Your Guide To Moving A Houseplant To A Bigger Pot


Having houseplants brings the outdoors into your home. They can help to purify the air and make you feel more positive about life in general. In short, houseplants are a great benefit to your home.

However, all plants grow and, if you want them to flourish and survive you’ll need to re-pot them regularly. Of course, that leads to the question of when should you re-pot them and what special techniques should be employed?

Fortunately, whether you’re dealing with a Chinese money plant or a slightly more mundane spider plant, you’ll find the process is surprisingly straightforward.

Signs Your Plant Needs Moving To A Larger Pot

If you’re reading this then you’re probably already aware that your plant needs a bigger pot. It is worth trusting your gut on this. Of course, if it’s displaying the following signs then it almost certainly needs repotting.

  • Soil is dry and broken up

This can happen when your plant is suffering from severe dehydration as there is no water or nutrition in the soil. However, if you water the plant and it doesn’t change the texture of the soil then the plant has absorbed all the nutrients and you need a bigger pot.

  • No Water Absorption

Plants that look dry and don’t absorb any water are either dead or need repotting. Providing you normally take good care of your plant than when it stops absorbing water you need to re-pot it.

  • Roots Sticking Out The Bottom Of the Pot

The roots of the plant grow downward as the plant grows upward. If the plant is ready to move up a pot then the roots will have no more space in the existing pot. They’ll be looking to escape and will do this through the drainage hole on the bottom of the pot.

If the roots are sticking out, change the pot

  • Plant Looks Too Big For the Pot

Naturally, if your plant simply looks too big for the pot, it probably is.

Tips When Repotting

In many cases, a plant will need repotting once a year although it can be longer. However, that doesn’t mean you should put your plant in a supersize pot right at the start. This will encourage it to fall over. It will also allow the soil to remain moist for longer, potentially causing root rot.

When repotting it’s a good idea to use a coffee filter to cover the drainage holes in the new pot. This will help to prevent the soil from escaping. You can then add some fresh soil to the bottom of your pot.

Before you actually move the plant, soak the roots in water to make sure they are fully hydrated, this reduces the damage done to the roots in transit.

To remove the pot turn the plant upside down and then slowly twist and pull the pot. It may take a few minutes but it should slide off fairly easily. If it doesn’t, you’ll need a knife to dislodge the roots.

You may wish to trim the roots at this stage as they can be tangled from being in the pot too long. Trim carefully, put your plant in the new pot and give it plenty of water to help it settle in.

Erin Emanuel