Tips & Tricks for Transplanting

August 21, 2018
Categories: Garden

One thing you may often hear when it comes to potted plants is that they need to be regularly transplanted once they outgrow their container. It’s a great bit of knowledge to have, but can be a bit confusing if you aren’t sure of the details — how do you know when to transplant a plant? What are the signs? And how do you actually do it?

Today, we’re going to dive into all of the specifics on when, how, and why to transplant a plant (along with a few times you shouldn’t transplant). So, grab a cup of coffee and settle in - then take note of any of the plants in your home that might need to be transplanted when you’re done reading!


What Is Transplanting?



Plants that have outgrown their containers need to be moved to a new, larger container. This is often referred to as transplanting. Another type of transplanting is to take plants that have been growing indoors (or in a small container outdoors) and move them to a garden bed or an outdoor area. This is often done with plants that need to be brought inside for winter (or summer) months, or plants that have been started from cuttings of other plants. Today, we’re going to focus mainly on transplanting as it refers to potted plants (typically, houseplants).


When Should I Transplant a Plant?

A houseplant needs to be transplanted to a larger container once their roots reach a point where they are too big for the current pot. There are a few signs you can look for that indicate it’s time to move your plant:

  • The plant has stopped growing despite being on a solid watering schedule.

  • You can see roots growing out of the top of the soil.

  • You can see roots growing out of the drainage holes in your pot.

  • Water seems to flow right through the soil rather than soaking into it.


How do I Transplant a Plant?

There are a few simple steps to follow when transplanting a houseplant to a new, larger pot. We covered the simple process in this post about why your houseplant might not be growing, so if you want the full step-by-step, head on over to that post.

There are a few additional tips we can add to the information in that post, though, so read on for a few helpful nuggets:

  • When choosing a new container, be sure to choose one that is no more than 2” in diameter larger than the previous pot.

  • It’s helpful to water your plant several hours before repotting. Not only will it make it easier to remove the plant from the old pot, it will also lessen the shock of the move for your plant.

  • Recently-transplanted plants should be placed in an area with bright but indirect sunlight and the soil should be kept moist for the first several days as the plant adjusts.

  • When you transplant root bound plants, be sure to gently and carefully loosen up the root structure before placing the plant into the new container.

With these simple tips, you should be able to easily transplant any plants in your home that are in need of a new place to live. Some plants need to be transplanted every few years until they reach maturity, so be sure to regularly check on your houseplants to be sure you’re transplanting on a good schedule.

How often do you transplant your houseplants? Let us know in the comments!

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