How to Repot Houseplants

You’ve brought home a houseplant to brighten up your home, but you’re not crazy about the pot it’s in. Transfer it to a pretty planter that complements your décor – even a total beginner can handle repotting!

There are a lot of benefits to repotting. The plant will have more room to grow and the root system will be exposed to more air. If any old soil is waterlogged, it’ll be replaced. Plus, more nutrients will be delivered to the plant, and you’ll event help prevent disease.

Choosing the Right Pot

Porous materials, like wood, unglazed ceramic, and concrete, cause soil to dry out faster. Since cacti, orchids and succulents should dry out between waterings, look for this type of pot.

The pot should have a drainage hole; otherwise, your plant is susceptible to root rot. If you love the pot but it doesn’t have a drainage hole, you can create one yourself. (Petaloom’s plants come in attractive, correctly-sized pots so they don’t have to replanted right away.)

For plants that have to dry out between waterings, choose a pot that’s no more than 1” larger in diameter than the current pot. The smaller the plant, the more important this rule of thumb is.

5 Steps to Repotting Your Houseplant

  1. Choose a soil that’s specific to the type of plant you have, and put a small scoop in the bottom of the pot.
  2. The roots are delicate on all plants, and you don’t want to damage them while repotting. Be gentle when removing the plant from its original pot. Carefully remove loose soil and keep the root “ball” as complete as you can.
  3. Gently place the plant on top of the scoop of soil in the new pot. The top of the root ball should be half to one inch below the pot’s rim. Remove or add soil as needed.
  4. Add soil to fill the pot up, and pack it down a bit to get rid of air pockets. There should be a thin layer of soil over the top of the root ball.
  5. For cacti and succulents, wait a few days until you water for the first time. For other types of houseplants, you can water right away to help it acclimate.

If possible, repot your plant during the springtime, when new growth occurs thanks to more sunlight and warm temperatures.

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