How to Repot a Plant in 10 Minutes or Less

·2 min read


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Whether you're a new plant parent or an experienced one, houseplants need to be repotted every so often. How can you tell it's time to do it? If roots begin to push out the bottom, the pot dries out more quickly than it used to, or the plant seems to have stopped growing, it's probably time to repot. Another test is if you gently lift it out of the existing pot to examine the roots; if they're circling around inside the pot, they need more room!

When you choose a pot, make sure to go up one size, meaning if you're in a 6-inch diameter pot now, you'll want to move up to an 8-inch diameter pot next. That's because if you give the plant too much soil, it won't use up moisture quickly enough, allowing the roots to rot. Also, make sure the new pot has drainage holes, too, because no plant likes wet feet! Placing a layer of gravel at the bottom of a pot without a drainage hole is old-school and not recommended because roots need aeration.

Ahead, learn how to repot your plant baby (it'll only take about 10 minutes to do!).

You'll Need:

Photo credit: Brad Holland
Photo credit: Brad Holland
  • New planter

  • Watering can

  • Gloves (optional)

  • Plant shears or scissors

  • Trowel

  • Fresh potting soil

  • Your plant*

*Our featured plant is a Silver Bay Aglaonema.

How to Repot a Plant:

Gently grasp the stems of your plant and ease it out of its current planter. If you have trouble removing it, lightly tap the pot on the table or use a chopstick or tiny repotting trowel to work around the inside edge of the pot to loosen it up. It also may come out more easily if you water it first if it seems really stuck.

Photo credit: Brad Holland
Photo credit: Brad Holland

Loosen the roots with your hand, pruning any roots that are excessively long or look discolored or mushy. While it was once thought important to clean your pruning tools before and between cuts, it's not recommended (unless you just like cleaning stuff!) because most diseases are passed by your hands or clothing rather than your pruning tools.

Photo credit: Brad Holland
Photo credit: Brad Holland

Put a layer of fresh potting soil into the new planter.

Photo credit: Brad Holland
Photo credit: Brad Holland

Set your plant on top of the new soil, in the center of the pot, and add fresh potting soil around it until the plant is supported and stays upright on its own. Make sure you leave about an inch of space between the top of the soil and the top of the pot so water doesn't spill over the edge when you give your plant a drink.

Photo credit: Brad Holland
Photo credit: Brad Holland

Water your plant thoroughly and let it finish draining from the bottom of the planter.

Photo credit: Brad Holland
Photo credit: Brad Holland

Congratulations, you successfully repotted your plant! Get ready for some new growth!

Photo credit: Brad Holland
Photo credit: Brad Holland

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