The Dirt on Repotting Plants

Is your plant outgrowing its pot? Is your plant extremely top-heavy? Are your plant’s roots growing out of the planter’s drainage hole? Is your plant drying out quicker than usual? These are all indicators that you need to repot your plant in order to allow for additional plant growth and to keep your plant healthy. Depending on the type of plant and how fast it grows, plants typically should be repotted every year to two years.

Follow these simple steps to repot your plants:


1. Remove your plant from its current pot.


While holding the pot sideways, carefully hold your plant’s leaves or stems while tapping the sides of the pot. Gently tug on your plant to allow it to slide out of the pot.



2. Trim your plant’s roots.


Once your plant is out of its old pot, examine its roots. If your plants are root bound, which means the roots are densely circling around the bottom of the plant, you will need to root-prune in order to separate and trim the roots. You can do this using scissors or pruners. Make sure to cut around and under the root ball, trimming both large and smaller-sized roots. This step is super important since a root bound plant may be nutrient-deprived.



3. Loosen up your plant’s roots.


Next, you want to break up and loosen your plants roots while also removing some of the old soil surrounding the plant. This can be done using your hands, a stick, or even a fork. Make sure to tease out root tangles to spread the roots. This will help ensure the plant roots expand in the soil of its new pot, rather than becoming root bound again.


4. Add soil to your new pot.


It is now time to prepare your new pot. If your new pot has a drainage hole, you can first layer the bottom of the pot with rocks or gravel. Then, you can add fresh potting soil into the bottom of the new pot. Pack down the potting mix to remove any air pockets. Make sure to add just enough soil so that once your plant is placed in the pot, the top of the plant will sit about an inch below the pot’s rim. This will ensure the plant’s crown is at soil level.



5. Repot your plant in its new pot!


Place your plant into its new home. Make sure your plant is placed in the center of the pot, then add fresh potting soil around the plant. Ensure the plant is secure in the soil while also allowing for breathing room for the roots.



6. Water your plant.


Hydrate your plant, allowing it to start thriving in its new pot!