1. Remove plant from current pot
Turn your new plant sideways, hold it gently by the stems or leaves, and tap the bottom of its current pot until the plant slides out. You might need to give it a bit of help with a couple gentle tugs on the base of the stems. Your plant will come out of its old pot more easily if the rootball is moist. You’ll want to water the plant a few hours before you want to repot it. This will help it maintain its health even if it loses a root or two during the repotting.The rootball is the part of the plant that extends into the actual pot. It’s made up of roots and soil and often keeps the shape of the pot after it’s removed.
2. Loosen the roots
Loosen the plant’s roots gently with your hands. You can prune off any threadlike roots that are extra long, just make sure to leave the thicker roots at the base of the foliage. If your plant is root bound – the roots are growing in very tight circles around the base of the plant – unbind the roots as best you can and give them a trim.
3. Remove old potting mix
Remove about one third or more of the potting mix surrounding the plant. As it grew, your plant removed some of the nutrients in the current mix, so you'll want to give it fresh mix if you're potting it anyway!
4. Add new potting mix
Pour a layer of fresh potting soil into the new planter and pack it down, removing any air pockets. If your new planter doesn’t have a drainage hole, layer the bottom with lava rocks or similar (rocks, gravel, etc.) before adding the potting mix. The goal is to create crevices for the extra water to pool into, away from your plant’s roots.
5. Add plant
Set your plant that you removed from the grow pot on top of the fresh layer of mix in the new planter, making sure it's centered, then add potting mix around the plant until it is secure. Once you’ve placed the plant in the new pot, you’ll want to put soil into the pot around the rootball. Don’t overfill the pot - the soil line should be about 1” below the top of the pot.
You can “stuff” or “fill” when you’re adding new soil. “Filling” just means pouring soil in, around, and on top of the rootball. “Stuffing” means pouring the soil in and then pressing it down. You might want to “stuff” the pot for a top-heavy plant, because it will help you keep the plant steady and even.
6. Water and enjoy
Even out the potting soil on top, water well, and enjoy! Once your plant is in its new pot and you’ve filled the pot with soil, water the plant. It will help the plant’s roots soak up the nutrients from the soil and ensure that the plant takes to the new pot.
You might need to add more soil to fill in empty spots once you water the new plant and the soil settles.
When plants get too crowded, many can be divided to free up space and make new plants! Re-potting time is the ideal moment to take advantage and divide offshoots and pups into self-sufficient plants.
Reminder: If your plant is stressed, wait to re-pot! For example, if it’s wilted from thirst, best to soak it and allow the plant to perk back up before re-potting. Likewise, try to avoid re-potting in extreme weather, like heat waves, which can add stress.
Most potting soil contains fertilizer. To prevent from over-fertilizing and damaging your plant, you can hold off on fertilizing for about 6 weeks after re-potting.
After re-potting or potting up, plants tend to enter a period of shock. Don’t worry – it’s normal! Plants may appear wilted and thirsty, but take care to refrain from watering until about a week after re-potting to ensure that any roots damaged during re-potting have healed. During the recovery period, place plants in a cooler, shadier spot.