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Repotting a houseplant

Keeping plants in your home can offer some nice health perks. Research has suggested they may improve mood and enhance concentration, and some may provide mild air-quality benefits. To help plants thrive, you’ll need to repot them occasionally.

If your plant has stopped growing, if its roots are poking through the drainage holes of its pot, or if its leaves appear limp, it may be time for a new, slightly larger living space.

Early spring is the ideal time to repot a houseplant because the coming growth season will provide the momentum it needs to overcome the shock of relocation.


  • New pot
  • Watering can
  • Potting soil
  • Scissors

1. Water your houseplant thoroughly a day or two before you plan to repot it. Choose a new pot that is approximately 2 to 3 inches larger in diameter than the old one. Make sure it has drainage holes.

2. Fill about half of the new pot with potting soil. You want enough soil beneath the plant so that the roots have space to grow, but not so much that the root ball will protrude over the top of the pot.

3. Remove your plant from its pot: Holding the stems gently, turn the pot sideways and tap it against a hard surface until the plant slides out. Tug carefully on the base of the stems if necessary.

4. Gently loosen the roots with your fingers. Use scissors to cut away any dead or rotted roots and trim extra-long ones, taking care not to damage any buds or stems. Remove about one-third of the old potting soil from around the root ball.

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