Potting Your Plants | When and How to Re-Pot Your Plants

The simplest advice we can give to start with is to keep your plant in its nursery pot (The plastic pot they arrive in) and put that inside a decorative pot or planter. This approach can help with drainage, and make bottom watering a breeze.  Keeping your plants in their nursery pot also means you can switch up your plants style as often as you like. This is even more important if you’ve just received your new plant, as it will need at least 2 weeks to acclimate, and the less stress you can put it under the better.

For planters with a hole in the bottom you can place it on a small dish or tray. 


You may be tempted to move your plant into a larger pot. So should you? Probably not! Putting your plants in a pot that’s too large, also known as overpotting, can be detrimental to your plants health. In fact, some plants may even thrive, or give different results when they’re a bit snug. For instance, when they’re snug in a pot Spider Plants or Aloe will produce more baby offshoots, but will grow larger leaves with more room. Scarlet Star is happy when it's roots are snug, which can promote flowering. We have a spider plant with a few roots coming out the bottom that’s happier than ever!

So when should you repot? Here’s a few things to look out for that indicate a plant needs a new home. 

  • 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 watering
  • Aboveground parts of plant take up more than three times the pot space
  • Roots are growing through the drainage hole at the bottom of the planter

Before you start

Find a pot that is roughly 2 - 5cm larger than the current pot your plant is in. Any larger and your plant might struggle to adapt. We would recommend moving your plant into a larger nursery pot, and then placing that inside a decorative pot.

Find a high quality, suitable potting mix. Plants may have specific moisture requirements, and having the right soil can play a big part.

Clear some space as it can get messy and wear gloves! Soil can sometimes have nasty things in it, so wear gloves and make sure to wash your hands afterwards.

Repotting Steps

  1. Remove your plant from its current container. If your plant is in a nursery pot, you can tip it on it’s side and massage the pot to loosen the pot. 
  2. Gently remove some of the old soil from the root bundle. You don’t need to remove everything, but enough to be properly replaced with fresh soil. You can either give the root bundle a wiggle, or use your fingers, just be careful not to damage the roots. Once the plant is out of it’s pot you can put it carefully to the side.
  3. Put a layer of fresh soil in the bottom of the new pot. If your new pot has no drainage you can put some gravel or small stones at the bottom first, then cover with soil. This will help with drainage and stop your plants roots sitting in water. 
  4. Place the plant in the new pot. You will want the top of the root ball about 2cm from the top of the pot. Then add new soil around the plant until it feels secure.
  5. Give your plant a good watering and move it back to it’s favourite position.

So now you know how and when to repot your plants! If you still need any advice please feel free to get in touch with us. 

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