A Quick Lesson on How to Repot Plants

Here are 10 quick and easy steps…

…on how to properly repot a plant that has outgrown it’s current pot


Growing plants is very rewarding. It’s amazing to watch something you care for grow. There comes a time in most plant’s lives that they need to find a new home. Here are 10 easy steps to repot like a pro.

Step 1: Water Plant
Lightly water your plant to help the root ball and soil slide more easily out of the pot.

Step 2: Remove Plant
Remove your plant from the pot by carefully turning it on its side, then support the main stem in one hand and use the other hand to gently pull the pot away. Try not to pull on the stem – if necessary, you can gently tap the pot on the counter, or use a knife or trowel to loosen the soil around the edges of the pot. Be careful not to yank or break the main stems of the plant!

Step 3: Prune Roots
When moving your plant to a larger pot, begin by inspecting the roots and soil. If the soil is in good shape, try to disturb it as little as possible. If it’s rotten or moldy, shake away some of the excess, but remember that removing soil will stress your plant even more. If the roots are tightly coiled, use your fingers or a sharp knife to loosen or gently slice them so they can spread out, trimming away any really long ends. Cut away any rotten or dead roots.
When repotting in the same pot, shake off the excess soil, then use scissors to prune back up to 25% of the roots. This will help rejuvenate your plant while keeping it small enough to stay in the same pot.

Step 4: Clean Pot
Clean the pot with hot soapy water to get rid of disease causing microorganisms and insect larvae. Pat dry.

Step 5: Add Soil
If the soil drains well, it’s not necessary to put gravel in the bottom of the pot. Make a small mound of soil in the pot for your plant to sit on. Measure the height and make sure the top of the root ball is at least 1/2″ below the rim of the pot, so that it won’t overflow when you water it.

Step 6: Position Plant
Place the plant in the pot and settle it on the soil. Look at it from all sides to make sure it’s centered and sitting up straight.

Step 7: Fill Pot
Add potting soil around the plant in layers, pressing it down with your fingers until firm. Don’t bury your plant deeper than it was before!

Step 8: Water Plant
Water your newly potted plant well until the water runs out the bottom. I like to sit the plant in the sink or bathtub and give it a good drink, making sure the soil gets evenly moist while the excess water drains away. This is also a good time to spritz or wipe down the foliage to remove dust and potting soil.

Step 9: Settling
Sometimes after watering, it’s necessary to add a little more soil to fill in low spots in the pot.

Step 10: Trim Plant
Cut off any dead or broken stems and leaves. If needed, lightly prune your plant to encourage branching.