Repotting houseplants

Posted on: 15 April 2019 by Gareth Hargreaves

Spring is the time to think about repotting houseplants that have reached the stage where their roots have filled their present pots.

repotting houseplants

Spring and summer months often see your much-loved houseplants undergo an activity burst of growth. So it is important to ensure that they are in the correct size container for their root system and that the soil retains a healthy, nutritious balance. Although the disturbance may affect the plant temporarily, it should soon settle and continue growing if you are careful to repot correctly.

How to repot safely

You will need a pot which is one or two inches larger than the old one and it should have a hole for drainage.  In addition, a layer of  small pebbles and a handful of gravel in the base of the pot will assist drainage.  Then cover this with a layer of soil, making sure that there is enough depth left to accommodate the root ball.

Take the plant, still in its old pot, and stand it in a bowl of water for at least an hour to ensure that the root ball becomes saturated.  Then carefully remove the plant from the pot, taking care to disturb the root ball as little as possible.  This is also an opportunity to remove any dead, brown roots.

Supporting the base of the plant, place it in the new pot and fill the pot with fresh soil. The soil should be pressed down firmly to ensure the plant is properly supported and finally add just a little water.

While the plant is adjusting to its new environment keep it in a warm room.  Within a few weeks you should see new growth, which will indicate that the plant has become established and you can move it to its original location if required.


While most healthy plants do need repotting regularly, do bear in mind that palms should only be repotted very infrequently, perhaps every two years, as they prefer to fill their pots completely and won’t take kindly to being disturbed.  


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