: Give your plant plenty of water.

Finally, this is a crucial step. Plants recently being transplanted are under some stress and require extra water immediately. You should slowly water your plant in its smaller pot or saucer.

Allow everything to soak in, then water once more until the pot is weighed down and water drains out the bottom. If you want to check if the container will absorb any drained water, you can leave it on the saucer for 30 minutes before discarding the liquid.

Step 8: Plant caretaking.

Be sure to water frequently. While it adjusts, your plant will need more water than usual. The additional moisture could stimulate root development. Avoid direct sunlight since it will be very delicate at this time. Keep waiting a month before you fertilize.

Watch The best way to repot your houseplants | Video

Top 5 FAQs & answers related to Why do my plants die when I repot them

How long does a plant take to recover from repotting shock? 

The time required for a plant to recover from an injury may vary. The repotted plant’s age, species, soil, and climate all play a role. It may take two weeks for seedlings, but it could take years for fully grown plants or trees.

Is plant wilting after transplanting normal?

Roots can stress, and plants may break when packed up and moved. Plants that show signs of sagging after being transplanted may be experiencing only mild transplant shock. Most of the time, these plants will recover and brighten up after a few days of care unless replanted improperly.

After repotting, should I water my plant?

Before repotting, give your plant a deep soaking in water for at least a couple of days. Water the newly potted plant gently but thoroughly. It will provide the roots with a bit of moisture without drowning them.
After repotting, water the plant softly and observe it closely to determine whether to give it more water.

How does repotting shock look? 

Transplant shock frequently manifests as a leaf scorch. Leaves of deciduous plants will develop a burnt yellow or brown in the tissue between the veins and along the leaf margins (those that lose their leaves in winter). Stained tissue dries out and turns dark as it oxidizes.

How often do you need to repot plants?

The frequency with which you report an established plant should decrease with age. Recommend to repot your plants every 12–18 months when they’re young and every 2–3 years when established.


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