When should I repot my houseplants ?
Plants typically need to be repotted every 12 to 18 months, depending on how actively they are growing. Some slow growers can call the same pot home for years, but will just require a soil replenishment.
Spring presents the ideal opportunity to repot houseplants that need more room to spread their roots and grow. As we get more daily sunlight and temperatures rise, your plants react instinctively to the change of season and start to grow
How to know when to repot a plant? If you see one or a combination of these signs, you’ll know it’s time to repot:
- Roots are growing through the drainage hole at the bottom of the planter
- Roots are pushing the plant up, out of the planter
- Plant is growing slower than normal (different than winter dormancy)
- Plant is extremely top heavy, and falls over easily
- Plant dries out more quickly than usual, requiring more frequent waterings
- Aboveground parts of plant take up more than three times the pot space
- Noticeable salt and mineral build up on the plant or planter
Roots are coming out of the bottom of the pot
Look at the bottom of your plant. If its roots are coming out of the drainage hole, it’s run out of room in its current pot and needs to be repotted so it has more space to thrive.
You might also notice roots circling around the top or bottom of your pot, which is another sign it’s rootbound and needs more space.
Yellowing leaves and loss of leaves
Yellowing leaves and loss of leaves, while they can be indications of lots of different problems, are also telltale signs that your plant may be rootbound. In both cases, there is not enough soil for the roots to support a strong, healthy plant so the plant begins to sacrifice foliage in order to preserve energy.
Unfortunately, repotting a stressed plant can sometimes worsen its condition, so it’s important to ensure that your plant is not displaying these signs because of some other issue—like overwatering, under watering, or lack of light—before repotting.
Repot a plant when the soil is drying out faster than usual
Watering is a touchy matter for most plants—even if you know your plant’s specific needs, the indoor humidity (which varies from home to home) plays a role in how quickly your plant becomes parched. Once you get into a routine, pay attention to unusual changes in the soil. If a once-a-week watering schedule becomes a twice- or three-times-a-week thing to keep the soil moist and temperatures are relatively consistent, your plant’s thirst could indicate that it’s growing and needs repotting.
Your Plant Isn’t Growing
You’re one of those plant parents that measures their plant’s growth the way parents draw pencil marks for their kids’ height. And that’s okay. It’s good to catch things early. If your plant isn’t showing new growth—or if its growth has slowed down in the active months (like spring and summer)— says it may be time to repot.
If you notice any of the sign above, you’ll know exactly when to repot a plant. Then grab your soil, follow these how to repot a plant without killing it, and give your plant babies a healthy new home.