Tips & Tricks

How to Repot Plants

Hands holding a hedgehog aloe plant displaying its roots and soil as they prepare to repot it into a terracotta planter.

Spring is here! If you read our blog about spring care, you know it's probably time to upgrade your houseplants' living situation by repotting them. Doing this will replenish nutrients and stimulate growth, resulting in the Hot Plant Summer you deserve. 

There are a few things to take into consideration before you get started. Do your plants need more room or do they just need fresh soil? Determine this by checking if one or more of the following applies to your plant:

  1. The drainage hole on the bottom shows visible roots peeking out.
  2. You see roots wrapping around each other or touching the sides of the pot when you slide your plant out of its container.
  3. It has been 12-18 months since you last repotted your plant.
  4. You inherited your plant and don't know when it was last repotted

If numbers 1 or 2 apply to you, more room is needed. Upsize to a pot that is 2" larger in diameter than the current one. We highly recommend terracotta because of its porous nature and ability to retain moisture. If numbers 3 or 4 apply to you, you just need to refresh your soil because your plant's root system seems like it's still got room to grow in its current planter. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • Houseplants
  • Fresh soil
  • A pot
  • Water
  • A broom and/or newspaper or any recyclable surface to work on for easy cleanup
  • Gloves are recommended because of the toxicity of some plant saps

Once you have your supplies ready, it's time to get dirty:

  1. Gently massage the root ball to loosen up roots and rid of old soil. If you're reusing the pot, scoop out any remaining soil and dispose responsibly.
  2. If there is no drainage hole, add a layer of lava rocks, lecca, or crushed terracotta. We strongly recommend drainage holes, so if you're able to drill into your pot safely, do so.
  3. Line the bottom of the pot with a few inches of soil. Adjust as needed depending on how tall you'd like your plant to be.
  4. Place your plant in the pot and fill it with soil, packing down as you go. Always leave at least 1" between the soil and the top of the pot to avoid spillage.
  5. Place your freshly potted plant in a spot that meets its light requirements. 
  6. Water your plant in circular motions until it starts to drip from the drainage hole. Dump any excess water in the tray.

Now that your plants are freshly potted, consider grabbing plant food. They don't need it just yet because the fresh soil is packed with key nutrients, but in about 6 weeks, they'll appreciate the boost. Give yourself a pat on the back and watch your plants grow. 

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