How Often Should I Repot House Plants? (Find OUT)

Keep your indoor garden flourishing by learning how often you should repot house plants. In this post, we guide you through the process of determining when it’s time to move your plants to new pots, ensuring optimal growth and health.

If you’re looking for expert advice on saving a struggling indoor plant, our post on how do I save my indoor plant offers practical tips.

For those curious about whether indoor plants can be placed outside in the shade, our article on can indoor plants be outside in the shade provides valuable insights. Dive deep into plant care and master the art of repotting to keep your indoor garden thriving.

Repotting is important for the health and growth of indoor plants.
Signs that your plant needs repotting include roots growing out of the drainage holes, a decrease in growth or yellowing leaves, and the soil drying out too quickly.
Most indoor plants benefit from being repotted every 1-2 years.
To repot your plant, gently remove it from its current pot, loosen the roots, add fresh soil to the new pot, and carefully place the plant into the new pot.
When repotting, use a well-draining potting mix that contains a mix of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.
Spring and summer are the best times to repot your plants, when they are actively growing and can recover more quickly from the shock of being repotted.

How Often Should I Repot House Plants?

Every houseplant lover has a different idea of just how often they should repot their plants. Some people claim that you should only repot when the plant is rootbound, while others say that this happens every 12 to 18 months. 

When it comes down to it, there are many factors at play when deciding when your plant needs to be moved into a larger home, including:

  • The size of your current pot and soil
  • The type of soil used in your pots
  • How healthy your plant appears (if leaves are yellow or falling off)

“Keeping your houseplants healthy and thriving requires proper care and attention. Our article on 13 tips to never let your houseplants die provides valuable insights and practical advice to help you care for your indoor plants and prevent them from withering away.”

House Plants That Have Outgrown Their Containers

The best way to know when to repot your house plants is to pay attention to their growth habits. If a plant has outgrown its container, it’s probably time for a change. Some plants grow slowly and may take years before needing another pot, while others will need one every few months.

It’s important not to repot too quickly or too often, as this can stunt the growth of some plants and cause others to suffer from root rot. 

To find out how often you should be repotting your houseplants (hint: less than you think), read on!

Plants That Appear Sickly

If you have a plant that appears sickly, has been stored in dark places for too long, is not growing well or the leaves are yellowing or browning out it may be time to repot. 

Plants with black or white leaves are dead and should be discarded immediately.

When repotting plants with red leaves, it’s important to find out what type of soil they were originally planted in so that you can replace it with similar soil when re-potting them again.

“When your indoor plant is sick, it can be disheartening, but don’t give up hope just yet. Our article on how to save your indoor plant offers expert tips and tricks to help you nurse your plant back to health and restore it to its former glory.”

Plants That Have Grown Roots Along The Sides Of The Container

If you have a plant that has grown roots along the sides of its container, don’t worry about it! Those roots will eventually grow down into the new pot. 

What’s more, if you repot too often, you can damage those roots that have already grown by cutting them off or forcing them to grow back into their original position. If you don’t repot often enough, your houseplant could become rootbound and stop growing as much as it otherwise would.

Large Gaps Between The Soil Line And The Top Of The Pot

If you notice that your plant is outgrowing its container, there are a few things to consider. First, it’s important to remember that plants don’t grow in linear ways—they grow upward and outward. 

So if the top of your plant is growing taller than the bottom, this may be an indication that it needs more room in which to spread its roots.

If your plant has been sickly or if it appears unhealthy overall, then repotting will help with recovery. 

If the roots have grown along the sides of its container and there are large gaps between where they reach and where they end up resting when put back into a new pot (as shown in our example image above), then repotting will allow for healthier growth as well as prevent root rot from occurring due to water drainage issues.

Plants That Need More Soil To Thrive

If you have plants that grow best in soil with good drainage, making sure your potting medium is nice and loose will help them thrive. 

You should also pay attention to the size of your container: if it’s too small, the plant may not be able to grow as big and healthy as it could.

Plants that prefer compacted soil can benefit from repotting since they enjoy having their roots surrounded by a more compacted medium. 

This is especially true for plants with long roots such as succulents—they need a tight fit so their root system doesn’t get damaged when moved around in larger containers or gardens!

Some plants need a lot of nutrients available for them to thrive; by repotting these types of plants every once in awhile, you can ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need to keep growing strong. 

Be sure not to overdo it though—if there are too many nutrients present at once (like when using fertilizer), this could cause some damage instead!

Finally there are certain houseplants whose roots are extremely sensitive like cactus species (which have short roots) or tropicals like palms which tend towards long ones because they grow tall fast but don’t have much space below ground level; so it really depends on what kind of care.

“Knowing when and how to transplant your houseplants is key to their continued growth and well-being. Check out our guide on when to transplant houseplants for tips and advice on how to transplant your plants with ease and confidence.”

Older Plants Needing Rejuvenation

If you have a plant that’s been in the same pot for a long time, it could be that you’ve outgrown your container. 

Or perhaps the soil has compacted over time and there’s no longer enough room for roots to grow. If this is the case with your houseplant, repotting is recommended.

When choosing a new container, remember that the size of your plant will determine what kind of pot to select. 

For example, if you’re repotting an orchid that has grown too large for its current home but isn’t yet ready for a larger pot (you want it to stay in its current pot until next year), choose one just 1-2 inches smaller than its current vessel. 

However, if your ficus has grown too big altogether and needs something much bigger than its original nursery container—say, an ornate planter from Pottery Barn—then go ahead and get creative! 

A smaller bonsai tree can look equally beautiful placed inside an oversized terra cotta vase as it does sitting on top of one

Overwatered Plants With Rotted Roots

The most common cause of root rot is overwatering. If you’ve ever looked at your plant and thought it was looking a little droopy, then you were probably right! The leaves will turn yellow or brown and drop off, while the roots become mushy and eventually black.

If you suspect that your plant has an issue with root rot, cut off the top section of the roots in question (leaving about two inches above ground) before placing it back into its new container or soil mix. 

Then provide some light shade while waiting for new growth to appear—this may take a few weeks depending on how severe the damage was!

“Fertilizing your potted plants is essential to providing them with the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Our article on how often to fertilize potted plants offers guidance on how often to fertilize your plants and which fertilizers to use for optimal results.”

Pot-Bound Plants With Tangled Roots

If you notice some thick, long roots in and around your plant’s trunk, it’s probably time to repot. A pot-bound plant will have roots that grow way beyond the size of its root ball or topsoil, which can lead to root rot or worse, it could snap off in a strong wind and hurt someone! 

If you see this happening on your houseplant (or if you already know what “pot bound” means), act now and give your poor plant a nice new pot with fresh soil.

To prevent this from happening again: use smaller pots for small plants, keep their soil moist but not wet, feed them every few weeks with fertilizer made for houseplants (ask at the nursery), don’t overwater them because this can lead to root rot as well.

Plants With Cramped Root Systems

You’ll know when your plant needs a repotting because its roots will have grown out of the drainage holes, or around the edges of the pot. In some instances, roots can grow up the sides of the pot too.

When these things happen, it’s time to repot your plant into a larger container. This isn’t always an immediate need; sometimes you can wait until spring when you’re already planning on bringing these containers in for winter protection and simply take care of it then.

New Nursery Plants Needing Space To Grow And Thrive

If you want your plant to thrive, repotting is a great way to do so. When you repot your plant into a larger pot, it will have more space to grow and thrive. 

Plants in small pots grow more slowly because they don’t have room for their roots to expand—and this can lead to stunted growth over time.

Plus, plants that are confined in too-small containers need frequent watering and fertilizing just so they’ll stay alive (which means more work for you). 

So if you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, think about moving your plant into a bigger pot!

“Choosing the right soil for your indoor plants is crucial to their success and longevity. Our article on what soil is best for indoor plants provides tips and insights on how to select the right soil type and quality for your indoor plants.”

Plants That Are Ready To Be Divided Into Multiple Units

To divide a plant, simply dig around the root ball with your fingers and separate it into sections. If you’re using a glass or terracotta pot, use a knife to cut through the roots first. 

Once you’ve divided your plant into pieces, place each division of soil in its own container—the same size as the original one for best results.

Repotting plants that have outgrown their containers is also an important part of caring for them! To learn how often should I repot house plants? check out this guide on how often should I repot houseplants?

Houseplants Setting Flower Buds Or Producing Flowers

When you should pot your houseplants depends on their growth rate and whether they’re actively growing. 

For example, if you want to repot a plant that grows extremely slowly—such as a cactus or orchid you can wait until it’s outgrown its current container. If your plant has been growing quite quickly since you first potted it and is now bursting out of its soil, then now might be the time to give it a new home in a larger pot. (This is where you’ll need our handy guide!)

When Should I Repot My House Plant In The Winter?

It’s best not to repot during winter months because most plants need dormancy during this time of year in order for them to survive; however we do recommend repotting once spring has sprung!


So what does all this mean? Well, it means you need to pay attention to your houseplants and be ready to repot when the time comes. 

If you’re not sure when it’s time, use these guidelines as a rough guide: if your plant has outgrown its container or is showing signs of distress (such as wilting), then it probably needs a new pot—and soon!

Further Reading

For more information on repotting indoor plants, check out these helpful resources:

The Indoor Nursery: How Often to Repot Plants – This article provides advice on how to determine when your plants need repotting and how to go about doing it.

The Sill: Plant Care: Repotting – The Sill’s guide to repotting covers the basics of when and how to repot your plants, along with step-by-step instructions and helpful tips.

Indoor Plants for Beginners: How Often Do You Repot a Plant? – This article offers insight into how to tell when your plants need repotting, the benefits of repotting, and how to do it properly.


How do I know when my plant needs repotting?

Signs that your plant may need repotting include roots growing out of the drainage holes, a decrease in growth or yellowing leaves, and the soil drying out too quickly.

How often should I repot my plants?

The frequency with which you should repot your plants depends on several factors, such as the type of plant, its size, and the pot size. In general, most plants benefit from being repotted every 1-2 years.

How do I repot my plant?

To repot your plant, gently remove it from its current pot, loosen the roots, add fresh soil to the new pot, and carefully place the plant into the new pot. Water the plant thoroughly and allow it to adjust to its new environment.

What kind of soil should I use when repotting my plant?

The type of soil you should use depends on the type of plant you have. However, in general, most indoor plants prefer a well-draining potting mix that contains a mix of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite.

Can I repot my plant at any time of year?

While you can technically repot your plant at any time of year, it’s best to do so in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing and can recover more quickly from the shock of being repotted.