How to Repot a Plant
Time Required: Under 2 hours
Now is the perfect time to repot your houseplants because even healthy plants outgrow their homes or need new ones.
If your houseplants look tired and saggy, select a new container that’s a couple of inches wider and your plants will reward you with a burst of lush growth.
You’ll also be providing longer life for your houseplants, including red anthurium, pothos, orchids and more.
Gently tilt the houseplant, grasp it near the base and give it a tug to remove it from its old container. If the plant won’t budge, water it thoroughly and then try pulling it out.
At this point, you’ll want to make a few tiny cuts in the bottom of the root system to give your plant breathing room. The cuts can be made with a serrated knife or garden scissors. If the roots give easily, just pull them apart with your hands. Some houseplants, such as sansevieria (snake plant) and echeveria, can also be divided. Just look for a natural split and divide them and repot.
Place a used dryer sheet over the drainage hole(s) and add a few scoops of fresh potting soil before placing the plant inside. Continue adding soil until just below the rim of the container.
As a guideline, if your houseplants show any of the below symptoms, grab a pair of gardening gloves, your soil scoop and hand trowel, then dig in.
LOOK FOR THESE SYMPTOMS:
- Tightly coiled roots protruding out of the bottom of the pot.
- Dry soil and lack of moisture retention; water drains out quickly.
- A top-heavy plant that leans over.
- Drooping and sagging leaves that easily brown or just fall off.
For other tips, see our story on reviving houseplants.