What to Consider Before Repotting Your Big Plant

Houseplants do a lot to improve a home’s aesthetic, but they do require a bit of care and maintenance. We have to water the plants on a schedule and make sure they get enough light. However, one of the most dreaded parts of houseplant care is probably the repotting. While this task isn’t required too frequently, it’s best to look up the process beforehand.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to repot a plant. There are some considerations that might help you make the work easier. If you think now’s the time to repot your plants, read on for some useful tips and precautions:

Watering the Soil

The soil and potting mix in your plant pot should not be too dry. In fact, it’s best to water your plants thoroughly one day before you plan to repot them. This precaution will help to loosen the soil and make it easy to lift everything out. Doing so will also help you avoid any broken rots or large chunks of soil left in the old pot.

The Time of Repotting

The best time to repot your plants is during the spring, but this isn’t a strict rule. You can repot the plants at any time of the year, provided that they’ve really grown too big for their current pot or container. If you think there’s still room for them to grow in a healthy fashion, simply place a layer of new soil on top of the old.

If you can manage it, though, spring is the time when most plants come out of their sleeping or dormant period. They’re already anticipating more light and longer days, which means they’re ready to grow larger. You can encourage that phenomenon by also giving them more room to grow in a fresh pot.

If you have a plant that needs repotting in midwinter, don’t think too much about it. Just make sure to conduct the repotting in a fairly warm atmosphere and handle the plant gently. Winter might make some plants more delicate and vulnerable, but a little extra care should be enough to save them. Also, take care not to overwater the soil and don’t fertilize until the growing season comes around.

Looking for Signs

If you’re taking care of your houseplants properly, they’d be growing larger very quickly. Many houseplants require little light, so all you have to do is keep them watered and fed. However, all this growth and care will result in the plant becoming a bit shoddy in a couple of years.

If you’re doing everything right but your plant seems droopy, it might be time to repot it. Here are some signs to take into account before you get a new pot and your potting mix ready:

1. The soil dries out very fast

Too much or too little water can adversely affect a houseplant. Even if you’re careful about watering just the right amount, the humidity in your home might parch your plant. Once you get the hang of watering and caring for your plants, make sure to check for any uncommon changes in their soil. If the soil seems too dry even after regular watering, this might mean rapid growth and a need for repotting.

2. Roots through the draining hole

If your plant is poking its roots through the pot’s draining holes, you know that it’s looking for more room. Make a habit of checking the holes regularly; even if the roots aren’t poking through, there might be some blockage that prevents the water from draining properly.

Any growth that you see on top of the soil is usually matched by growth under the soil as well. The difference is that the roots have a limited space to spread out. They make do by moving towards the only space they can find, which is the drainage hole. Before they take hold too firmly, transfer the plant into a more spacious pot.

3. Wrapped roots in the pot

The same logic applies when you notice the roots being tightly wrapped up in the soil. You should ideally repot the plant before this happens, as the bound roots might make it difficult to empty the old pit. They don’t leave any wiggle room; in fact, they might not leave much soil in the pot itself. If you notice any roots poking through the soil, take action as soon as possible.

4. Signs of limpness and stunted growth

When your plant needs more space, it might give you the signal through a drooping body and wilted leaves. If you’re fertilizing regularly in the summer and spring but still fail to see new growth, take this as a warning sign. Some plants might perk up if you talk to them; if they don’t, check the roots and see if a repotting session is in order.

However, keep in mind that repotting isn’t always the answer. For instance, a stressed plant wouldn’t respond too well if you put it in a larger pot. This will actually cause even more stress, as you’re trying to trigger new growth without treating the underlying factors. Make sure you’re not over-watering or over-fertilizing first, and see if the plant is getting enough light.


Even if you’ve never repotted your plants before, the above considerations will help to make this task a breeze. Keep up with this practice of repotting, as the wrong size of pots can even make plants like ferns die quickly.

Once you’re sure of all the factors, go ahead and start choosing new containers for repotting your plants. Repotting could even change the look of your surroundings, so do your research and experiment with new types of containers while you have the chance.