How to Repot Plants Without Killing Them

The idea of repotting houseplants can make us all feel anxious. Seeing as to how these beautiful greeneries have flourished is almost like a warning to not disrupt them. However, moving your plants from one pot to the next is often necessary, and doesn’t have to be an intimidating task.

Why the need to repot plants?

Repotting plants when needed allows them to maximize their growth. It gives them room to breathe and grow much faster. Moreover, transferring them to bigger or other containers prevents diseases and makes way for nutrient boost. When you add the right soil as you repot them, these plants become stronger and more resilient.

Another reason why you must consider repotting plants is to make way for better watering. A tell-tale sign that you need to move your plants to another pot is when the water seeps out of the drainage too fast. This means your plants have become root-bound, which is a condition wherein the roots wrap themselves in and around the outside of a pot.

How to best repot houseplants

Here are a few tips to ensure successful repotting:

• Determine when to repot

There are times when plants don’t need to be repotted at all. However, they do need to be moved to new containers when they become root bound and some of the roots are already appearing above the soil. Moreover, fruit-bearing plants that are not yielding any harvest may also be a sign that they need a bigger room to move.

• Choose a bigger and better pot

Find a pot that’s about two inches larger than your plant’s current pot. Terracotta and plastic pots with ample drainage holes are often the most recommended, as they are more affordable and porous. It’s also more helpful to keep your plants in a plastic pot instead of placing them directly into fancier, ceramic pots to prevent drainage problems.

A person with a healthy soil

• Add fresh, nutritious soil

When repotting plants, it is important to only fill the new pot a third of the way with new and nutrient-rich soil. Afterwards, gently slide the plant with its soil to its new vessel. Shake it a bit so it encourages the roots to acclimate. Make sure to prune and cut out discolored parts of the soil and leaves.

Woman watering the plants

• Water it well

Once you’ve positioned your plant into its new container, water it well and thoroughly, allowing the excess to go out of the drainage. Let it rest before putting it on top of its saucer or the outer aesthetic pot you have chosen.

• Dive and conquer

When repotting, many plants can be divided so they can propagate. This period is the most ideal moment to plant new babies and allow them to come to their own.

• Don’t freak out about the shock period

Many plants do go into a bit of a shock when replanted. Some leaves may wilt and some may look extra thirsty. Don’t worry too much. This is natural, and what’s important is to keep an eye out. Carefully monitor the roots and leaves. Don’t water it until after a week so they don’t drown. During its recovery time, put your newly repotted plants in shadier and cooler areas.

Repotting plants is all about timing and patience. Keep these pointers in mind so you can always have successfully replanted babies that will continue to grow happily.


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