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How to pot a plant


July 28, 2022


Searles Gardening Team

Choosing the right potting mix and following a few simple rules of potting will put your pot plants on the best possible road to lusher foliage and more flowering. Most importantly, less work for you.

Selecting a pot
Choose a pot size allowing ample potting mix area for the roots to grow into, which will suit the growing needs of the plant.

Make sure your pot of choice has drainage holes at the bottom of the pot to allow excess water to drain out and not waterlog the plant, which can lead to an early plant death. Most plants do not like to be waterlogged.

When potting multiple plants in one container, check they all have the same growing requirements, such as light and moisture conditions. Do not plant plants together if one loves full sun and the other doesn’t.

Follow the grower's advice on their plant tag
Take note of the growing advice on plant tags. Keep the tags safe in a zip lock bag in the house if you can. They provide vital information about ideal light requirements, growing habit, water and feeding needs. Following this advice will go a long way to producing the best results out of your plant.

The right position of the heavy pot plant
If you are potting into a large heavy pot, place the empty pot into its final position before adding potting mix and planting up. This will save your back. Use pot feet to elevate the pot to allow ideal drainage. If the drainage hole is large, place the layer of drainage gravel over the hole before potting in minimize loss of potting mix through the hole.

Use the right potting mix for continued growth
Re-pot your plant soon after it is purchased using a potting mix which has the Premium Australian Standards ‘red ticks’ logo on the bag. This standard ensures the mix is manufactured to a consistent, quality providing plants the right drainage, aeration, water holding capacity, pH, fertiliser and nutrients for healthy plant growth. Searles Platinum Potting Mix meets and exceeds the requirements of this ‘red ticks’ standard. Searles Platinum Potting Mix contains an 18 month fertiliser.

Do not use soil from garden beds or straight from the ground. This soil may contain weeds, fungal problems and unwanted bugs. Searles potting mix products have been treated through a heating process to destroy these unwanted nasties and deliver a clean weed-free, nutrient rich mix.

Premium Potting Mix - potting up tips - best premium potting mix

How to plant a pot plant
When planting into new potting mix, position the plant in the centre of the new pot and fill the remainder of the pot with potting mix. The new mix should be at the same level on the stem as it was in the original pot.

Water newly potted plants thoroughly to settle the roots in the new mix.

Leave the plant out of strong sunlight for a couple of days to give the plant time to adjust to its new mix.

What to do with old potting mix?
Remember opened bags of potting mix do degrade over time. If you have had an opened bag in the shed for over 12 months, spread the old mix onto a garden bed and buy a fresh new bag of potting mix for potting new plants. The old adage applies, ‘fresh is best’.

Why did my plant die even after I did all the right things?
Take heart: Even after you have loved your plant and provided it with the ideal conditions for optimum growth, sometimes plants just die. It happens to expert gardeners too.