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So earlier today I posted a few questions about my new dieffenbachia along with two pictures. One of the things I wanted to know was if it should be potted up, due to the very small size of the pot, (4") in relation to the large size of the plant. The pot falls over, and I had to put it in a larger heavy pot to hold it up. Later in the day, upon further examination of the plant I pulled it from it's pot to see if it looked like the plant needed to be potted up of if it would be ok until the spring. As you can see from the picture it looks as if the roots could use a but more space! So, to recap, got the plant yesterday, worried about it all night and day today, and now I'm considering re-potting. Any advice?
Your plant is not in any immediate danger, and by potting up or repotting, you're more apt to run into problems (because of the timing) than be a beneficiary. If it was June, I'd be all for suggesting a very fast draining soil and a significantly larger pot, but your plant will be much easier to care for, and it will be harder to make a mistake, if you leave it in its current pot until June.
Thanks Al, I knew my advice wasnt totally correct because I remembered back in my head somewhere, about disturbing the root systems during winter... Al to the rescue and he scores and saves a plant again!!!
Sometimes it's easy to take what I say as an absolute. If we were having a conversation where we could bat ideas around, this issue would emerge as a very good guideline with just a hint of grey area around the edges. An experienced grower who is aware of the dangers of over-potting could easily pot up a size and all would be well; but because growth is so slow, and this plant in the pot it's in will be very hard to over-water, it just makes sense not to even pot up at this time.
There is little question that a full repot, which includes bare-rooting and a complete change of soil - along with any root pruning that might be appropriate, should probably be done just before the plant is entering into its period of most robust growth, so late Jun or early Jul, for most of the US. Taking advantage of the plant's natural growth rhythms so the plant recovers in the shortest time leaves the plant less susceptible to insect predation and diseases (due to a depressed metabolism during the recovery). Repotting now would leave the plant weakened for months, where repotting in late Jun-early Jul would have the plant fully recovered and putting on new top growth in a couple of weeks. It's just one way of learning how to work in harmony with your plants instead of going about things haphazardly. Kind of like Do it when it's the right time instead of when you have time.