Plant 101: How to Repot an Indoor Plant

Repotting can be intimidating, but your plant’s definitely worth it. Whether you just got a new plant friend in the mail, you want to swap out an old container for something new, or your plant’s outgrown its current home, you just need a few ingredients and a few steps to start mastering this very useful skill.


  • You just want to switch it up.
  • Your plant has overgrown its pot. Maybe the roots are breaking through the surface, or out the drainage hole, or you can tell its growing slowly and drying out quickly.
  • Check with each plant, but often indoor plants should be repotted every 12 – 18 months.
  • Remember: fresh soil = fresh nutrients!


  • A regular potting soil mix that’s appropriate for your plant. Note: there are specific mixes for cactus, succulents, African Violets, Orchids, and Bromeliads so if you want the best chance of success, make sure to get the mix your plant prefers.
  • A new container. For new plant parents, we suggest one with a drainage hole and saucer for overflow. Also, a good rule of thumb for pot size is to make sure choose one that’s 1” - 2” larger in width than your current vessel.
  • A scoop or measuring cup.
  • A watering can or pitcher.
  • Indoor plant fertilizer.
  • Garden gloves, if you want.


  1. In your new container, add a little bit of soil to the bottom – just enough to make sure its root ball will sit at about the same level from the top it does in its current pot.
  2. Next, take your plant in its pot, and turn it on its side, holding the stems at their base. Gently work it out of its container.
  3. Tickle the roots of your plant to break apart the bottom of the root ball, spreading out the intertwined roots and stimulating new growth.
  4. Place the root ball in the center of your new pot and add more potting mix around your plant to secure it. Pack the soil tightly down to prevent any air pockets.
  5. Try to keep soil about a ½” from the top of the pot to avoid spillage when watering.
  6. Even out the soil on top and give a thorough watering, until water runs out the drainage hole. 


If you’re giving this freshly repotted, gorgeous thing as a gift, think about dressing it up a little by adding Spanish garden moss or rocks to the top. Not only will this help keep the soil in place when you transport, but it looks finished and fresh.

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