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How to Repot Houseplants | Transfer Plants into Larger Containers

How to Repot Houseplants | Transfer Plants into Larger Containers
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Knowing how to repot houseplants is a skill that should be in every green thumb’s repertoire. It’s an easy way to keep your plants healthy and thriving.

How to Repot Houseplants
Photo/Art by Brenda Darroch
Learning how to repot houseplants is an essential component to keeping plants healthy and encouraging new growth.

Repotting houseplants is an essential component to keeping plants healthy and encouraging new growth. When roots become bound and tangled and start taking up more space than the soil does or begin growing over the edge of the plant pot or out of the drainage holes, it’s time to repot your plant. But there’s no need to wait for the roots to get to this point to transfer your favorite plant to a new container. In fact, periodically replacing planters is an easy way to change the look of the plant arrangement or to accent décor in a particular room or space. It’s also an easy and useful way to extend plant life and cut down on the frequent watering that root-bound plants require. Learn how to repot houseplants by following the five easy steps below.

Supplies Needed to Repot Houseplants

  • A pot with drainage holes that is at least 1/3 larger on all sides than the root ball of the plant
  • Small pruning tool or scissors
  • Clean potting soil mix
How to repot houseplants
Photo/Art by Brenda Darroch
Gently shake the soil loose from the root ball.

Instructions to Repot Houseplants

  1. Moisten the soil in the pot of the plant that is to be re-potted and gently remove the plant from the current container.
  2. Use a small pruning tool or sharp scissors to snip any roots that may be tangled and sticking out through the drainage holes. Avoid over snipping.
  3. Loosen the root ball by shaking it gently and using your fingers in a tickling motion to separate tightly clumped roots, being careful to not damage the roots in the process.
  4. Line the new container bottom with a layer of clean potting mix approximately 3 inches deep.
  5. Place the plant in the new container and fill the sides of the container with potting mix. Sprinkle an inch or so of potting mix on the top of the root ball and lightly water the plant.

It’s as simple as that! Your plant is now ready to flourish in its fresh soil medium and new pot. It will require less watering now that it is in an environment that will retain and store water longer.

For more tips on keeping your houseplants thriving, check out these related articles:
Beginner’s Garden Tips
How to Make a Terrarium
10 Mid-Summer Gardening Tips to Prolong the Life of Flowers and Plants

Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley (Fleming) Wigglesworth is an award-winning freelance journalist from Maine specializing in maritime topics and the commercial fishing industry. She is also a certified Maine Master Gardener who writes gardening articles on a regular basis for Yankee Magazine. Her work can be found in the following publications: The York County Coast Star, Portsmouth Herald, Bangor Daily News, Yankee Magazine (online), National Fisherman Magazine, Commercial Fisheries News, Tourist News, Points East Magazine, Coastal Angler and The Maine Lobstermen's Association’s “Landings.” Follow Shelley on Facebook.
Updated Thursday, April 4th, 2013
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