How to Repot Your Indoor Plants Like a Champ

It’s repotting season y’all!

Just like you need cute new clothes to look fresh this spring, so do your plants. Don’t leave your growing babies in their same old outfits…um pots. When plants look good, they feel good, so keep them looking fashion forward in a new pot (get a load of these beauts), while giving them a little more space to keep growing.

Spring is the perfect time to repot since its generally when plants are blooming and thriving. It’s typically good to repot once a year, but this also depends on the plant. For example, cacti can usually go a little longer without it; they’re kind of like your friend Gina who can somehow still fit into her clothes from high school. Eventually Gina is going to need some new clothes though, and so will your cacti. When the time comes, put it in one of these fun and colorful ceramic pots.

So what does repotting involve exactly? When you repot, you’re either refreshing the soil in the same pot (if your plant’s a Gina) or placing the plant in a bigger pot to give it more room to grow. If your plant is going a size up, make sure to get a container that’s no bigger than 2 inches wider than your original pot. If Project Runway has taught us anything, its that oversized looks rarely hit the mark. Plus, a pot too big can slow down your plant’s growth and lead to root rot.

 How do I know if I should repot or not?

If you’re not sure if your plant needs repotting, look for these signs:

  • Root rot, which includes mushy roots, a rotting plant smell, and even droopy and dying foliage. This is usually a result of over-watering and poor drainage.
  • Water going straight through the plant’s soil without much absorption
  • Extremely dry soil or roots sticking out of the pot’s hole, which means the roots are pot-bound and need more space to expand
  • Plant babies! If your plants have just given birth to some adorable little offspring, you’ll want to divide and replant the babies to give them space and to give you more plants!

 How do I repot my plants?

When you’re all ready to get your repotting on, follow these steps:

1. Lightly water the plant first, to make it easy to remove from the pot.

2. Remove the plant.

3. Loosen the root ball by gently removing damaged roots and teasing the root bottoms so that they untangle. If roots are severely pot-bound, use a sharp knife or scissors to snip the roots around the root ball to encourage root regrowth in all directions.

4. Clean the pot.

5. If the pot doesn’t have a drainage hole, add a one-inch layer of gravel to the bottom of the pot before adding soil. An even better option is horticultural charcoal, like this great stuff from Mosser Lee.

6. Position the plant in the pot and fill it up to half an inch from the rim of the pot.

7. Give the plant a gentle watering; make sure not to soak it the first time you water the plant in the new pot.

8. Let the plant recover from its move by waiting a week to water it again and 6 weeks to fertilize it. Also keep the plant out of direct sunlight in the first few weeks after repotting.

That’s all it takes to keep your plants looking good this spring and all year long! Share your plants’ fresh new looks with us on Instagram using #makegoodplantchoices. Happy repotting! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to *Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc., or its affiliates.