Newbie here, how do i repot my christmas tree?

howedannihowedanni Posts: 3
Hi guys :) , ive just got a little 3ft norway spruce delivered who was pot grown, however the pot is all cracked and not in great condition., how do i go about repotting it? and what size pot do i need? do i need to use compost or soil or anything? sorry im terrible at this and its my first green fingered venture xx

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  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 426
    edited 4 December
    Carefully take off the pot (slowly, and put it back if the soil is loose and starts falling away) and have a look at the roots.  Is there a firm rootball or is the soil loose and falling away?  Then put it back in the pot if you don't have a new pot and compost ready.
    If there's a rootball, is it pot-bound (solid mass of roots with little no soil showing, maybe roots circling around)?  If it's not pot-bound, you can choose a pot the same size or bigger, whichever you like.  If it is pot-bound, go up a few sizes.  Either way use some compost to fill the gaps - A soil-based one (John Innes) would be best if you're planning to keep the tree and grow it on.  Ordinary soil or any old multipurpose compost will do if you're planning on chucking it out after Christmas.
    If the soil is loose then the tree's been lifted from the ground and put in the pot recently, and I think it will have less chance of long-term survival - in that case use a pot big enough to fit the roots without folding them up, and compost as above.
    Good luck! Maybe you'll get the gardening bug :smile:
  • howedannihowedanni Posts: 3
    Hiya Jennyj thanks so much for your reply, so the rootball was firm so i have listed out and put him in a  larger pot, im going to go buy some john innes in the next hour so do i just put that in around the soil that it already has? and should it all be compact together? sorry i am so out of my depth here haha! i really want to catch the gardening bug but i dont seem to understannd it all :( xx
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 426
    Don't break up the rootball or take away the old soil (you'd damage the fine roots which are the important ones), just put a bit of fresh compost in the bottom of the pot so that when you put the tree in, the surface is a bit below the rim of the pot to allow room for watering (about 2cm, it's not an exact science) , then fill in the space around the sides of the rootball with compost and push it down with your fingers.  You want it to be firm with no air pockets, but not packed down really hard. Water it in, and then add more compost if any gaps form (it just means there was an air pocket or it wasn't quite firmed enough).
    And don't worry, I'm sure your tree will be happy.


  • howedannihowedanni Posts: 3
    Thankyou so much Jennyj for all your advice, fingers crossed he will thrive :) x
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 22,474
    It will be fine, as Jenny says. They're tough old things  :)
    A good trick when you pot a plant into a bigger pot, is to put the pot it's been in into the new one [without the plant]. It'll need a little layer of soil/compost in the bottom, so that the levels are the same. You then  fill the whole thing with the new soil you have. Firm it down a bit, and then remove the inner pot.
    You're then left with a hole which is the same size as the root ball of the plant, and can simply drop it in. 
    Obviously, that works best if the rootball isn't compromised in any way, and the medium the plant is  already growing in isn't either rock hard or loose.
    Make sure the plant has been well watered before you start, and the soil/compost is nicely damp. If it's allowed to dry out, it can be hard to rehydrate it, and makes the job of repotting and watering much harder, especially if you're having it inside your house :)
    There's a gypsy down on Bleecker Street
    I went in to see her as a kind of joke
    And she lit a candle for my love luck
    And eighteen bucks went up in smoke

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