Can Indoor Plants be Transplanted in Autumn

Can Indoor Plants be Transplanted in Autumn
Can Indoor Plants be Transplanted in Autumn

Houseplants are usually transplanted in February and March or when they begin to grow vigorously. Transplanting is not prohibited at other times of the year, but the risks and consequences of changing containers and substrates are not the same. One of the most difficult times to transplant potted pets is in the fall. Changes in light and temperature have already affected the plants, so transplanting in the fall is the most dangerous. But you can transplant plants in the fall. However, you should only do so if you really need to do so in an emergency. You will learn Can Indoor Plants be Transplanted in Autumn in the ThumbGarden article.


Almost always, transplanting in the fall is only appropriate when houseplants need an emergency substrate or container change. You should only do this if the condition of the plant, its growth rate, or damage from pests or diseases really compels you to transplant and transplant in the fall. The exception to this is bulbs and tubers that are propagating or awakening from dormancy and need to be transplanted before transferring to a warmer crop.

Repotting in an emergency, no matter what the time of year, is very stressful and is a last resort when plants are in trouble. Before deciding to transplant houseplants in the fall, you should first assess their condition and try any other available measures.
But don’t be afraid to replant in the fall. If necessary, it’s best to do so quickly, as diseased or weakened plants may not survive the winter.


The same rules apply to houseplants in the fall as at any other time, but soil and containers should be replaced only if there are good reasons for doing so.

  1. Extreme soil depletion or severe loss of critical soil properties. If the soil has become so compacted that it has become an impenetrable mass that does not allow water and air to enter, the plants have not been transplanted for so long that the soil’s resources have been depleted. Emergency replanting is required in all cases where there are indications that the soil is depleted or unsuitable for further plant growth.
  2. The volume of the basin is severely oversized. In the fall, it is always advisable to replant plants that have nowhere physically to grow. If a plant has grown vigorously during the summer, the rhizomes have grown so well that they have braided the entire root ball, and the roots have not just emerged, but have come out of the top of the drainage container and/or substrate, and the earth is covered with roots that even water cannot penetrate – replant immediately!
  3. Sour, musty and salty soil. The easiest way to identify this problem is by the appearance of the soil (salt crystals build up on the surface of the container and on the walls) and the smell, as affected soil gives off a particular sour smell or fungal aroma. But the first indicator is diseased, wilted plants. Turf can fall off due to improper watering and watering with non-periodic water. On the other hand, sourness and mold spreading is simply caused by improper, overwatering, and standing water – in pots and trays, but also by lack of or incorrect selection of drainage and depth of containers.
  4. Incorrect choice of soil acidity. If alkaline soil is used for plants that grow only in mildly acidic or acidic substrates (and vice versa), the consequences of incorrect soil selection usually become apparent and unavoidable in the fall.
  5. The soil is infested with pests, including nematodes, or heavily infested with fungal diseases whose pathogens may remain in the substrate. When infested with any soil-borne pest, especially in the case of tubers, it is often useless to wait for fungicides to cure the problem. Repotting, complete soil replacement, and thorough root disinfection are essential. All possible precautions must also be taken to replace the substrate for plants that are at risk of re-infection due to viruses and diseases not only in the above-ground parts but also in the soil. Such replanting should only be done after the plants have been cured of the disease and then moved out of the quarantine area.
  6. Purchase plants in substrates that are in poor condition. This includes purchasing potted plants shipped in clean, inert soil, purchasing plants at farmers’ markets growing in dense garden soil, or ordering imported plants that require substrate replacement according to the supplier’s instructions. Such replanting should be delayed until the end of the quarantine period. If plants are only growing in peat, or in inert soil, they can be compensated for by replanting, preferably postponed until spring and the optimum time.


It is not always possible to perform emergency transplanting in the fall, even if the plant shows signs of health problems (except for serious diseases or pests), insufficient pot space, or growth problems.

Even if there are “signs” of transplanting, it is worth avoiding transplanting in the fall.

  1. For plants in the budding or flowering stage.
  2. for crops in a severely weakened state (for other reasons not related to the soil)
  3. In case of sudden temperature changes or extremely unstable temperatures.
  4. At the beginning of the heating period (plants should be given time to adapt to the new environment).


Characteristics Of Home Potted Plants For Autumn Transplanting
Characteristics Of Home Potted Plants For Autumn Transplanting

Transplanting should be done only if the pot size is too large and the plant was purchased in inert soil in autumn, but even then it should not be done in a classic way: a tightly ringed root system and an overly tight, watertight clump at the bottom of the container need to be loosened at least.

If the soil has been depleted, there is no point in leaving a deteriorated substrate, but in the case of deterioration, acidification, and insect damage, the roots must be completely released from the old soil by inspection, pruning, and root treatment.
Before you start transplanting, make sure you have prepared well for the procedure.

Prepare pots for transplanting plants in the fall: The size of the pots should be ideal. Even if the old pot has very significantly outgrown its size, you should not add too much, but stick to the standard height to width ratio.

  1. Make sure there are good drainage holes and sterilize the drainage material at the bottom.
  2. Check the requirements of specific plant species.
  3. Select the substrate and its components individually and treat them (any soil in the fall, especially if infected plants will be transplanted into it, is best disinfected).
  4. Prepare tools, containers, and all the preparations you need to handle the plants.
  5. Prepare two work areas – one for removing old soil and the other for planting in a clean substrate.


  1. In all cases, except when the soil becomes acidic, water the plants well a few hours or a day before transplanting.
  2. Remove the plants gently by turning or tilting the container and holding the above-ground part as lightly as possible.
  3. Remove the soil gently or wash it off with warm, clean water, taking care to minimize contact with the roots. If the root ball is very dense, the roots should be loosened. If the root ball is very dense, the roots need to be untangled.
  4. Inspect the roots carefully after release. Cut out any damaged areas, “problematic” areas, dry, damaged roots.
  5. Wounds on the roots should be treated with charcoal immediately. If the plant is infested, first soak the cleaned rhizome in freshwater to remove any fine soil particles, then soak in a fungicide solution suitable for disease or insect infestation.
  6. In a new container, pour in a drain at a height appropriate for the particular plant species and top with a thin layer of soil.
  7. Place the plant in the center and carefully spread out the roots, spreading the soil evenly and slowly to fill in the gaps, taking care not to bend the roots.
  8. The substrate is gently compacted, pressing the plant firmly but avoiding severe compaction. For species with fragile roots, the substrate can simply be added later, as it will shrink after watering. Check the level of submergence by leaving it as it is and never submerging plants deeper.

After transplanting in the fall, the plant needs an acclimation period. It will be exposed to mild conditions that protect it from all temperature changes, heat, cold, drafts, and direct sunlight. Water very carefully for another 2 to 3 weeks, taking into account the condition of the plant and its preference for minimum humidity.

If the plant suffers from wet soil, for all succulents after transplanting, do not water and delay watering for 2 to 3 days.

Title: Can Indoor Plants be Transplanted in Autumn
Source: ThumbGarden
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