What is this plant and should it be repotted?
This Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica) has definitely outgrown its planter. It would greatly benefit from repotting. First, search your own selection of spare pots. You definitely need a drainage hole and the new planter should be twice the size of the current root ball. In fact, if it has been in the current planter for some time, you may have to break your pot to remove it. The goal in replanting is to provide more rich new soil to surround it with, and better drainage. If it has a good supply of soil distributed around it in the new planter, it will stay wet longer. You might consider waiting until spring, but if it’s stopped producing any new growth just go for it now. A great project for a day when you are shut in from wind, snow or rain. And repotting indoors is advantageous in terms of it re-establishing itself. Once you have moved it,
try to place it up on top of a table near daylight, as it “recovers” from being moved and replanted. It normally takes a couple of weeks before the root system starts to root itself into the new soil that you have now provided.
When you remove the large plant from the old planter some small baby sprouts may pull away. If they have any roots, now would be an excellent time to start a new plant in a smaller pot. And if the root ball is very compacted, it’s also an excellent time to loosen it ever so slightly with your hands, by holding the lower half of the root ball and just stretching it out a little bit. Then when you put it in the new planter, just be sure, once you have added soil around it and covered it; to place your hands around the top of the plant, and with some force, push down around the top. Now pack some extra soil around the top, to make sure it’s well balanced and secure.
Our advice on watering all indoor plants is to make sure you have a drainage saucer that is adequate to hold some spare water. Water your plants from the bottom by filling the saucer. An hour or so later, go back and fill the saucer again. Repeat until it stops drinking water. This way you can tell how much its drinking and you won’t disturb the soil on the top of the planter.
Repotting is such fun, and so satisfying to do with a plant that you’ve had a very long time. It will look wonderful and fresh. Preservation of our beloved houseplants is a “good thing to do.”
“…..so says Contessa”