Moving Up a Size: Repotting Houseplants


Why do houseplants need to be repotted? The main reason is that they have become root bound and outgrown their container.

Choosing the correct pot size is very important. When repotting a plant, you should only move up one pot size. A 4” pot should move to a 6”, a 6” to an 8” and so on. Moving up 2-3 pot sizes can result in root rot and the death of the plant. 

If your plant has roots so thick that you cannot tease them loose, cut the bottom of the root ball off. An inch or so is all that should be cut off. If you cut the root ball bottom off, you should also do some trimming on the plant. 

Slicing through the tangled roots on the sides of the root ball will encourage new root growth. These roots will fill the new soil that has been added to the larger container. 

Now that you’ve decided to repot your plant, the first thing to do is gather the supplies needed to repot the plant. Some things to include are appropriate pre-moistened potting soil, the plant, its new home, screen, and plant markers. 

An easy way to repot your plant is to use a method called “mold potting.” Mold potting involves setting your houseplant in the new container at the appropriate level, and then filling in around the pot with soil. Remove the potted plant and there is a hole the exact size needed for the plant. Now take the plant out of its old pot and place in the hole that was made. 

Do not compact the soil by pressing too hard. Gently tamp the soil down and then water your plant well. Let it drain, leaving no water sitting in the saucer. 

Make sure to label your plant, including the date you repotted- it will be helpful in the future!

The newly potted plan will now be well watered, labeled, and ready to beautify its surroundings. The repotting process isn’t hard and it will have to be done eventually with almost all house plants.