How to transplant a house plant

by Elliott Killian

Many gardeners struggle with dead plants after they have been transplanted. Transplanting is useful if you want: to store a plant inside for the winter, move a plant to another location outside, or place a plant into a larger pot.

Pro tip: To get an early start for the growing season you can start sprouting indoors then move them outside.

The size of a plant is limited by the space they can grow in. When a plant outgrows their pot they may not get bigger. If you want to grow a large plant then if may require transplanting it into a larger nursing environment.

The biggest problem for plants when transplanting is keeping water. When transplanting, the plant’s roots are wounded reducing the amount of water that can be absorbed. That’s why keeping the roots intact and well watered while transplanting is critical. Here is how to transplant a plant in a healthy way. This process should take 15-20 minutes.

You may need the following Tools:

• Hand Shovel is convenient to have if you don’t want to use your hand.
• Gloves are helpful if you are a person who does not like touching soil, especially wet soil.
• Scissors to open a bag of soil or cut newspaper. You may not need
• Rain Gauge. You can monitor the amount of water your plant gets when it rains with a Rain Gauge. This can tell you if you should water or not.

You will need the following Materials:

• Potting or Top Soil. Commercial potting soil comes with nutrients for the plant like magnesium, which is found in small amounts naturally. Top soil can also be used.
• Newspaper or unwanted scrap paper to prevent soil from falling out of the pot by the drainage hole. Other paper can be used instead of a newspaper but there has to be enough to cover the bottom of the pot.
• Pot with drainage hole on the bottom
• Water Faucet or Container. Water faucets or watering can give you more control than a hose.
• Pot dish. A dish under the pot will prevent water from spilling from the bottom of the pot. This is especially recommended for pots that are inside.


  1. Pick the right size pot
  2. Preparing a Pot
  3. Transplanting a plant to a pot
  4. Post-transplant care

Pick the right size pot:

Circumference- The right size pot is important; you want to pick a pot that is at least one and a quarter times bigger in diameter than the plant’s current pot or at least one and quarter times in diameter as the plant’s root system in the soil. For example, if the plant is fully grown in a 2-inch or 5cm pot then a 2.5-inch or 6.25 cm pot would be needed for transplant.
Depth- The depth of the pot is more important than the circumference. The pot should be around half of the current plant’s height and be deeper than the current pot. Three-fourths of the current plant’s height is ideal.

Now that you have picked the correct pot here is how to prepare it.

Place at least two layers of newspaper on the bottom of the pot. Take a handful of soil and place in the pot to test that the paper will prevent the soil from escaping.
Add enough soil that the pot is filled a little more than half way.
Dampen the soil. Add water a little bit at a time, and mix the soil. The texture should be like oatmeal on the box. No soil should be completely dry, but not like a soup.
You have added too much water if water is coming out of the bottom of the drainage hole. If there is too much water, pour the water out while keeping the soil from spilling, and add a small handful of dry soil.

Transplanting a plant to a pot

We will now prepare the plant to be moved.
Directions will differ if the plant is being moved from the ground or from a pot. Handle the plant by the stem. It is less likely to injure the roots, which absorb water.

Plant from a Pot
If the plant you are transplanting is already growing in a pot then take the pot with the plant, and place two fingers on each side of the stem. The stem should touch your hand’s webbing. Gently scissor the plant with your hands. This is just to hold the plant in place and prevent it from moving. Other parts of your hand should be touching the top of the pot.
With your other hand hold the pot’s side like you would a cup and flip the pot upside down so that your hand that is touching the plant is now on the bottom upside down.
Separate the pot from the plant by gently lifting the pot off of your hand.
If the pot does not come off right away gently shake the pot until the plant is separated. If the plant has been in the pot a long time it will have confirmed its root system to the pot, this makes it easier to remove since the soil and plant will be one unit.

Water the plant again slowly until water is dripping from the bottom.

Post-transplant care

You are now finished with transplanting a plant. Now that you have transplanted a plant here is how to care for it.

Water your plant the day after the soil has become completely dry.
You can test the dryness of the soil by putting your index finger into the soil. You only need to put the first half of your index finger into the soil. If the soil is dry and not wet at that depth then it is time to water. As a general time frame, this should be about every 2-3 days. Make sure you watch you don’t add too much water as the pot dish will overflow and water will end up on your floor. Watering plants that are outside are not necessary if it has rained 15cms in a week or if your finger says its ok.

Trimming encourages horizontal growth and keeps the plant small vertically. Only trim grasses or branches of broadleaf flowers. For grasses, the top or leaves can be trimmed. For broadleaf, flowers trim the longest branch. When trimming makes only one cut and only trim again when another branch or leaf has grown from where you made the last cut. If you cut a broad leaf plant that does not have any branches then you may have just killed the plant.

Hopefully, this article has made sure that you did not kill any of your plants. Transplanting is: pick the right size pot, preparing a Pot, transplanting a plant to a pot, and post-transplant care like watering and trimming. Now go and do some planting.

Money, what is it good for?

We all run after money. Even when our basic needs are met, we go out and buy all sorts of things, then we have to go earn more money. It can sometimes start to feel a wee bit absurd, like we’re a hamster in a wheel, running endlessly with no particular goal. I realized that it’s important to reflect about why we want that money, to make sure we’re working our asses off for good reasons.

Money buys you time. Time with family and friends

I’m sure you’ve seen that post that listed the top ten regrets of dying people, and the first one had something to do with not having spent enough time with loved ones. It seems kind of obvious when we think about it. “Dude, the most important thing in my life are the people I love, duh”. But in our day-to-day life, aren’t we all a little bit obssessed with productivity, career goals, buying a house someday? Is it partly that obsession that makes us work 70 hours a week?

If we’re lucky enough to get to a point in our life where we are shopping for a new sofa, an espresso machine or a pool, maybe we can make the choice to spend less on the material stuff and save that money to do an activity with friends. You know what, skip work if you can afford it god damnit, and go out with your mates.

Give some to others

I’d feel like a complete asshole if I had a million dollars and my brother sitting next to me was starving (yet, it’s exactly what is happening at a global level). So I always thought to myself, “yep, if I ever earn more money than I need, I’ll give a lot to people who need it”. But when is it “more than I need”? I was quite broke a couple of years ago but back then I didn’t think I was doing so bad. Now that I do a little better, I would struggle having the kind of income I had in those days. What I’m trying to say is, our needs get bigger as we make more money. So I say share what you have now. If you’re good at budgeting, find out what amount you really need to acheive your goals, and give the rest away! Fuck it, go crazy! …Choose wisely who to give it to though. That email you received from the nephew of a king in Nigeria: bad choice.

Take care of your health

It’s true what your aunt said. If you have health, you have everything. But let’s not wait to get sick to fully realize that. I believe in prevention: eating healthy, exercise, that kind of stuff. Buying organic food is expensive though. It’s kind of a pain in the ass but it’s an investment in your health. Everything you do to stay healthy increases your chances of not spending money on medication, hospitalization or treatment. Hey how ’bout that: if you hate working out, think of a dollar going in your pocket each time you do a push-up. Next time you’re on the elliptical, visualize all the money you won’t be giving to the pharmacist for those cholesterol drugs! Yay!

An alternative to money?

All that money talk makes me want to tell you about something. I recently discovered an online community that seems very promising for us hippies. It’s called Simbi and your money is no good there. It’s a website where you can “exchange services with other members or offer to “pay” them for their time using your credits”. Dude, I’ve just signed up two days ago and I can already afford a tattoo! (they do give you 100 credits just for joining). There are all kinds of services available and you can offer whatever you’re good at doing. No money involved. So far I think it’s genius, I’ll keep you posted about that.

What about you, what are your reasons to make money?

Improving your life (and not failing)

The title of this post could be “What to do when you’re in your 30s and realize all the things you’ve been doing wrong and suddenly want to change your whole lifestyle this very second”. I’m sure you’ve been there. Here’s what helps me not failing. And let’s share some other tips in the comments.

Focus on one thing at a time

I’m the type of person who wakes up one morning and decides to make huge improvements in 15 areas of my life all at once and then be surprised it all failed. If you’re like that too, focus on one improvement at a time. Better results. Experts say (no source here, just heard that a couple times) it takes a month for a habit to form. So if you think you need to improve, say your social abilities, dental health and motivation, you can chose one improvement per month. Or one small good habit in each category, every day for a month.

It has to be easy

The human body is made for two things: survival and energy saving. So, fundamentally, we’re all lazy, and it’s okay. Make it as easy as possible for your lazy ass.

For example, let’s say you want to eat healthier but you don’t have time to cook or you just don’t like to. If you buy only cabbages, turnips, potatoes… you know, stuff you have to peel, chop and boil, they’re gonna rot in the fridge while you order pizza. You have to buy healthy stuff that’s easy to reach for when you want to snack this very second, not in 45 minutes. Baby carrots, granola bars, anything easy.

Set clear goals

This one might seem obvious but if you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up some place you don’t want. Well, you might end up somewhere completely awesome too if you’re lucky! But if you have a general feeling that you’re not satisfied with where you are in your life, really take the time necessary to find out where you’d like to be. Sometimes we rush into stuff just because we need to move on but it might be worth it to wait until we know what’s the right move.

Plan every step

Once we know where to go, we’ll plan the route to get there. Let’s say I have a general goal to improve my health. I’m going to break down this general goal in tiny tiny steps that I will add to my agenda as tasks I have to do every day. One day it’ll be to call my doctor to make an appointment. The next day I’ll have to shop for a water filter. Then on Wednesday I’ll workout for 5 minutes. The next week I’ll workout for 10 minutes. You get the idea. Small steps help you realize that you’re actually getting somewhere. Planning really helps making things real.

Team up

Once in my life I was asked “hey do you want to do a 30-day challenge with me?” I didn’t even know what a 30-day challenge was but damn did I feel motivated! The person then proceeded to explain to me that I got to choose a new good habit I wanted to have and she would choose one too and we’d encourage each other. Having someone to share your progress with really helps stay motivated. And knowing that your friend is going to judge you soooo bad if you eat that bacon, it helps too. Good old peer pressure.

Now I’d like to read about what works best for you when it comes to improve your life!



Enough with the Self-love thing

Self love is great and all, but I think we’ve heard enough about it. Let’s talk about loving other people now, shall we?

I dare you to find a self-help book, a quote on Pinterest, an advice from a guide of some sort, that doesn’t sound like: “Choose yourself”, “Be your first priority”, “Take some personal time”, “Be yourself”, “I am the way I am and if you don’t like it fuck off”, “You are unique”, “Don’t be afraid to shine”, and so on.

These might be helpful for a person with low self-esteem or a person having difficulties to say no, or to anyone at a certain point, really. But being constantly told that you’re the only important person in your life, that you’re fucking special, that you should spend the majority of your free time to find your true essence, it can also lead to becoming a self-centered prick.

Self-care, self-appreciation, self-help, self-acceptance, personal growth, these self-oriented messages are so widespread, it must have got into our heads, as a society. Are we all becoming self-centered pricks?

But enough with the negative vibes, man. I wanted to talk about loving other people.

I don’t mind forgetting myself once in a while to care about others. I don’t mind putting another person’s interests before mine. I feel like we’ve forgotten the value of that.

An ex-hippie told me this: “back in the days, people were buddies”. They’d help each other, share things, have proper conversations. Not that all of this is gone nowadays but, is it just me or it’s becoming more rare? It’s just a thought but maybe if we weren’t all so busy improving our own personalities (and bodies, and careers, and public image), we’d have more time for our neighbour, brother, fellow human and, well, the world could become a bit of a better place I guess. And maybe as a bonus we wouldn’t feel so alone.

Human is seeking happiness in different manners. In the hippie era it was through community, in the 80s it was throuhg cocaine (ooh I’m just kidding come on), and in our time, it seems we’re seeking happiness within ourselves. Which is not a bad thing, but let’s not forget we’re a social species, we need each other, and maybe we could evolve just as much by taking care of one another.

Yeah, great thoughts. But I believe actions mean more than words. So how can we actually take care of each other? It might start with the way you perceive others. As an exercise, try to think of strangers as family. How would you treat them if they were your cousin? Maybe you’d smile. Maybe you’d help carry the grocery bags up the stairs.

What’s that? You only have 2 cousins, there’s one you don’t like and the other one’s in prison? Alright then, try to think of strangers as potential friends. Your mom told you not to speak to strangers? You’re making this hard now. Okay, try to think of strangers as your equal. That’s a start. Treating everyone with respect is a pretty damn good start. Now we’ve got the strangers covered, let’s not forget our already-loved ones.

I’m sure I’m not the only one complaining that I don’t have enough time to spend with the people I love. But, really, do I absolutely need to go to yoga class, or could I go for a coffee with a friend? And meditation is great but taking that time to visit grandpa would be great too, and would make both of us happy. And what’s with all that texting? What, am I afraid to call?! Anyway, you get where I’m going. I wonder if all the focus on the “me time” makes us neglect the time spend together.


Any thoughts?