Repotting Your Plants Made Easy

Repotting Your Plants Made Easy
A Beginners Guide to Repotting House Plants

Repotting your house plants does not have to be difficult. A few simple steps is all it takes. Once your plants have become pot bound, their roots will fill up the entire pot and there will not be enough soil to hold any water for your plant. Often, the water will just run through to the saucer and your plant will not be able to drink any. Ideally, you will want to repot your plants every year or so. But who has time for that? I wait until I notice that my plants have outgrown their pots.

Time to Repot Your Plant?
If your entire plant comes out of its pot very easily, chances are it is ready for repotting. Once it is out of the pot, take a look at its roots. Have they grown to fill almost the whole pot? Is there very little soil left? Then it's time to repot your house plant. In addition, the soil in the plant will have built up with salts and other impurities from tap water. Repotting will give your house plants a fresh new home. A good place for some more information is

Size Matters - Choosing the proper container
When you repot your house plants, it may be tempting to put them into a much bigger pot so that you will not have to repot it for a long time. Bad idea. This will kill your plant. Too much water will be held in all that extra soil and the roots of your beautiful plant will rot. No roots, no plant.
When you repot your house plants, try to use a pot that is one size bigger than its present pot. This way, your plant will get just the right amount of fresh new soil and the right amount of room to spread out a bit.

Make sure that you choose a pot which has drainage holes in the bottom. If there are no drainage holes, excess water and impurities will build up and rot the roots. Make sure that you also have a good fitting saucer to catch any water that runs out from the bottom of the pot.

Potting Soil
There are myriad types of potting soil. There is soil for succulents, soil for African Violets, soil for cuttings and more. Unless you are specifically repotting any of these types of plants, you should try to find an all purpose mix. You will have to note if the new potting soil comes with fertilizer in it. If it does, make sure to read directions and hold off on additional fertilizer for a while. For some more information about potting soil, check out

Gather the plants together which need to be repotted. It is much easier to do them all at once if possible. I usually do this in the kitchen as it will be a bit messy. Give yourself some room to work and clear away any dishes or food which are sitting around.

Most of your house plants which need repotting will pop out of their pots pretty easily. If they do not, try running a knife all around the inside edge of the pot to loosen it up. Once your plant is out of its old pot, take a look at its roots. Do they all look healthy? If you see any that are squishy or rotten looking, remove them.

Get the new pot ready. Make sure that it is clean and disease free. If there was another plant in it, you should clean the pot thoroughly. If the plant that had been in it was diseased, you should probably sterilize the pot with bleach.

Cover over any drainage holes with small rocks or bits of newspapers. Make sure that the water can still seep out, though. Now, place a small amount of potting soil in the bottom of the pot. Place the plant into the new pot and see how it sits. You will want soil to cover the plant to the same height as it was before. Is the plant at the proper level in the pot?

Once you've got it in correct position, loosen up the roots just a little. Do this gently so that you do not damage them. The idea is to get them growing outward again into the new soil, not just staying in their little ball.

You can now position the plant in the pot and add the rest of the soil. Make sure that the plant is straight as you fill up the pot. You will want to tamp out any air pockets that might be in the soil, but do not pack it down too hard. A few firm presses should do. This will also help anchor the plant in its new home.

Once you have finished the repotting process, your plants will need a good watering. You will want to let water run down through the soil and eliminate any remaining air pockets. Water your plants so that water runs out of the bottom drainage holes. This way, you will also know that these holes are not blocked.

You may also want to use this time to give your plant a bath. Before you put it in its new pot, consider putting it under gently running lukewarm water. Make sure not to damage any leaves or roots while you do this. Your plants will love having fresh clean leaves which are free of dust and pollen.

You have successfully repotted your house plants! That wasn't so bad, was it? If you would like some more information on repotting house plants, visit Your house plants now have fresh soil and nutrients in which to grow. They can expand their roots and, in turn, will grow to new heights. You will be rewarded with beautiful living, growing house plants for a long time to come.