The bow hemp is one of those houseplants that you rarely need to repot. We’ll tell you when the time is right and how to proceed correctly.
Bow hemp grows more slowly, so you only have to repot it every few years. Buying a new planter “in advance” does not make sense, because, in fact, the bow hemp thrives best if it is a little narrow.
The succulent plant makes it clear in many ways that it is time to repot: For example, when the roots are clearly visible above the substrate or even the rhizomes deform the pot or burst immediately – this can certainly happen with one made of thin plastic. Even if you see roots poking out of the drainage hole below, it’s time for a new pot.
When should you repot bow hemp?
A good time to repot is in spring when the bow hemp returns to the growth phase. Incidentally, this is also a good opportunity to shrink the plant or to multiply the bow hemp: cuttings can be easily taken if the Sansevieria has to get out of the culture vessel anyway, and one of the long, fleshy leaves can also be cut off to make leaf cuttings win.
If the bow hemp has just been potted up, this is a good opportunity to take a few offshoots
Which pot is the right one for the bow hemp?
Before repotting you should get a new, somewhat wider, and deeper planter. If you share the plant at the same time, you can also reuse the previous pot. Especially with tall column shapes, you should choose a pot that is heavy and has a broad base, otherwise, there is a risk of tipping over!
The center of gravity can also be shifted downwards if you first pour a few pebbles into the vessel. Attention: There should be a drainage hole at the bottom of the culture vessel so that water can drain out of the pot. With some new pots, this is already pre-cut, but you still have to push it out.
Use large, heavy vessels for tall arch hemp specimens, otherwise, the plant can easily tip over
The right substrate for the bow hemp
The bow hemp feels comfortable in special cactus or succulent soil that can be bought in stores. Alternatively, you can mix houseplant soil with coarse sand, grit, clay granules, or expanded clay in a ratio of around 3: 1. The soil has to be permeable, that is the alpha and omega of succulents. Too many nutrients are also not well received with bow hemp: So you can be economical with humus.
Drainage at the bottom of the pot is particularly useful for large plants. So that the culture substrate is not washed through from top to bottom, the two layers are separated with a fleece. As a precaution, wear gloves when repotting, as the sap of the bow hemp can cause skin irritation. By the way: dry bow hemp is easier to repot than a freshly poured one.
A loose, permeable substrate is ideal for the bow hemp
Repotting bow hemp: our step-by-step instructions
Carefully remove the bow hemp from the pot. If it is difficult to remove from the container because the root ball is very deeply rooted, you may have to cut the plastic pot. Of course, this is not possible with a clay pot. It is best to tip it down a little and tap the underside a few times – then the ball should come loose. Please be careful that the bow hemp does not land on the ground!
Gently shake off any loose soil from the roots. It ends up on the compost for recycling. Since it no longer contains nutrients, it should not be used again. Are the fine roots already turning in a circle along the edge of the pot or are there any injuries? Then it is best to cut off the damaged rhizomes with a clean knife, loosen up compacted areas with your fingers, you may have to shorten the root network.
It is also best to remove encrusted earth from the surface of the earth: This efflorescence is often caused by calcareous water – it prevents the irrigation water from penetrating the substrate without any problems.
A layer of expanded clay at the bottom of the pot ensures better drainage – because waterlogging is hated by bow hemp
Cover the drainage holes in the new pot with a pottery shard and fill in a drainage layer of expanded clay a few centimeters thick. Put a thin fleece on top before the actual substrate follows. As a test, but the bow hemp in the pot beforehand, it should not be lower than before! If the planting height is right, place the bow hemp in the middle of the planter so that there is an even distance on all sides.
Then carefully fill the space between the pot and the root ball with a substrate. If you repeatedly tap the pot carefully on the surface, any gaps between them will be filled with soil. There should be a small margin of about two centimeters between the upper edge of the substrate and the edge of the pot so that the water does not run out later when watering and floods the area.
Maintaining bow hemp: 5 expert tips
The bow hemp is quite tough – nonetheless, you should take your preferences into account when caring for it. If you heed these tips, the houseplant will feel completely at home with you. Learn more
Give your bow hemp time to get used to after repotting
So that the bow hemp can get used to the new environment, it is best to leave the plant in partial shade for a few days. During this time, it does not need to be watered: This reduces the risk of healthy cut roots rot. If the substrate collapses a little later, you can fill up with soil or mineral gravel, which goes well with the bow hemp.