The Most Important Rules of Repotting Indoor Plants

It is known that proper plant care extends their life. One important step is repotting the plant in a larger pot with new soil.
In this article we will talk about general principles and rules of repotting indoor plants.

Most perennials need to be repotted once a year or every two years. Plants that grow slowly can be repotted every 3 years.

There are 3 repotting types, depending on how much soil has been changed:

Complete repotting. The whole soil is changing and the roots are cleaned of the previous soil.

Partial repotting. The roots remain untouched but the soil around them is changed.

Changing the top layer. The roots that are out of the ground are covered with soil. You can even replace the top layer with a new one.

The basic steps for repotting indoor plants:

Preparing the pot

If you chose a clay pot, then you should wash it and dry it. If you notice a layer of lime inside, then soak it in water for a day and it will remove easily.

Applying the first layer

The plant will grow easily if you’ll create a drainage system. You can use small pieces of brick and shard.

Removing the plant from the old pot

Water the plant an hour before repotting and will come easily from the old pot.

Cleaning the roots

Clean carefully the plant roots using your hands (avoid damaging them). If the plant has rotten roots, remove them.


Put the plant in the new pot so that the stem is slightly below the edge of the pot. Fill the remaining space with fresh soil.

Pressing the soil around plant

Once you have pressed the soil a little, sprinkle over the additional soil.


This step is not for all plants. For example, don’t water the plants that don’t prefer much water – just repot them in a wetter soil. This refers to orchids and cacti.

The suitable soil

Add various elements such as sand, small pebbles, charcoal and even plastic balls to avoid soil solidification.

Just choose the right soil for a particular type of plant and suitable fertilizers. Beware to soil composition and shelf life. Garden soil is not suitable for indoor plants because it can be infected with various diseases or pests.

Choosing the right pot

Choose a pot with 3-4 cm higher than the previous one.

Proper time for repotting

Azalea and camellia are repotted in early summer. Bulb plants are repotted at the end of summer and cacti in early winter.

Young plants are repotted each year, the mature ones every few years.

How to determine if your plant needs repotting or not:

Water the soil, remove the plant from the pot and if the pot is too small, the roots will practically surround the soil, which can’t be seen.
If the roots are not too many and the soil is visible, then you shouldn’t repot your plant.

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