When Do I Repot My Plant?

As much as we may want to spend everyday in a workless dimension, some of us are pulled away from our plant paradises back home. That means sometimes it gets really busy & living with plants is actually much easier than Kermit ever said being green was. Since you’re really busy though, this is going to be a series of short blurbs on living with plants. Every plant is going to be different, some root systems do better snug while others need room to spread. We do have a #1 time when to repot & that is!-

#1 The pot is more roots than soil.

monstera roots coiled at top and bottom of soil clump.This happens more often than you think. You get so used to your usual plant care routine or you’ve just had that one plant forever from Aunt Marie you water & it keeps living somehow & then one day you notice the leaves looking sad. Turns out it’s been just growing right along & now there’s no more soil which is where all the nutrients are. That is the worst case.

This photo shows some monstera deliciosa roots coiling at the top & bottom of the root ball in the pot. This coiling is a really great example of when it’s time to repot most plants, not just deliciosas, before it gets to the point of no soil. This also happens with full & dense foliage if you can’t see into the pot anymore. So take a little peek every now & then, look around the edges of the pot, even pull up the root ball gently if you have to.

Also check the roots AND soil first if you start to see symptoms of sadness like yellowing leaves, any kind of droopiness, or other sad signs before you run off & start watering everyday or move it all over your house. It’s been said [told to me] it’s better to troubleshoot the simple stuff first- you know, like unplug it & plug it back in. When it is finally time to repot, go 1-2 pot sizes up only! Even for plants that need room to spread their roots, no plant likes to swim in a pot too large. This allows for pockets of water to get trapped or the soil to condense unevenly & not allowing oxygen & water to flow freely leaving room for the roots to drown or suffocate.

**#1b. When you get home with a new baby plant do NOT repot right away!

begonia plant cutting in a glass test tube with light shining on roots through the water.
Young plants don’t have an established root system. They’re like baby humans, more fragile than an adult one. They need time to grow strong before they move out & glow up.

That’s it. Paying a little attention every now & then & just keeping on eye on roots peeking out of the soil should keep you & your plant on good terms.