How to repot philodendron?

Philodendrons are popular houseplants known for their lush foliage and ability to thrive in various indoor conditions. Proper potting and repotting practices are essential for maintaining the health and vitality of philodendron plants. In this article, we will step-by-step guide repot philodendron plants and explore the key factors that impact potting and repotting, the tradeoffs involved in balancing these factors, and the challenges associated with different approaches. We will also emphasize the importance of considering the impact on the plant when making decisions about repotting.

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    Philodendron Potting and Repotting

    Potting refers to the initial process of transferring a philodendron plant from its nursery pot to a new container.

    Repotting, on the other hand, involves replacing the existing potting mix and moving the plant to a larger or more suitable container when it outgrows its current one.

    Repotting is crucial to provide the philodendron with enough space for root development, nutrient uptake, and overall growth.

    Factors Affect Potting and Repotting Philodendron

    Container Size

    Choosing the right pot size is crucial for the health of the philodendron. When potting, select a container that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current nursery pot. During repotting, ensure the new container provides ample room for the roots to expand while avoiding excessive space that could lead to overwatering.

    Potting Mix

    Philodendrons thrive in well-draining potting mixes. A balanced mix of peat moss, perlite, and a small amount of organic matter is often recommended. Avoid heavy soils or mixes that retain too much moisture, as this can lead to root rot.

    Root Health

    Before potting or repotting, examine the roots for any signs of damage or disease. Trim away any brown or mushy roots, ensuring only healthy roots are transferred to the new container.


    Potting can be done immediately after purchasing a new philodendron. Repotting, however, should be performed when the plant has become root-bound or outgrown its current pot. Signs of a root-bound plant include roots circling the pot or emerging from the drainage holes.

    Tradeoffs and Challenges

    Size vs. Stability

    When repotting, balancing the desire for a larger container to accommodate growth with the need for stability can be challenging. A significantly larger pot may destabilize the plant, making it prone to tipping over. Gradually increasing pot size during repotting can help mitigate this risk.

    Disturbing Root System

    Repotting can be stressful for philodendrons, as it often involves disturbing the root system. Minimizing root damage and providing proper aftercare, such as adequate watering and light, can help the plant recover quickly.

    Nutrient Availability

    Fresh potting mix provides a new source of nutrients for the plant. However, excessive repotting can lead to nutrient depletion in the long run. Balancing the frequency of repotting with fertilization practices is essential to maintain optimal nutrient levels.

    Considering the Impact on Philodendron Health

    While potting and repotting are necessary for the growth of philodendrons, it is important to consider the impact on the plant’s well-being. The stress associated with repotting can temporarily disrupt the plant’s growth and health. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid unnecessary repotting and instead focus on proper care, including regular watering, appropriate lighting, and occasional fertilization, to ensure the longevity of the philodendron.

    Signs Your Philodendron Plant Requires Repotting

    Philodendron plants, like any other houseplant, will eventually outgrow their current pot and show signs that they need to be repotted. Recognizing these symptoms is important to ensure the health and vitality of your philodendron. Here are some common signs that indicate it’s time to repot your philodendron plant:

    Root Bound

    • When a philodendron becomes root-bound, its roots have filled the entire pot, leaving little room for further growth. Look for these signs:
    • Roots circling the inner surface of the pot.
    • Roots emerging from drainage holes.
    • Difficulty in watering as water quickly runs through the pot without being absorbed.

    Stunted Growth

    If you notice that your philodendron’s growth has slowed down or it has stopped growing altogether, it may be an indication that the plant has exhausted the available nutrients and root space in its current pot.

    Watering Issues

    Overwatering or underwatering problems can arise when a philodendron is root-bound or has insufficient space in its pot. Signs include:

    • Excessive water pooling on the soil surface without being absorbed.
    • The plant drying out too quickly, requiring more frequent watering than usual.
    • Yellowing leaves that are soft and easily fall off.

    Lack of Stability

    When a philodendron becomes too top-heavy or overcrowded in its pot, it may become unstable and prone to tipping over. This is especially common with large or trailing varieties. If your plant seems wobbly or falls over easily, it’s a clear indication that it needs a larger, more stable pot.

    Nutrient Deficiency

    If your philodendron shows signs of nutrient deficiency, such as pale or yellow leaves, despite regular fertilization, it may be an indication that the potting mix has become depleted of nutrients. Repotting allows for the introduction of a fresh potting mix, providing a renewed source of essential nutrients.

    Visible Root System

    In some cases, the roots of the philodendron may become visible at the soil surface or start growing above the potting mix. This is a clear sign that the plant has outgrown its current pot and requires repotting.

    It’s important to note that these symptoms may not occur simultaneously, and the frequency of repotting depends on the growth rate and specific needs of each philodendron. Regularly inspecting your plant and being attentive to its growth and overall health will help you determine when it’s time to repot.

    By recognizing these signs and promptly repotting your philodendron, you provide it with the necessary space for root development, nutrient uptake, and continued healthy growth. Your philodendron will thank you for flourishing and beautifying your indoor space.

    What to consider while selecting the pot?

    When it comes to repotting philodendron plants, choosing the right pot is crucial for their growth and well-being. The type of pot and its size can impact factors such as root development, moisture retention, and overall stability. Here are some considerations to help you select an appropriate pot for repotting your philodendron plant.

    Pot Material

    There are various pot materials available, each with its own advantages and considerations:

    Terra cotta pots

    These porous clay pots allow for better airflow and moisture evaporation, which can be beneficial for philodendrons that prefer well-draining conditions. However, they can dry out more quickly, requiring more frequent watering.

    Plastic pots

    Lightweight and often less expensive, plastic pots retain moisture better and require less frequent watering. They also come in a wide range of sizes and styles. However, they may not offer as much breathability for the roots compared to terra cotta pots.Consider your specific philodendron’s needs and your watering habits when choosing between terra cotta and plastic pots.

    Pot Size

    Choosing the right pot size is essential to provide adequate space for the philodendron’s root system. Here’s a general guideline:

    For young or small philodendron plants: Select a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot. This allows for some growth without overwhelming the plant with excessive space.

    For mature or larger philodendron plants: Choose a pot that provides sufficient room for root expansion while maintaining stability. A good rule of thumb is to increase the pot size by 2-4 inches in diameter, depending on the growth rate and size of the plant.

    Keep in mind that overly large pots can lead to excessive moisture retention and increase the risk of overwatering. Finding the right balance between pot size and plant size is important.

    Drainage Holes

    Regardless of the potting material, ensure that the pot has drainage holes at the bottom. Proper drainage is crucial for preventing waterlogged soil and root rot. If you fall in love with a pot that lacks drainage holes, you can use it as an outer decorative container and place a nursery pot with drainage holes inside.

    Aesthetic Considerations

    Consider the overall aesthetic appeal of the pot and how it complements your indoor space. You can choose from a variety of colors, shapes, and styles to suit your personal preferences and enhance the visual appeal of your philodendron plant.

    How to Repot Philodrndron Step-by-Step Guide

    Repotting philodendron plants is an important task that ensures their healthy growth and development. When the plant outgrows its current pot or becomes root-bound, repotting provides additional space for root expansion and nutrient uptake. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of repotting philodendron plants, while also highlighting precautionary measures to ensure success.

    Step 1: Gather the necessary materials:

    New container: Select a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot, with drainage holes at the bottom.
    Potting mix: Prepare a well-draining mixture consisting of peat moss, perlite, and a small amount of organic matter.
    Water: Have water available for moistening the potting mix.

    Step 2: Prepare the new container:

    Thoroughly clean and sanitize the new container to prevent the introduction of pests or diseases.
    Place a small layer of fresh potting mix at the bottom of the container.

    Step 3: Prepare the philodendron plant:

    Water the philodendron a day or two before repotting to ensure it is well-hydrated but not overly saturated.
    Carefully remove the plant from its current pot by gently loosening the roots and tapping the sides of the pot if necessary. Hold the base of the plant stem for support while lifting it out.

    Step 4: Inspect and prune the roots:

    Examine the roots for any signs of damage, rot, or diseases. Trim away any brown or mushy roots using clean and sharp pruning shears.
    Encourage healthy root growth by gently loosening the root ball, teasing out any circling roots, and spreading them slightly.

    Step 5: Repot the philodendron:

    Place the philodendron into the new container, ensuring that the top of the root ball sits slightly below the rim of the pot.
    Fill the spaces around the roots with the prepared potting mix, gently pressing it down to eliminate air pockets. Leave some space at the top for watering.

    Step 6: Water and post-repotting care:

    After repotting, thoroughly water the plant until water drains out of the bottom. This helps settle the potting mix and ensures good hydration.
    Place the philodendron in a suitable location with appropriate lighting conditions. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause stress to the newly repotted plant.
    Monitor the moisture levels of the potting mix and water when the top inch feels dry, avoiding overwatering.

    Repotting Vining Philodendron

    The vining philodendrons such as the beloved Heart leaf philodendron (Philodendron scandens) and the vibrant Red leaf philodendron (Philodendron erubescens) have gorgeous foliage gracing their long and slender vines.

    The University of Florida IFAS Extension reveals that these vines can easily thrive in plant hardiness zones 10 and 11 designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Since they can prosper effortlessly in the usual low-light conditions of households and offices, the lush vining philodendron plants are usually kept in suspended baskets for their stunning leaves.

    Despite the differences in leaf size, shape, and hue among the many vining philodendron species, they are low-maintenance plants that only require frequent watering to maintain the moisture of their soil.

    Much like other indoor plants, these philodendrons will do well if they are repotted into a bigger container once they outgrow the current one and become root-bound.

    Precautionary Measures

    • Handle the philodendron plant with care to avoid damaging leaves, stems, or roots during the repotting process.
    • Use clean and sharp tools to minimize the risk of introducing infections or diseases.
    • Avoid repotting during the plant’s active growth period, as it can cause additional stress. Ideally, choose a time when the plant is relatively dormant or during the spring season.
    • If the plant is large or heavy, consider having a second person assist you in lifting and repotting to prevent accidents or strain.

    By following these steps and taking precautionary measures, you can successfully repot your philodendron plants and promote their health and vitality. Remember to provide appropriate care after repotting, such as monitoring watering needs, providing suitable lighting, and maintaining a stable environment. With patience and attention, your philodendrons will continue to thrive and enhance your indoor space with their beautiful foliage.


    Potting and repotting are essential practices for maintaining the health and growth of philodendron plants. By carefully considering factors such as container size, potting mix, and root health, you can provide an optimal environment for your philodendron’s well-being. Balancing tradeoffs and overcoming challenges associated with potting and repotting will help you make informed decisions. Remember to prioritize the impact on the plant’s health and consider alternative care practices to minimize unnecessary repotting. With proper attention and care, your philodendron will thrive and bring joy to your indoor space for years to come.


    Why should I repot my philodendron?

    Repotting a philodendron is essential to ensure that it has enough space to grow and thrive. Over time, the roots of the plant can outgrow their current container, leading to stunted growth or nutrient deficiencies.

    When should I repot my philodendron?

    The best time to repot a philodendron is during the spring or summer months when the plant is actively growing. You should also repot the plant if you notice its roots growing out of the drainage holes in the pot.

    What materials do I need to repot my philodendron?

    To repot a philodendron, you will need a larger container, fresh potting soil, a trowel or scoop, and water.

    How do I repot my philodendron?

    To repot your philodendron, start by selecting a pot that is one to two sizes larger than its current container. Then, fill the new pot with fresh potting soil, leaving enough space at the top for the philodendron’s roots. Next, gently remove the plant from its existing container and loosen up the roots. Place the plant into the new pot and fill the remaining space with soil. Water the plant thoroughly.

    How often should I repot my philodendron?

    Philodendrons generally require repotting every two to three years to ensure healthy growth and prevent root-bound problems. However, some fast-growing varieties may need repotting more frequently.

    Why do I need to repot my philodendron?

    Repotting provides fresh soil and nutrients, which help the plant grow and thrive.

    When is the best time to repot philodendron?

    The best time to repot philodendron is in the early spring when new growth is just beginning.

    What size pot should I use for repotting my philodendron?

    It is best to use a pot that is slightly larger than the current pot. This allows room for growth without overwhelming the plant.

    What type of soil is best for philodendrons?

    Philodendrons thrive in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A mixture of potting soil, perlite, and peat moss is a good choice.

    How often should I water my newly repotted philodendron?

    Water your newly repotted philodendron thoroughly, but don’t water again until the top inch of the soil is dry.

    How long does it take for a repotted philodendron to adjust?

    Philodendrons typically take a few weeks to adjust to their new pots. During this time, they may show signs of stress such as wilting or yellowing leaves. Keep the plant in a warm, well-lit area and wait for it to recover.