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How to repot a pond plant

If you have bought pond plants from us in the past, all our plants come pre-potted so it may be the case that you have never had to repot a pond plant before. This guide should help you.

13 March 2018


Pond Plants



How do I know if a plant needs to be repotted?

Depending on the type, pond plants can often need repotting or splitting every one to two seasons.  If plants stop thriving, produce yellow spots on their leaves or stopped flowering, this could be an indication that they have outgrown their pots. Roots will often grow out of the basket, but if there are a lot of stray roots growing out and the roots are visibly over grown within the basket, then this can also be an indicator. 


Pond Plant Basket



What will I need?

Aquatic Soil- this contains less nutrients so it will not affect your water quality or aggravate algae problems.

Planting Baskets- Larger than your existing baskets that you are replacing unless you are splitting your plants at the same time.

Basket Liners/ Hessian Liners- If you would like to line your baskets to stop small amounds of soil spilling into the pond.

Aquatic Gravel- Pea sized gravel to keep the soil in place

Fertiliser Sticks or Balls- an ideal opportunity to add fertilizer to you plant baskets while they are out of the water.

Equipment- Plant Cutters, Trowel, gloves, waders (depending on pond depth), watering can of pond water



When should I do this?

Spring/ summer when the plants are in full growth. This allows any surfaces that have been cut to heal quickly. If done in a colder weather season cuts may not heal but instead rot. This is also the case for plant division.


Pond Plants



How do I repot my pond plants?

You may wish to add a little pond water with a watering can during each of the following steps to keep your plant moist.


Plants are easier to handle if they are trimmed before repotting. Dead flowers and foliage need to be removed from upright plants. Submerged plants can be cut to within about 6 inches of their pots.

Gently remove the plants from their baskets and rinse the roots with a watering can of pond water.  A hose can be used if preferred but then rinse the plant with pond water afterwards to ensure you are not adding chlorine or chloramine to your pond water (this is only relevant if you have fish, otherwise general tap water from a hose will be fine). Trim plant and roots. If the plant's roots have become too crowded in the container, or have grown far out of the drain holes, it is time to divide them. Line your chosen basket with a hessian square or lining squares if desired. Add some fresh aquatic soil to the bottom of your new baskets so that the part of your plant that should be at surface level rests about an inch below the top of the basket. Add fertilizer and then fill the basket with soil up to an inch below the crown of the surface. Finally add aquatic gravel over the top of your soil so that it does not get disturbed.

Make sure to lower your newly potted plants slowly into your pond so as not to disturb the soil or gravel.






Water Lilies

Line your chosen basket with a hessian square or lining squares if desired. Fill your planting basket to approximately one third full with aquatic soil and then add fertilizer. Wash any soil from the long roots (rhizomes) of the lily bulb (as above ensure you do not contaminate your pond with tap water if keeping fish). From the centre to the side of the pot, dig a slight trench. Lay the bulb in this trench with the root pointing towards the centre of the pot. Fill the remainder of the plant basket with aquatic soil but leave an inch from the top so that a layer of aquatic gravel can be added on top of the soil surface.



As always if you have any further questions or need some advice on any of our pond planting equipment then please contact us.



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