When Should I Repot My House Plants

In order for a plant’s actively growing roots to have enough time to grow into newly added potting soil, the optimal time to repot it is in the spring. There are a number of indications that a houseplant is pot-bound. Check first how often you water the houseplant.

What factors determine when to repot a plant?

Although repotting your plants may seem difficult, we have some advice to help you succeed.

First things first: repotting refers to replacing the soil or potting mix, not necessarily the planter that it is now in. The nutrients in new soil are new. This is fantastic news if you adore your present planter, but it’s also okay if you want to get a new one or your plant has clearly outgrown its existing container. Try to choose a planter that is no more than 2″ larger in diameter for tabletop planters and no more than 4″ larger in diameter for floor planters when choosing a new one. Your new container might just need to be an inch larger if you’re repotting a really tiny plant! The size of your plant’s new home is crucial because we tend to give it more water in larger planters. Small plant in large planter with loads of soil and water results in unintentional dying. You want to give your plant some additional room to expand in the coming months rather than drowning it in soil.

Repotting should be done on average every 12 to 18 months, depending on how quickly the plant is developing. Some slow-growing plants, like cactus, can live for years in the same pot with only a soil resupply. The best time to repot your houseplants is typically in the spring, at the beginning of the growing season.

If you notice one or more of these indicators, you’ll know it’s time to report:

1. The grow pot or planter’s drainage hole(s) are being penetrated by roots 2. The plant’s roots are almost pushing it out of the planter. 3. The plant’s growth is significantly slower than usual (different than winter dormancy) 4. The plant is quite top-heavy and is prone to falling over. 5. The potting soil dries out the plant faster than before, necessitating more frequent waterings. 6. The plant’s foliage is larger than its present planter by more than three times. 7. The plant or planter has a pronounced salt and mineral buildup 8. You haven’t repotted your plant in more than a year.

What you’ll need on hand is as follows:

Of course, whether it is a new or existing factory.

The container you’re using for planting (if reusing a container, make sure to thoroughly rinse the inside first)

new potting soil

If your planter does not have a drainage hole, use lava rocks or something similar.

If you’re touching a plant like a Ficus elastica that has unpleasant sap, wear gloves.

a water bottle, a sink faucet, or a watering can

a newspaper, sheet for pots, or surface that is simple to clean

1. Take the plant out of the pot or planter it is currently in. Your plant will slide out of its current container if you grip it firmly by the stems or leaves while turning it sideways and tapping the bottom of the container. With a few little tugs on the stems’ bases, you might need to assist it a little.

2. Take the roots out. Use your hands to gently loosen the plant’s roots. Make sure to keep the thicker roots at the base of the leaves and cut any extra-long threadlike roots. Unbind the roots as much as you can and give them a trim if your plant is root-bound (the roots are growing in very small circles around the base of the plant).

3. Get rid of the old potting soil Remove at least a third of the old potting soil that is encircling the plant’s roots. You should give your plant new potting soil or mix because as it grew, it may have consumed all or part of the nutrients in the old mixture.

4. Include fresh potting soil Fresh potting soil should be added to the empty planter, and it should be packed down to eliminate any air pockets. Before adding the potting mix, layer the bottom of the planter with lava rocks or something comparable (rocks, gravel, etc.) if it has a drainage hole. The idea is to carve out areas for the additional water to collect in and flow away from the roots of your plant.

5. Include a plant. Make sure your plant is centered before placing it on top of the newly added layer of soil in the planter. Then, pour extra potting soil all around the plant to secure it. You want the roots to have room to breathe, so avoid packing the planter with too much soil.

Water and pleasure. The potting soil should be evened out, then water well. It’s important to remember that a plant that has just been re-potted doesn’t require fertilizer.

Can indoor plants be potted in the winter?

As they mature, plants prefer to be potted up into bigger containers. More dirt can feed the root systems in larger containers. Years of growing in a pot can cause plants to become root-bound, which can result in death. The opportunity to repot indoor plants in the winter allows the ardent gardener to avoid frostbite on their thumbs!

If you notice roots on the surface of your pots, that is a sign that your plant needs to be replanted. Another indication is the presence of roots emerging from the drainage holes at the base of your containers. Another indication that your plants are root-bound is slow growth. Look to check if the roots are wrapping around the pot’s edge. Repotting your plant is necessary if the roots are swirling around the rootball.

Make sure the pot you choose matches the decor in your house and is the right size for the plant. If you’re repotting, avoid using large pots. Generally speaking, you should make the present container two inches bigger. The roots may rot if the new pot is too large and can contain too much water. To allow water to permeate the soil, ensure that the containers include drainage holes. Choose a saucer that matches the new pot to protect your carpet or hardwood flooring.

As the planting media, use a premium potting soil blend that has been fertilized. For the majority of indoor plants, the potting soils from Espoma Organic are good choices.

Use the following tips to make repotting easy:

  • Remove the plant from its current container. To dislodge the plant, you might need to run a knife or trowel along the side.
  • If the roots are coiled, pull them apart or, if they are very root-bound, trim them.
  • After placing the plant in the center of the new pot and filling it with quality potting soil, add soil to the bottom of the pot.
  • Water deeply to settle the dirt and wet the roots.

After being replanted, it is normal for the plant to experience shock. While the plant heals, try to keep it out of direct sunlight for a few weeks and maintain a consistent moisture level in the soil.

When can indoor plants be replanted?

The majority of houseplants can thrive for years in the same container. However, some quickly expanding species, like philodendron or pothos, may overflow their container and require repotting every few years. When the roots of a plant start to protrude through the drainage holes, it is usually time for a new pot. If water flows straight through the pot and out the drainage holes whenever you add moisture, that is another warning indicator.

Of course, some plants, like orchids and snake plants, don’t mind small spaces, but even they eventually require a new location as their roots entwine.

In general, the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing are the optimum times to repot your houseplant. Although it’s best to do it at least three to four weeks before bringing the plant indoors for the winter, you can also transplant plants in the fall. Your plant should adjust to its new container while it is still enjoying its summer break.

Check the roots of the plant after gently removing it from the pot. It’s time for an upgrade if they are knotted, firmly encircling the interior of the pot, or if a lot of the dirt is disappearing. Choose a container that is an inch or two wider than the one your plant is now in.

Pick the new pot wisely. Clay (terra-cotta) pots have a lovely appearance but are permeable, causing the soil to dry up more quickly. They are ideal for plants like succulents, cactus, orchids, ponytail palms, and snake plants that prefer quick drainage. In order to prevent them from sucking the water out of the soil, it is best to soak them in water for a few hours before planting. Use plastic containers with tropical houseplants like ferns, African violets, anthuriums, and spathiphyllum because they retain soil moisture longer. However, regardless of the kind of pot you use, make sure it has a hole in the bottom to let extra water drain out. Use a pot that is approximately two inches wider than the one your plant is currently in.

Use a high-quality commercial potting soil made for indoor plants; some soil blends are even available for particular plant species, such cacti or African violets. Useless to utilize garden soil. The ideal soil should be fluffy and light, with plenty of sterilized organic matter and compost to help retain moisture. Cheap potting soil may be excessively heavy and retain too much moisture, so it’s not always a good deal.

Soil should be added to the pot until the plant’s crown (where the roots meet the stem) is at the same height as it was growing before. To remove air pockets, gently compact the dirt around the roots and water. After planting, include a saucer to collect runoff. At this time, don’t feed your plants. In fact, you might want to wait until early spring to fertilize if you are repotting in the fall. Additionally, remember that a lot of potting soils already contain fertilizer, so you shouldn’t worry too much about feeding your plants right immediately.

How frequently should indoor plants be potted?

Here in the Pacific Northwest, springtime signs are already starting to appear! When flowers bloom and the days become longer, we spend more time outside. However, when seasonal showers force us indoors, we can still garden by repotting our indoor plants. Repotting indoor plants is best done from March through September, when the plants are actively growing.

Repotting entails updating the potting soil in addition to altering the container. Although soil has all the nutrients your plants require to grow and the ideal levels of oxygen and water for them to survive, with time the nutrients are depleted and the soil becomes compacted. You might even notice that your plants are now positioned in their pots lower than they were before. Burnt leaf tips or a white “crust around the bottom or top edge of the container can be caused by salts and minerals that accumulate in the soil as a result of synthetic fertilizers, tap water, and other sources. This is why it’s crucial to repot your plants every year or so with fresh soil.

We will start by responding to some of your basic repotting queries before guiding you through the process of repotting your indoor plants step by step.

How do you know when it’s time to repot?

  • Through the bottom drainage holes, roots are emerging.
  • Plant is being forced up and out of container by roots.
  • Plant tries to topple over since it is top-heavy.
  • The soil has hardened or dried out so quickly that it has torn away from the container’s sides.
  • Plant development is slower than usual.
  • Mineral or salt buildup on the container’s top or bottom.

When is the best time to repot your plant?

The optimum period for the majority of plants is frequently early spring, at the beginning of the active growing season. To give any new plant enough time to acclimate to its new habitat without being overly affected by other changes like a new container or soil, we advise waiting around six weeks before repotting. To help the soil keep together better when handled, wait at least two days after watering.

How often should I repot my indoor plants?

In general, established plants require fewer repottings than young, rapidly expanding ones. Older plants that develop more slowly may require repottering every two to three years, or as necessary, while younger plants may need to be done so every 12 to 18 months.

How big should my container be?

It’s ideal to keep the diameter of your new container between 2 and 3 inches less than that of the container you are replacing. Some plants may not require a larger container but still require fresh soil. In this case, you should remove about 1/3 to 1/2 of the old soil, loosen and lightly trim the roots, and add fresh soil to the bottom of a container of the same or similar size before replanting the plant and filling the remaining space with fresh soil. Many types of common indoor plants, especially those that are vulnerable to overwatering or root rot, like to be in slightly smaller containers (snake plants). However, to accommodate and promote rapid growth, some quickly expanding plants can be placed in larger pots (monsteras).

Common Potting Soil Ingredients

Peat moss, also known as sphagnum moss, is a mined organic substance made of partially decomposed plant material that enhances air circulation and holds water. To adjust the pH when using peat, add 1/4 tablespoon of lime per gallon of mixture. Although it is made entirely of organic material, peat moss is not completely renewable because it takes thousands of years for wetlands to transform into peat reservoirs; for an alternative to peat moss, see coco fiber/coconut coir below.

Coconut coir, often known as coco fiber or coconut coir, is a popular potting soil element manufactured from finely chopped coconut skins. In addition to being a more environmentally friendly substitute for peat moss and a pH-neutral substance, it has the advantage of not being a mined product and instead finding a use for something that could have otherwise been a waste product. The drawback of using coconut coir as a component of potting soil is that it must be shipped to northern regions where coconuts don’t grow. Consider the environmental impact of bringing coconut coir to your location against an alternative if you live far from where it is produced. Look into what is available in your area and choose what is best for you. Some people decide to combine peat and coir to receive the advantages of both while minimizing the disadvantages.

Compost: can be generated from a variety of materials, including wood fibers, bark, decomposed plant matter, animal dung, or other animal products.

Perlite is a heated volcanic rock that has been extracted and used to soil mixtures to help the soil retain air. Perlite is pH neutral, promotes pore space and drainage, and stores 3 to 4 times its weight in water. Given that perlite is far less dense than the other components of the soil, some of it will eventually float to the top of your plant pot. When incorporating perlite or vermiculite into soil, always wear a dust mask.

Vermiculite is a heated mineral that was mined; some gardeners prefer it to perlite.

Vermiculite, which is used similarly to perlite and also includes calcium and magnesium, is typically darker in color, blending in better with the soil and not floating to the top to the same extent.

Pumice is a volcanic rock that is heavier than perlite and helps soil retain more moisture and nutrients while also improving aeration and drainage. It is perfect for cactus/succulent mixes since it helps stabilize and anchor roots.

Wood chips or bark fines (shredded bark): Shredded wood promotes aeration and absorption but decomposes quickly and consumes soil nitrogen in the process (pine uses less nitrogen). Aeration is provided by chunkier bark, which is less absorbent and takes longer to decompose.

Worm castings (also known as vermicompost) are essentially composted worm dung; they have no smell and are rich in trace elements and micronutrients that are good for the health of plants.

Blend equal parts compost, coarse sand, fine (seedling) bark, and pumice to create a special soil mix for succulents and cacti. Before using, pre-moisten the mixture.

Mix equal parts of fine (seedling) bark, perlite, and coco or peat-based potting soil (we use Baby Bu’s) to create a special soil mix for aroids (Philodendron, Monstera, and ZZ Plant). Before using, pre-moisten the mixture.

Before Repotting, Gather the Following Materials

  • To reduce mess, use gloves, a drop cloth, tarp, or newspapers.
  • Fresh indoor potting soil; we advise using Malibu Baby Bu’s Potting Soil, G&B Potting Soil, FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil, or the correct soil for your plant. It’s beneficial to pre-moisten soil before putting it to the container.