Caring for your own plants is often challenging – especially when it comes to repotting. When is the right time? We offer 7 tips with a guarantee of success on when and how best to repot your green roommates.

What if plants grow out? Green reasons for repotting

They beautify our own four walls and often make us feel more at home, especially when we spend time with them: Houseplants take on the role of green roommates. Their care also includes repotting, especially for younger plants. It allows them to develop their roots optimally and thus grow up healthily. But when does repotting become necessary at all?

The plant will tell you all by itself. Simply pull the plant carefully out of the pot. If its roots fill the entire pot, perhaps even grow beyond it and take up most of the soil, then it is time to repot. If you also find white encrusted soil or white deposits on the clay pot, it may be that the watering water is too hard or the plant has been overfertilized. In this case, you should also repot your plant. Like us humans, plants are constantly evolving: their roots grow continuously, permanently looking for new nutrients and more space. If the old pot becomes too small for the root system, this leads to a lack of nutrients and limited growth.

What should I pay attention to when repotting? 7 tips

You can’t do anything wrong when repotting, but there are a few basic rules to keep in mind, such as the age of the plant and its growth behavior. In addition to these two things, the time of year is also important. Especially in spring, plants wake up from their dormant phase and start to grow actively. This is the best time to repot.

  1. Choose the right time

But not exclusively in the spring, one or the other plant needs a pot change. Simply observe now and then when watering, how the root system of the houseplant develops. The plant also shows its growth behavior above ground. Is it growing larger quickly, are a particularly large number of new leaves forming? These are all signs that a new pot is needed.

  1. Finding the right pot

Not only the size of the plant is important, but also the size of the new pot. This may only be a maximum of four centimeters larger than the old. If the new pot is too large, the excess soil may retain moisture, causing root rot. Also, pay attention to whether your plant is more likely to grow wide or deep. Deep-rooted plants like orchids, for example, tend to need a tall flowerpot.

  1. Mixing the best soil

Plants are demanding, especially when it comes to soil. For them, not all soil is the same. Once planted in the wrong substrate, it can lead to nutrient deficiencies, root rot or other problems. Depending on the plant, a different soil is needed. Don’t worry, you can easily mix it yourself at home. The following aspects are important:


  • Each plant species has a different preference in terms of pH, permeability and nutrient composition of the soil. For example, cacti prefer a well-drained soil with a low water-holding capacity, but with more minerals. Especially when it comes to waterlogging, air permeability is crucial, as well as soil drainage. Drainage is a system used to remove excess water from the soil. This can consist of a number of layers of material such as expanded clay, gravel or even sand.
  • Generally, it is recommended to mix the soil with sand, as this prevents waterlogging. How. By the sand loosens the soil, which in turn leads to better aeration of the roots.
  • The mixing ratio of the soil again depends entirely on the needs of the plant: For a houseplant that prefers good drainage, the sand percentage in the mix should be higher. For a plant that requires more even moisture conditions, the sand percentage may be lower.
  1. Remove the plant from the old pot

Once the larger pot is prepared, including a thick layer of soil mixture, repotting can begin. Gently tap the old pot to loosen the houseplant so that you can remove it more easily. It is best to hold it by the stem or several leaves at the same time. Do not pull too hard on the plant, after all, you do not want to harm it, but to do it some good. Also, be careful not to damage the roots, even if this is sometimes not so easy.

  1. Clean the roots

Sometimes it can happen that the soil of the old pot is infested with pests such as fungus gnats. A case in which it becomes necessary to clean the roots from the old soil. But even otherwise, this step is recommended when repotting. The best way to clean the roots is by gently shaking them or dipping them in a little water. Of course, you can also use your other hand to help.

  1. Insert the plant

Now carefully place the houseplant in the new pot and fill it up with the right soil or the prepared soil mixture. Make sure that you plant the plant at the same depth as before. Then, gently press down the soil to avoid air pockets.

  1. Thorough watering and care afterwards

Once the houseplant is firmly planted in the bottom of the new pot, it is time to water it. Here you should wet the soil abundantly so that it settles, and any air pockets are eliminated. If the houseplant was comfortable in its previous location, feel free to leave it there. If the leaves have suffered “burns” in the form of brown spots, the plant should be placed more protected from light. However, most plants prefer places with sufficient daylight.

Now it is time to wait and see if the plant settles in well over the next few weeks.