Repotting 101: How To Stop Killing Your House Plants

We do a lot of potting and repotting here at the office. Plants typically need to be repotted every year to 18 months. A common misconception is that it's simply about choosing a cute, new pot, when the purpose is really changing a plant's soil or potting mix. This is obviously great news if you love your planter.

On the other hand, if you're looking to splurge on a new one, or you're changing up a room's decor, make sure to choose a planter of similar size or no more than two inches smaller or larger.

Although we recommend repotting every year to year and a half, here are a few telltale signs that's it's time for your green friends to move:

-Roots start growing through the bottom drainage hole.
-Roots push the plant up and out of the planter.
-Growth is unusually slow.
-The plant becomes top heavy and even falls over.
-The plant and soil dry out more quickly than usual.
-There's noticeable salt and mineral build up on the greenery or the planter.

Photo: Courtesy of The Sill.
What You Need:
-Newspaper for easy cleanup
-Potting soil and shovel
-A watering can or water bottle
-Scissors (if pruning)
-Your plant
-A planter

Make sure to water your plant thoroughly the day or two before the repotting.
Photo: Courtesy of The Sill.
Pre-moisten the new potting mix (we recommend Brooklyn Blend potting mix for small potted plants).
Photo: Courtesy of The Sill.
Turn the potted plant upside down, hold gently by the stems, and tap the bottom of the container until plant slides out.
Photo: Courtesy of The Sill.
On a newspaper-lined table, gently begin to make the transition to the new pot.
Photo: Courtesy of The Sill.
With two hands to keep all parts of the plant intact, lower it into the new pot that's already one-third full of the fresh potting soil.
Photo: Courtesy of The Sill.
Add soil around the plant until it is secure; be sure not to press down too hard as you want the roots to be able to breathe.
Photo: Courtesy of The Sill.
Even out the potting mix, and straighten out the plant as best you can.
Photo: Courtesy of The Sill.
Prune dead or extra-long roots once the plant is secure.
Photo: Courtesy of The Sill.
Remember to keep a newly potted plant out of bright, direct sun for a few days, as it acclimates to its new environment.
Photo: Courtesy of The Sill.
Water well, and let it drain.
Show More Comments...