Learning how to repot a houseplant can sound tricky, but we have simple tips and tricks to make it a success.
Yes, really. We made a whole post on how to transfer a houseplant into a slightly bigger pot and add a bit more soil in it. You’re welcome! But seriously, sometimes, the idea of repotting your houseplant might make you anxious. Trust me, I know that feeling. The first time I repot my favorite plant, I killed it. So I got afraid of moving my houseplant because I might kill it again, but eventually, I learned the proper steps on how to repot a houseplant, which is what I’m going to share with you today.
Repotting your plant does not necessarily mean changing its current planter. It actually means changing its potting mix or soil, and fresh soil means new nutrients. It’s alright if you bought a new planter. Just make sure to keep the size under 3″ larger in diameter for tabletop planters and under 6″ larger in diameter for floor planters. We have mentioned that choosing the wrong pot size for your plant can lead to overwatering.
Your plant needs to be repotted every 12 to 18 months. It also depends on how fast they are growing. The growing season, which is late winter or early spring, is the best time to repot a houseplant.
Here are signs that you need to repot a houseplant:
- It’s been years since you repotted
- Plant looks too big for its pot
- Roots are growing out of the drainage holes
- Soil is dried out
- Water is sitting on the top
Here are the supplies you need to repot a houseplant:
- Coffee filters
- Gloves (optional)
- New pot
- Potting mix
- Scissors or a sharp knife
- Watering can
How to Repot a Houseplant
CREDIT: THE SINGAPORE WOMEN’S WEEKLY
Step 1: Choose a Bigger Pot
The very main reason that you are repotting your plant is that it outgrew its current home. Yes, you need to repot your plant if the roots are shooting out from the drainage holes that it looks like it’s going to start to crawl.
Choose a pot that’s a little bigger than your plant to give the roots plenty of room. Also, make sure that the new pot is deeper, as well. Don’t forget about drainage holes. You don’t want your plant sitting in water and rotting. If it doesn’t have one, you can carefully drill a drainage hole at the bottom.
Step 2: Cover the Drainage Holes With Coffee Filter
You might be wondering what’s the connection of coffee filter with learning how to repot a houseplant. Well, here’s the answer: it’s to prevent soil from falling out, and since it’s a porous material, it still allows water to pass through.
Step 3: Layer Fresh Soil in the New Pot
Before you transfer your plant in the new pot, add a base layer of soil. This will serve as a new space for the roots to grow. Make sure that it’s just enough so your plant has still room.
Step 4: Water Your Plant
Water your plant thoroughly and evenly. This will keep the rootball together before you repot it.
Step 5: Remove Your Plant From Its Old Pot
OK, here’s the part you’ve been waiting for. Carefully remove the plant from its old pot, but instead of pulling the plant out, we recommend that you turn it upside down. Make sure to place your hand over the top of the pot. Rotate the plant a few inches to loosen it up. We also suggest that you use a knife to separate the plant and the pot before turning it upside down.
Step 6: Prune the Rootball and Untangle Old Roots
For your plant to flourish in its new pot, prune older roots and remove roots that are growing out of the rootball. Untangle new, healthy roots so they will grow outward.
Step 7: Transfer Your Plant in Its New Pot
When you place your plant in its new pot, make sure that it’s centered and upright. Press your plant firmly into its new home, then add fresh soil. Lastly, water it again thoroughly and evenly.
CREDIT: PEKIC FROM GETTY IMAGES / WELL + GOOD
OK, now that you’ve learned how to repot a houseplant, the only step left is to care for it properly. Keep an eye on your plant for the first few weeks after repotting and do the following:
- Do not feed your plant for about a month
- Do not place it under full sunlight as your plant is more sensitive after the repotting process
- Water frequently
Learning how to repot a houseplant without killing it is not as hard as it may seem, as long as you follow this guide. Trust us, your plant will thrive for years.
Grow your plant knowledge. Check out our Plant Care blog to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.