Can indoor plants be transplanted in autumn?
Indoor plants are usually replanted in February-March or when they begin active growth. A transplant is not prohibited at other times of the year, but the risks and consequences of changing containers and substrate are not the same. One of the most difficult periods for transplanting pets is autumn. Changing lighting and temperatures affects the condition of plants, and so the autumn transplant is the most dangerous. True, this is only worth doing when there really is an urgent need.
Autumn houseplant transplant is always emergency
Almost always, transplanting indoor plants in autumn is desirable only in one case - if they need an emergency change of substrate or capacity. In the fall, transplanting and transshipment of indoor plants, if they do, is only when the condition of the plant, its growth rate or damage by pests and diseases are literally forced to resort to this measure. The exception is bulbous and tuberous ones for distillation or waking up from the dormant period and requiring transplantation before transferring the crop to heat.
An emergency transplant, regardless of the time of the year, is always a lot of stress and the last measure that should be resorted to for problems with plants. Before deciding to transplant indoor plants in the fall, you should first assess their condition and try any other available measures.
But you should not be afraid of an autumn transplant. If there is a need for this, it is better to carry out this procedure faster, because the affected or weakened plant may not survive the wintering.
When is an autumn transplant necessary?
In autumn, the same rules apply for indoor plants as at any other time, but only a serious reason can serve as a reason for changing the soil and capacity.
1. Extreme depletion of the soil or critical loss of its key characteristics. If the soil is too compacted, turned into an impenetrable block, does not allow water and air to pass through, the plant has not been replanted for so long that the soil has exhausted all resources. In all cases when external signs of soil depletion or unsuitability for further plant growth appear, an emergency transplant is needed.
2. Critical overgrowth of pot volumes. In the fall, plants are transplanted, which in the physical sense has nowhere to develop. If the plant grew rapidly in the summer, the rhizome grew to the extent that the whole earthen lump was braided, and the roots not only showed up, but got out of the drainage tanks and / or top of the substrate, the earthen lump is so filled with roots that even water does not penetrate it - urgently transplant!
3. Souring, mold and salting of the soil. The easiest way to determine this problem is by the appearance of the soil (salt crystals accumulate on the surface and walls of containers) and smell, because the affected soil exudes a specific sour or mushroom aroma. But the first pointer is a painful, wilting plant. Salting causes the wrong composition of water and irrigation with non-settled water. But to mold acidification and the spread of mold leads only to improper, excessive irrigation and stagnation of water - in pots and pallets, including as a result of the absence or improper selection of drainage and depth of tanks.
4. Incorrect soil acidity. If soil with an alkaline reaction was used for plants growing only in slightly acidic and acidic substrates (and vice versa), as a rule, by the fall, the consequences of a slip in soil selection will become obvious and inevitable.
5. Soil infection by pests, including nematodes or severe damage to plants by fungal diseases, pathogens of which could remain in the substrate. If it is affected by any pests living in the soil, especially when it comes to plants of the group of tuber-bulbous species, it is useless to wait until fungicides help to cope with the problem. A transplant with a complete replacement of the soil and thorough disinfection of the roots cannot be avoided. It is necessary to change the substrate with all possible preventive measures for plants that have the risk of re-infection due to damage not only to the aboveground parts, but also to the soil by viruses and diseases. Such a transplant is carried out only after the plant is cured of the disease, before being transferred from quarantine.
6. Purchase of plants in the substrate in poor condition. Including the purchase of personnel, transported in clean inert soil, the purchase of plants in natural markets growing in dense garden soil, or the order of imported plants that require replacement of the substrate as directed by the supplier. Such a transplant must be postponed until the end of the quarantine period. If the plant simply grew in peat or growth in inert soil can be compensated by top dressing, it is best to always postpone the procedure until spring and the optimal time.
When will an autumn transplant definitely hurt?
In the fall, even with plant health problems (with the exception of a serious defeat by diseases or pests), signs of a lack of space in the pot or growth problems, an emergency transplant can be far from always possible.
Even with “indications” for a transplant, it is worth giving up on it in the fall:
- for plants that go through the stage of budding or flowering;
- for crops in a very weakened state (for other reasons not related to soil);
- with a sharp change in temperature or in extremely unstable temperatures;
- at the very beginning of the period of operation of heating systems (plants need to be given time to adapt to the new environment).
Features autumn transplant indoor plants
Only when the pot volume is overgrown and the plants are purchased in inert soil in the fall is transshipment permissible, but it is not quite classical either: the roots that form dense rings at the bottom of the tank, like a too tight waterproof lump, will have to be stirred up at least.
When the soil is depleted, leaving a spoiled substrate does not make sense, and when salting, souring, infecting, the complete liberation of the roots from the old soil with inspection, pruning and root treatment is a mandatory measure.
Before proceeding with the transplant, you should make sure that the preparation for this procedure is of high quality:
- to prepare containers in which plants are transplanted in the fall: they should ideally fit them in volume. Even with a very noticeable overgrowth of the old pot, it is strongly impossible to increase its volume, adhering to standard recommendations on the ratio of height and width;
- make sure there are high-quality drainage holes and sanitize materials for drainage at the bottom;
- check the requirements of a particular type of plant;
- select the substrate and its composition individually, conduct treatment (any soil in the fall, especially if an infected plant will be transplanted into it, it is better to disinfect);
- prepare the tools, containers and all preparations that will be needed for processing plants;
- prepare two jobs - one for removing old soil, the other for planting in a clean substrate.
The basic rules of the autumn transplant procedure are very simple:
- In all cases, except for acidification of the soil, the plant is well watered several hours or the day before transplantation.
- The plant is carefully removed by turning or tilting the container and holding the aerial parts as carefully as possible.
- The soil is carefully removed or washed off in warm clean water, trying to minimize contact with the roots. If the root lump is very dense, the roots need to be untangled. Solid masses filled with small roots, from which it is impossible to remove the substrate, are cut in several places.
- Roots after release are carefully examined. All places of damage, "doubtful" areas, dry, damaged roots are cut off.
- Slices on the roots are immediately treated with charcoal. When it comes to plant infection, the peeled rhizome is first soaked in clean water to remove small particles of soil, and then in a fungicide solution selected in accordance with the disease or pest.
- Drainage is poured into a new container, the height of which must correspond to the requirements of a particular type of plant and from above - a thin layer of soil.
- The plant is set in the center, the roots are gently straightened, the soil is evenly and slowly added, filling the voids and trying not to bend the roots.
- The substrate is neatly compacted, squeezing the plant, but avoiding strong ramming. For species with brittle roots, you can simply add the substrate later as it shrinks after watering. The depth level is checked, leaving the same and in no case deepening the plant stronger.
After the autumn transplant, the plant needs an adaptation period. It is exposed in mild conditions, protecting from any temperature changes, heat, cold, drafts, direct sun. Watering is carried out very carefully for another 2–3 weeks, focusing on the condition and minimal plant preferences for soil moisture.
If the plant suffered from damp soil and for all succulents after transplanting, watering is not carried out, putting it off for 2-3 days.