When And How To Repot Echeverias

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Springtime is the ideal time for repotting plants, including Echeveria. Some gardeners routinely repot all of their plants every spring, but this isn’t necessary with Echeveria. 

Succulents, in general, can do well with repotting once every two years. It’s also fine to simply keep a close eye on your plant and repot it when it shows signs of being crowded and/or hungry. 

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In this article, we will share tips and advice on when and how to repot your Echeveria. Read on to learn more. 

How to Repot & Water Echeveria AGAVOIDES Sirius

5 Signs That Your Echeveria Needs To Be Repotted

1. Your plant is in a temporary garden pot. If you’ve just bought your Echeveria, and it is in a plastic nursery pot, you need to repot it. Choose a breathable container, just a size or two bigger than the nursery pot. Use a light, airy, well-draining cactus or succulent mix.

2. Your plant has overgrown its pot. If your Echeveria is bigger than the pot it is in (and consequently topples over from time to time), you need to give it a new pot!

3. Roots begin seeking new soil. If you start seeing roots on the soil’s surface or poking out of the containers’ drainage hole or in the bottom of the pot, your Echeveria needs a new pot and fresh soil. 

4. Your plant shows signs of hunger. If your Echeveria has been in the same pot for quite a while, it will likely deplete the soil. When this happens, water is likely to just run right through the soil without providing any benefit for the plant. 

If it’s been a couple of years since you last repotted, and your plant displays an overall lackluster appearance, try repotting into a slightly larger pot with a new potting mix. 

5. Overwatering has caused fungal growth. If your Echeverias’ leaves are discolored and the plant is not growing well, you may be dealing with root rot. You may even see fungal growth or mildew on the soil’s surface. If this happens, you must repot. 

Be sure to rinse your plant’s root system gently and prune away any dark brown looking, black, or rotted roots. 

Allow the plant to air for a day or two, and repot it into a completely clean, new pot with an all-new cactus or succulent medium. Don’t water for a week or so, and then do so sparingly.

TIP: Just watering the soil’s surface lightly with a spray bottle occasionally can benefit Echeveria, which has experienced root rot. 

Springtime Is The Best Time To Repot Echeveria

Warmer temperatures and longer days stimulate plants to put out new growth, so that’s the best time to transplant seedlings and saplings and repot container plants before their growing season. 

When plants are in active growth, they are most likely to rebound easily from stress.

Repotting my Ghost Echeveria Succulent

How Do You Choose The Right Pot & Soil For Echeveria? 

Succulent plants typically like to be fairly closely contained. The right size pot allows your plant to experience healthy root and leaf growth while supplying the plant with necessary nutrients. 

A pot that is too small will crowd your plants’ roots. One that is too big may allow too much moisture to remain in the (excessive) cactus soil. 

When you repot your Echeveria, a pot that is 10% larger than its current pot will probably be just fine. 

So, if your plant is currently in a 4″ inches pot, move up to a 4.5″ inch diameter pot. It should be a little wider and deeper than your plants’ existing pot. 

In addition to the size of the pot, you should pay close attention to the amount of drainage it provides. Containers for new succulents should have at least one large drainage hole in the bottom. 

If excess water cannot run through the succulent potting mix, it will remain in the soil and may cause root rot. 

That’s why breathability is another important consideration when choosing a container for your Echeveria. 

Terracotta and hypertufa are good materials for succulent containers. Both allow air to circulate to the plant’s roots.

Glazed ceramic containers and plastic containers can be used as long as the pot you choose has ample drain holes in the bottom. 

One problem with terracotta, hypertufa, ceramic, and plastic containers is heat retention. All of these materials will hold heat when exposed to direct sunlight. This is especially true if the container you choose is a dark color. 

You can take steps to shade the container to protect your Echeverias’ roots against excessive heat and dry out. Place your plants so the sun does not directly hit the container, or use a shade cloth. 

For succulents planted outdoors, you may want to try using wooden planters. They provide good drainage, retain the right amount of water, and stay cool in the sun. 

No matter what kind of container you choose, starting with a brand-new container is always best. 

If this isn’t possible, you must sterilize any container you plan to reuse. Note that wood cannot be sterilized. 

How To Prepare Your Echeveria Container

You might use the same container for aesthetic reasons or because you are dividing the plant, so the root ball will be smaller. 

If you put your plant back into the same container, you’ll want to reduce the root ball’s size by about 25% percent.

If you want to use the same container again, you must be sure it’s clean. Scrub it with hot water and dish soap, then soak it in a mixture of one part bleach to nine parts hot water for about ten minutes. Rinse thoroughly and dry. 

Whether you are reusing a container or starting with a new one, it’s always a good idea to thoroughly wash it first. 

Cacti & Succulents Like Sharply Draining Soil

You can purchase specially prepared succulent or cactus mix designed to provide the sharp drainage these plants need. 

If this is unavailable, you can use a good quality, light, airy potting mix and amend it with perlite and coarse sand to provide better drainage. 

Generally speaking, a mix of 50% potting soil and 50% perlite or sand should work well. To test and see if you’ve got the right proportion of ingredients in your regular potting soil, moisten it and then squeeze a handful. 

If it falls apart when you release it, it is good. If it sticks together, it is too heavy, and you should add more sand or perlite. 

No matter what potting medium you use, it should be sterile. Never reuse soil mix. 

How To Prepare Your Echeveria For Repotting

The day before you plan to repot your plant, give it a good, thorough watering. This will help your plant endure the stresses of being moved from one pot to another, especially in hot weather. 

Ensure the soil surrounding the plant and its root ball is thoroughly saturated. If the soil surrounding the root ball is dry when you repot the plant, it is likely to deflect water rather than soak it up. When this happens, your plant will die of thirst no matter how much you water it. 

TIP: If you find that your plant’s roots are dry when you remove it from its pot, you may need to simply set the roots right into a container of warm water for a few hours to allow the plant to get a good drink before moving it into its new home. 

How To Remove Your Echeveria From Its Current Pot

After watering your plant well, you may be able to tip it out into your hand simply. Give this a try first. 

If the plant seems stuck, gently tap the pot’s outside with a small mallet or similar tool. This may be enough to loosen it up. 

If this doesn’t work, use a spade or a table knife to separate the soil’s edges from the pot’s inside. Once done, you can tip your Echeveria out of its old pot. 

Once the plant is out, gently remove old soil from the roots. Examine the roots and prune them as needed. 

If the roots are overgrown and/or tightly coiled, rinse them and let them soak in room temperature water for an hour or so to help them loosen up. 

Examine them and prune away any damaged or diseased roots. 

How To Transfer Your Echeveria Into Its New Container

Begin by pouring a few inches of soil into your prepared container. Put enough to hold the plant so that the top of the root ball is an inch or so below the top of the pot. You want a little room at the top to prevent overflow when you water. 

Place your plant as you want it (usually centered), and then fill in gently around the root ball with fresh soil. 

Firm the succulent soil around the plant by tapping your fingertips. Don’t press hard because this tends to compact the soil. Be careful not to press the plant too far down into the container. 

If your Echeveria is nice and healthy with no root rot problems, give it a good, deep watering to welcome it to its new home. 

Check the level of the soil again. If watering it has caused it to sink a bit, you can add some more soil. 

How To Take Care Of Your Echeveria After Repotting

Being repotted can be a traumatic experience for a plant, and it can suffer transplant shock. To avoid this, give your Echeveria some TLC for about a month after transplanting. 

Place your plant in a warm, sheltered area with ample bright, indirect sunlight. Shelter it from the harsh, direct rays of the sun, high winds, and sudden temperature changes. 

Provide light watering when the top inch or so of soil is dry. You’ll want to keep the soil just slightly moist for the first month. 

When you see signs of new growth, you’ll know your plant has established itself, so you can transition to soak-and-dry watering. 

Moreover, remember to remove dead leaves from the plant’s bottom, as it provides a place for pests.

It’s also important to keep a lookout for tell-tale signs of insect pests on your plant’s foliage, as they can damage your plants. These include mealybugs, spider mites, and other bugs.

Don’t Fertilize Newly Transplanted Echeveria

Echeveria (or any plant) that has just been placed in fresh, clean, nourishing new soil does not need fertilizer. In fact, with succulents like Echeveria, you may never need to fertilize if you repot annually. 

If you repot once every two years or only when the plant needs it, you can fertilize lightly in the early spring. 

For these plants, less is more. Use a specially formulated liquid cactus or succulent fertilizer, and dilute it to one-half or one-quarter strength. 

Too much chemical fertilizer can be damaging; however, if you wish, you can side-dress with natural worm castings once or twice during the spring and summer. 

Easy-Care Echeveria Provides A Lot Of Enjoyment For Just A Little Attention

With good care, you shouldn’t need to repot your Echeveria plant often. However, remember that occasional repotting is essential to keep your plant healthy and alive. 

Repotting every couple of years allows for better root growth and nutrient absorption and prevents the risk of your plant becoming root-bound or falling over due to being top-heavy. 

Regular repotting also allows the propagation of new plants from leaf cuttings, pups, or stem cuttings and expands your collection. Follow the guidelines and tips presented here to enjoy thriving Echeveria plants.

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