How to Tell If It’s Time to Repot Your Plant

How to Tell If It’s Time to Repot Your Plant
Photo: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock
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Even if you weren’t a plant person before the pandemic, you may have gotten into having some greenery around your place — so you at least had some living thing to interact with. Part of the appeal of live plants is to take care of something and watch it grow. But what happens when it outgrows its original pot or planter? OK, that one’s easy: You repot it. But how do you know when it’s time to repot your plant? Here’s what you need to know.

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Signs that it’s time to repot your plant

In general, you’re going to want to repot young plants that tend to grow quickly every six months to one year, and more mature plants every few years. But it takes more than a calendar to know when it’s time to find your houseplant a new home.

“There’s a lot of things to consider besides how long it’s been,” Julie Bawden-Davis, the master gardener behind Healthy Houseplants recently told Well+ Good. “There are plants that can stay in pots for years without needing repotting, and they actually do better when they’re in the same pots for long periods of time. There are other plants that need to be repotted much more frequently.”

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Here are four signs that it’s time to repot your plant, per Bawden-Davis:

  1. Roots are growing out of the drainage holes on the bottom of the plant’s current pot.
  2. The plant is clearly too big for its pot. Ideally, the ratio would be two-thirds plant height to one-third pot.
  3. A bunch of leaves on the plant turn yellow at the same time, which could be a sign that there isn’t enough soil for the roots.
  4. The plant is suddenly losing a lot of leaves.

If you’re noticing any — or all — of these things, here’s our guide to repotting a plant.

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