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How to Repot Philodendron in 6 Easy Steps

Frequent repotting makes for healthy, faster-growing philodendrons.

Frequent repotting makes for healthy, faster-growing philodendrons.

How to Repot a Philodendron

Philodendrons make superb, unfussy houseplants that can grow in the same pot for many years. Although they can tolerate being root-bound, they don't like it, so repotting your plant more frequently will assist in healthy new growth.

Signs Your Philodendron Needs a Bigger Pot

A sign that your philodendron is overdue a pot is when the roots start to poke out at the base of the pot or when leaf tips start to prematurely brown.

The best time to repot your plant is in spring. Water your plant the day before you plan to repot it. This will minimize stress to the plant and make repotting easier.

1. Choose a New Pot

Your new pot should be 1–2 inches larger than the current one and must have holes for drainage.

Best Pots for Philodendron

Your pot can be plastic or clay. It's up to you. But remember, plants in clay pots will require more frequent watering than ones in plastic ones. Clay pots may also be harder to get large, root-bound plants out of, in some cases even requiring the pot to be broken to release the plant.

2. Make Your Soil Mix

Now, make up your mix. The best soil for philodendrons is loose and well-draining. Use any good potting soil, but add a 1/3 of perlite, which is excellent for drainage. Mix well and place about an inch of your mix in the bottom of the new pot.

3. Remove Your Plant From Its Old Pot

If your philodendron is in a plastic pot, squeeze the sides of your pot. Gently turn the plant on its side. With one hand cradling the soil surface, use your other hand to slide the container off. You may need to hold the plant nearly upside down to encourage the root mass to slide out.

For stubborn, larger plants that have been in their pot for years, you may need to cut or break the old pot to get your plant out.

4. Check the Roots for Damage or Pests

Shake off any excess soil and examine the roots for signs of disease or discoloration. Healthy philodendron roots are white or light tan and pliable. Trim off brittle or mushy roots and discard.

If the plant's root-bound, try to loosen some of the roots. If that fails, make several vertical cuts from the top to the bottom around the perimeter of the root ball.

5. Place Your Plant in Its New Pot

Place your plant in its new pot. Make sure that it's at the same depth that it was originally planted at. Backfill with your potting mix, tapping the pot regularly to avoid air pockets, and finally firm down the mix with your hands at the surface.

Take the opportunity to tidy up your plant by removing any dead leaves or browning leaf tips.

6. Water Thoroughly

Water your plant thoroughly so that water runs copiously from the base. Finally, to avoid transplant shock, keep your plant in the same strength of light and the same temperature that it was in before.

More Tips for Repotting Indoor Plants

© 2022 Rachel Darlington