If you are considering re-potting your houseplant, pause and remember the first step is knowing when to re pot. If your plan is to change your new houseplants pot for aesthetic reasons, make sure you have had the plant for at least a month. The re-potting process can be a very stressful time for your plant, and you want to avoid re-potting until necessary or at the very least until it's acclimated to your space.
The Top 3 Reasons to Re-pot
- Changing the soil, or potting mix
- Your houseplant has grown to big for its current pot, becoming root-bound
- Your houseplant hasn't been re-potted in over a year
Now that you know when to re pot, your next step is choosing a larger pot. You want to select a pot that is about 2 inches wider than the current pot, for small to medium sized plants. A larger floor plant can be re-potted in a 4-5 inch wider pot. Keep in mind, a pot that is too big will make it difficult for the plant's roots to be watered properly.
Step by Step Re-potting Process
- A pot with a drainage hole should be covered with a porous material (coffee filter) & for a pot that doesn't have a drainage hole you will want to add a 1-2 inch layer of lava rocks.
- Add a base layer of soil or potting mix into the new pot.
- Add a teaspoon of Epsom salt to your base layer, mixing it in thoroughly. This will help your houseplant from going into shock.
- Remove the plant from its old pot. Gently turn the plant on its side, rotating the plant a few inches in each direction to loosen it until it falls out. If it's having trouble separating from the pot, use a knife to loosen around the sides of the pot.
- Once you have the plant removed, you want to prune any older roots & untangle the healthy roots of the core root ball. Gently remove any old soil, so you are left with just the untangled healthy root ball.
- Place your houseplant in the center of the new pot firmly pressing down into your base layer. Slowly start adding your new soil all around the plant until it is secure and upright, patting down the topsoil.
- Water your newly potted plant to help settle the soil. You may notice that you will have to water your plant more frequently for the next few weeks as the plant adjusts to its new home.