Repotting Houseplants into Hydroponics  . . .
Plant Care After Repotting

Most plants do just fine after repotting. Some plants might need a little "Tender Loving Care" the first couple of weeks while they're getting acclimated to the Hydroponic System however.


Dracaena Neon after transplanting


It's not unusual for a new transplant to droop or loose leaves in the beginning. Remove discolored leaves so the plant will focus all its energy on new growth. Discolored leaves will never turn green again anyhow, and you'll have a better idea of your progress.

Don't panic! Some plants shed almost all of their leaves before growing new ones. New growth is always the best indicator on how your plant is doing. If you see new growth, don't worry about yellow leaves.

Don't get discouraged. Even if your plant struggles in the beginning, it will be healthier and happier after it adapts to hydroponics.



2 Things You Need to Know for Transplanting Success

1. New Roots Need Warm Temperatures 

Houseplants insist on temperatures of at least 68 degrees at the root zone for new roots to grow. If temperatures drop below 68 degrees root growth stops. Inactive roots deteriorate quickly, adding more problems for the new plant.

The best way to insure warm temperatures at the root zone is with a Heat Mat. Heat Mats warm the root zone gently and evenly without raising the air temperature at the leaves. 


Improve your transplanting success with heat mats.

Grower Tip: Never use radiators or heat vents from the furnace to warm new transplants. Radiators get too hot and air from the furnace is extremely dry and will effect other parts of the plant. The gentle warmth from our Heat Mats are the best tool for raising temperatures at the root zone. 



2. Leaves Need Lots of Humidity 

Humidity also plays a vital role when repotting soil plants into hydroponics.

Try for humidity levels of 60% or more during transplanting. 



3 Ways to Increase Humidity for New Transplants

1)  Lower temperatures at the leaves. Cool air holds moisture better than warm air. As long as the root zone stays warm, air temperature can go as low as 60 degrees.

2)  Set your plant on a Humidity Tray. Moisture is added to the air as the water in the tray evaporates. 

3)  Group plants together. Remember, plants are natural humidifiers. Your new transplant will benefit from the moisture released by the other plants.


Grower Tip: Misting plants to increase humidity doesn't do much because the effects of misting are short-lived. Unless you mist your plant every 30 minutes, misting will not increase humidity.

Also, don't try to increase humidity levels by watering your plant more! Moisture in the air is completely different from moisture in the pot.



Watering New Transplants

Rule #1. Don't over water! Too much water and the roots will suffocate. 

Some plants like water after transplanting, but most want just a little. And a few simply can't tolerate much water at all.

The key to watering new transplants is finding the right balance of air and water at the roots that will promote new growth.


1. Slowly pour water over the pebbles until the red indicator reaches appropriate level. See Chart below.
2. Before rewatering, lift inner pot and check to make sure it's dry at bottom. New roots need air so container must be completely dry before rewatering. This might take up to 2 weeks.
3. Some plants want a "dry period" after the grow pot has dried out. Check for your plant in the Chart below.
Plants that
Like Water

Ferns
Ficus
Spathiphyllum
Plants that
Don't Like Water

Aglaonema
African Violets
Dracaena
Philodendron
Pleomele
Schefflera
Vines & Ivies
Plants that
Hate Water

Aralia
Cactus
Sansaveria
Succluents


Plants that Like Water:
Slowly pour water over the pebbles until the red indicator in the water gauge moves up to "opt" or 1/2 on the gauge. Rewater when gauge reads "Min". No dry period between waterings necessary.


Plants that Don't Like a Lot of Water:
Most plants prefer the root zone to dryout between waterings so their roots can breathe. For these plants, slowly pour water over the pebbles until red indicator moves up to about 1/4 on the gauge. When gauge reads "Min", or empty, use the water gauge as a handle and lift the inner pot to make sure the system is completely dry before rewatering. This will take several days after gauge reads empty.

When bottom of pot is dry, rewater to 1/4 on gauge.


Plants that Hate Water:
With this group, simpy wetting the pebbles is enough. Slowly pour water over pebbles until red indicator moves - then stop! Make sure the system is completely dry before rewatering. Using the water gauge as a handle, lift plant (and inner pot) to make sure the bottom of outer pot is dry before rewatering.



Finding Right Balance of Air/Water at Roots

Healthy plants will use up all their water in 2 weeks or less. If your new transplant is using up all it's water in 2 weeks (or less) it's adapting and you're on the way to a healthy, happy hydroponic plant! 

On the other hand, if your new transplant looks good but there's still water standing at the bottom of the pot after two weeks, it's a good idea to force a dry period to give those new roots more air.

1. Take plant to sink and dump out any water remaning the reservoir.

2. Return plant to outer pot - with no standing water at the base - and wait a couple of days before rewatering. 

3. Rewater - apply less than before. You want to find the plant (and the grow pot) dry after 2 weeks.


Signs of Trouble

The first sign of trouble is wilting leaves.


Wilting leaves on a Peace Lily

If your plant has droopy leaves, your first instinct is to water more because it looks thirsty. 

Stop! That's exactly the wrong response!

Leaves droop when they don't have enough moisture to remain rigid. If your plant is wilting - and there's water in reservoir - the roots aren't working to send moisture up to the leaves.

Stagnant roots need more air, not more water! 

1. Take plant to sink and dump out any water remaning the reservoir.

2.  Leach roots by running clear water through pebbles.

3. Start new watering program by simply running water through the pebbles at the sink 1-2 times a week. No standing water at the base. 

Your plant should start looking better in a couple of weeks.

If it doesn't:

1. Lay the plant on its side and carefully remove it from the culture pot. Take a close look at the root system and cut away any rotting or decayed roots. (Don't panic - you're going to find mushy roots!)

2. Rinse remaining active roots at sink (or use garden hose). Don't worry about how many roots are left - your plant will grow new ones.

3. Repot plant a little deeper in fresh, pebbles that have been soaking in KLN Rooting Concentrate. Save water from soaking pebbles for watering later.

4. Don't water plant immediately. Allow it to sit in saturated pebbles for a couple of days. Then rewater by pouring water - saved from soaking pebbles - through the grow pot at the sink.

5. Return plant to outer pot with no standing water at the base. Repeat 1-2 times a week.


Try moving your plant to a spot where the roots will be warmer. A Heating Mat is the best tool for this. Kitchen counters also work well. No heat vents or radiators!!

Don't be too concerned about the condition of existing leaves. Many plants actually abandon most of their existing leaves and concentrate on growing new ones. So watch the growth tips - that's the future!


Plant Nutrition after Repotting

Resist the urge to give your new transplant a boost with an "extra dose" of fertilzer. Fertilizer can actually be harmful because they're designed to promote new leaves and stems. New transplants need help growing new roots - not new leaves and stems.

Instead of using fertilizer, give your plant vitamins that encourage new root growth. We use and recommend KLN Rooting Concentrate. KLN is excellent for promoting new root growth and resisting disease - just what your new transplant needs!. Use it in place of nutrients for the first 4-6 weeks. 


Don't get discouraged if your first transplant fails. Hydroponic plants have many advantages over growing in soil and success is just around the corner!



Choosing Plants and Pots for Transplanting

Let's Transplant!

Coaxing Stubborn Plants to Convert

Tools for Transplanting

Questions?
Ask Here