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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Brighten Houseplants: Time to Feed and Re-Pot

Home Depot
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Difficulty: Beginner


Houseplants | The Home Depot's Garden Club

With short days and cold temperatures, many indoor plants slow down, meaning they need less water and most don’t need fertilizing.

But as the days get longer and the sunshine brightens, houseplants wake up. When you start to see new growth, it’s time to start feeding and watering regularly again.

If your plants have outgrown their containers, this is the time to re-pot them.


  1. Remove your plant from its old pot and gently loosen the roots. Only move up one pot size at a time. For example, re-pot a plant in a 4-inch container to a 6-inch one.
  2. Put a piece of a broken pot or used dryer sheet over the drainage hole in the new pot, and add about one or two inches of soil.
  3. Add the plant. Plant it no deeper than it was previously growing.
  4. Gently sprinkle new soil around the roots, filling in all the gaps. Choosing a soil with slow-release fertilizer will feed your plant for several months. Read the product directions to know when to re-apply.
  5. If you prefer, use potting soil without added fertilizer and feed your plants with liquid fertilizer instead. Follow the product directions to know when and how much to use.
  6. Water thoroughly. If there’s a saucer under the pot, empty it so the roots don’t sit in water. Your houseplants will reward you for taking care of them with lots of healthy foliage and bright blooms.


If you’re reusing an old clay pot, scrape off any debris, scrub it with mild dish detergent and rinse well. Then soak the pot for 10 minutes in a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water and rinse once again. A dry clay pot can take water away from your plant, so soak your pot in clean water when you’re ready to use it.


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