How to repot a plant

Repot it


Sooner or later your plant’s original potting mix will be exhausted, so your plant will need repotting. Changes are that the plant will have grown, too, so the plant will need repotting into a slightly larger pot.

When to Repot

Most plants need repotting when their roots are curling around the edge of the potting mix; carefully remove the root ball to check. When repotting, choose a pot that’s only slightly larger than the previous one – an extra 2in (5cm) in diameter is about right. A much larger pot will house too much mix and get waterlogged. Most plants are happy in multipurpose or potted plant mix, but some, such as orchid and cacti, need a specialized mix. Do not use garden soil. The best time to repot is spring or summer. Some plants can look a little unhappy shortly after repotting, but they should recover – just continue to care for them as normal.

Plants in smaller pots: Repot smaller plants into a new, larger pot, with fresh potting mix.

Plants in large pots: It can be hard to take large, mature plants out of their containers, so “top dress” them instead. Remove the top 2-3in (5-8cm) of potting mix with a small trowel or spoon (take care not to damage roots) and replace it with fresh mix.

How to Repot


Follow the steps to repot your plant correctly. You will need a new pot and fresh potting mix.

  • Water your plant the day before you repot it. It will be easier to remove and less likely to be “shocked” by repotting.
  • Add fresh potting mix to the base of the new, slightly larger pot.
  • Holding your plant upside down around the base of the stems, tap it out of its pot.
  • Set your plant in the new plant. Leave space between the surface of the potting mix and the top of the pot.
  • Add potting mix around ball, firming it in gently.
  • Water your plant, allowing any excess to drain away.


After repotting your plant, continue to care for it as normal.

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