Do i Need New Potting Soil Every Year?


Growing plants is a challenging but a fun and rewarding experience.

And to see your plant bloom and thrive, it will need some extra care, especially the soil which is its main source of nutrients and a major necessity.

If you are confused whether you need to change the soil every year, here is the short answer.

Most potting soil can stay active for years, and will provide the plant with the proper food and nutrients, however most of the time it depends on the plant and how fast it is growing, but it is preferable to change or refresh the potting soil every 12 to 18 months.

This article will teach you about repotting your plants, and if you need new potting soil every year and some of the best ways to improve your plants’ growing conditions without buying new pots.

It may also help you determine if you need to change your potting soil.

How often do you need to replace soil in potted plants?

Most plant owners prefer to change their soil almost every year or after 18 months as part of their plants care routine, however; you don’t need to get rid of the soil every year if you don’t want to, but you will need to amend the soil to make sure there are enough nutrients for the plant.

I recommend to change at least 50% of the old soil, but if there are pests and bugs on the potting soil, i don’t think it will be a good idea to keep it or even refresh it with new soil and fertilizer or composting, it is probably the best solution to get rid of it.

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What if I never change my potting soil?

If you don’t change the soil for many years and you don’t even add some nutrients, you may notice some negative effects on the plant.

Old soil can become compressed and sometimes even soggy and hard to dry through lack of draining, and all that because it lacks the ability to consume water and provide the plant with enough nutrients.

Is it OK to reuse potting soil?

Reusing potting soil is possible but it will come with many risks, the first is that the plant will not get enough nutrients unless you add fertilizer and some of the new soil, and the second is the soil may already have some insects and mites that may affect the health of your plant.

Most plants require soil with a specific mix of ingredients for them to grow well, and there is more chance that reuse potting soil has already given all its energy, not having enough ingredients will make the plant suffer or even die.

Changing soil for large planters can be expensive, but potting soil can be used again and again with just a little refresh and improvement , however you will still need to add some new potting soil.

How to change potting soil?

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To change your potting soil while keeping your plant healthy and in its full shape it is important, so here is some easy steps to follow and add new potting soil for your plant:

  • carefully remove the plant from the pot, you can remove first some of the soil and place it in other pot or in a plastic bag ( if you don’t want to reuse it again if you want to reuse it again watch the video below), then you can gently slide the plant.
  • Clean the roots of the plant and inspect them for possible pests. You can cut any additional roots, but be careful to not cut the main roots, you can also wash the roots if you want to, but if there are no pests or soil mites there is no need to wash them.
  • Remove the old potting soil from your pot and place it somewhere, or sprinkle it in your garden, it-s time to replace it with a new potting soil, I do recommend taking a look at your pot drainage holes, it is one of the main reasons most soil don’t dry quickly, even if you overwatered your plant, draining holes will help the soil to quickly dry and get rid of the extra water.
  • Clean the pot neatly, and add your new potting soil into the empty planter, until you feel that it is the right height for your plant.
  • Finally add the plant and add more soil to secure it, make sure to add the right amount of soil, for example 1 Liter pot will need 1.46 liters of soil to fill it up, make sure to always leave some space for water and for the plant to breathe.
  • Water and enjoy your lovely fresh plant.

What to do with old soil?

If you decide to change your old potting soil, there are many ways to reuse it without throwing it in the garbage or getting rid of it.

Here are some of the ways you can use the old soil for.

  • Use if for outdoor flowers, or vegetables, you can just spread the soil in your garden, it will be an extra boost for the garden soil and plants.
  • Add some to the bottom of a large pot (like in the video), for both indoor or outdoor plants, it will work as a support for the new potting soil and gain some extra space in the pot.
  • If you see that the soil can be reused for other plants, you can store it in a garbage bin, and you can reuse it whenever you want, just make sure that the container is well closed or even sealed to avoid any insect to go inside and infest in the soil.
  • Give it to a fellow planter to reuse it, trust me some fellow planters or even friends will appreciate it, so if you have an avid planter friend do not hesitate to ask him or her if they will need the soil.

The Verdict

So do I need new potting soil every year?

Well !! mostly YES.

Even if you don’t want to change all the soil, you still need to mix it with new one.

Potting soil will get depleted from nutrients overtime and it will need either to be refreshed by adding fertilizer or fully changed.

This will give them additional nutrients and help your plants grow better.

It is also important to change your potting soil regularly for possible insects or bugs, so your plants don’t get affected.

It may take a while to find the right balance for your plant, but the effort will be worth it when you see the growth of your plants.

Nadine is a passionate gardening writer sharing practical tips, innovative ideas, and valuable insights on plant and soil care, In her spare time, she tries to convince her plants to grow by singing them catchy tunes.

Calculate the amount of soil you need for pots, raised beds or planter with the help of this easy to use Soil Calculator