How-to Repot Your Houseplants

Posted by kelly@apfgarden.com BigCommerce on Mar 4th 2021

How-to Repot Your Houseplants


Repotting is the action of putting a plant from one container to another; usually, a bigger one to give more root space to a growing plant. However, repotting does not always involve changing a plant’s current container, but rather, changing its soil to refresh its nutrients.

When is it time to repot a plant?

  • Roots growing out of drainage holes
  • Water is not absorbing and just sits on the top
  • Soil is drying out too quickly, requiring more frequent watering
  • Plant is growing more slowly than normal

Plants typically need repotting every 12 to 18 months, depending on how fast they’re growing. March through October are the best times to repot. The additional daylight hours in our mean that plants are actively growing, allowing them to adapt to a larger pot more easily. Repotting should only be done when totally necessary, which rarely is right after walking out of the store with a brand new plant. When a plant is repotted before it is ready, you add unnecessary soil around its root ball. This means that when you add water to the plant, the roots are not able to take up all of the water in the excess soil, wet soil can cause the root system to rot, ultimately killing the plant.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your houseplant
  • A new container
  • Fresh AP Potting Soil
  • Gardening gloves
  • Pruners (in case you need to cut off excess roots)
  • Watering can

Houseplant Care Essentials

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Repotting steps:

Select a new and larger container

Get the best fit by choosing a container that is around one or two inches larger than the container your houseplant is currently in. Make sure the new container has drainage holes at the bottom.

Remove plant from the current container

Rather than pulling the plant out, turn the plant sideways, hold gently by the stem, and tap the bottom of the container until the plant comes out. You might need to massage the roots to loosen them up.

Remove old soil

Remove old soil by lightly scraping with your fingers and loosen the plant’s roots. If your plant is rootbound (this just means the roots are compacted very tightly together) unbind the roots with your fingers and use the pruners to get rid of any threadlike roots to give your plant breathing room. Some houseplants like snake plant can be divided during this process.

Add new soil and place plant in container

Add a few scoops of fresh soil to the new container to make sure the plant will be up to the right height (about an inch down from the top of the pot). Center the plant inside the container and add soil around the plant packing it down until the plant is secure.

Water thoroughly

Make sure to give your freshly potted plant a good soaking until water comes out of the bottom.

You’re done! That was easier than you expected, wasn’t it? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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