I love repotting my houseplant friends because that means I get to pick out a new home for them! And, as you may already know, picking out planters is one of my favorite things to do!
But, I don’t only repot my houseplants for the sake of picking out a new planter, it’s also vital for the health and continued growth of the houseplant.
I got a text the other day from a friend requesting tips or tricks for repotting plants. Her plant is a rather large Fiddle Leaf Fig, which seemly can be quite a daunting houseplant to repot.
But! I want to put her (and everyone in the “repotting boat”) at ease by letting you in on some repotting pointers.
Believe me, repotting houseplants is fun, easy, a little messy, but very relaxing! Like I said before, I love when it is time to repot my houseplants!
Here. We. Go!
My 10 Simple Steps to Re-pot Your Houseplant
1. Make sure your plant is ready to be repotted.
Has your plant been running through water faster than usual? Do you see roots growing through the bottom of the planter or pushing beyond the top of the soil? Has it been longer than 12-18 months since you last repotted this plant?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, it’s probably time to repot. Proceed with caution, however, if your plant is browning, dropping leaves, or otherwise sickly. Also, never repot a plant when it is actively flowering.
2. Select the perfect pot.
This is a bit of a Goldilocks situation your plant’s new home should not be too big or too small.
If you choose a pot too large, your plant’s roots will sit in stagnant water, likely resulting in root rot.
If the pot’s too small, it will stunt your plant’s growth further.
My advice; add between a half-inch to two inches of width and depth depending on the size of your plant, and ensure the new pot has adequate drainage holes.
3. Thoroughly water your plant in its current container.
Be sure to let it sit for at least an hour before proceeding.
4. Lay down newspapers or old towels.
If you’re repotting your plants indoors, you’ll want to protect your living space from messes.
5. Add soil to the new pot.
Fill the new pot only about a quarter of the way up with soil. I use a bit of compost, perlite, or fertilizer in the bottom layer of soil to help boost my plant’s growth even more.
Additional info! Choosing the right potting medium is also very important because some potting soils contain peat moss. I do not like or use it because it does not add any extra nutritional value to my plants and it is not a renewable source.
I use potting soils that have coconut coir, which holds and releases water and helps soil easily re-wet and is the best alternative to peat moss.
6. Gently remove your plant from the current container.
Carefully hold the plant upside down; you may need a buddy for this part.
Run your fingers around the outside of the container and down to the base to loosen the roots. If they’re still holding tight, a standard kitchen knife will do the trick to tease them out or a little massaging to loosen up the roots.
If you notice any root rot cut them off and discard them.
Lay your plant on its side being gentle to not break or rip any of its leaves or stems. Again, use caution! Don’t be afraid to recruit your partner, BFF, or roommate for help!
7. Place the plant in its new home.
Take care not to leave the roots exposed to air for too long! Swiftly (but, again, gently) move the plant straight into the new pot.
At this time feel free to prune off any old growth, browning or bruised leaves, and leggy nodes.
If you are going for a certain aesthetic with your plants, for example, the Fiddle Leaf Fig, you can cut off old growth from the bottom of the trunk to make it look more like a tree.
If you want a fun project (and more plant babies), when you’re pruning this could be a great time to put those clipping in water and propagate them! I highly recommend propagating your monstera clippings because it is an easy plant for beginners!
8. Add more soil to the top and pat it down.
Nice and cozy, right?
When I say “pat it down” I mean, nice and gentle. There is no need to compact the soil.
9. Water your newly repotted plant thoroughly once more.
This will help your plant get all the nutrients it needs in its new home. Water your plant with room temperature water so it does not shock your plant. Nobody likes an ice-cold shower!!
Succulents will not need to be re-watered for at least another week, but feel free to mist the leaves or water other types of plants.
Be sure not to overwater though! You can check out this blog post all about watering houseplants.
10. Keep your plant out of bright, direct light for a few weeks after repotting.
Your plant will almost certainly love its new home, but just in case, keep an eye out for signs of shock: if your plant starts dropping leaves or browning, it may need some additional TLC.
Houseplants need time to acclimate to their new environment and their roots may have been bruised or damaged during the transplant, so I just like to keep an eye on them.
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