Repotting is an essential part of pothos care that helps ensure your plant stays healthy and continues to thrive. However, knowing when to repot can be a bit tricky. In this article, we’ll explore how often to repot pothos, the signs that it’s time for a new pot, and the steps to take to repot your plant successfully.
Signs Your Pothos Needs Repotting
Pothos plants are easy-to-grow houseplants that require repotting from time to time. Recognizing the signs that your pothos needs repotting will contribute to its health and vigor. Here, we will focus on three main indicators: root bound, yellowing leaves, and slowed growth.
A strong indication that your pothos needs to be repotted is when the roots become bound within the pot. This can be observed when the roots grow from the pot’s drainage holes or circle the bottom of the pot. To check for root bound, you can also gently pull the plant out of its pot to examine the roots.
Another symptom of a pothos in need of repotting is the appearance of yellowing or drooping leaves. This can happen if the water drains from the pot too quickly or if the plant is unable to effectively absorb nutrients from the soil. When you notice these signs, it’s a good idea to consider repotting the pothos.
Last but not least, slowed growth can also signal the need for repotting. Pothos usually exhibits a robust growth pattern. However, slow growth or persistent dehydration may indicate root congestion in the pot or soil that won’t hold water, both of which can hinder growth. If you notice your pothos isn’t growing as expected, it may be time to repot the plant.
Overall, being attentive to the signs of a pothos plant in need of repotting will ensure its long-term health and continued growth.
How Often to Repot Pothos
Pothos plants, known for their rapid growth, require repotting on a regular basis to accommodate their expanding root system and maintain overall health. It is generally recommended to repot pothos every 1 to 2 years to prevent them from becoming root-bound.
Root-bound plants have their roots growing around the inside of the pot, becoming tangled and compacted due to a lack of space to branch out. This can limit their overall growth and wellbeing. The easiest way to determine if your pothos needs repotting is by checking for roots growing out of the pot’s drainage holes or circling the bottom of the pot. Another method is to gently remove the plant from its pot and examine the roots for signs of overcrowding or wrapping.
Timing is essential when repotting pothos. The ideal period for repotting is between early spring and mid-summer, when the weather starts to warm up. Avoid repotting during high temperatures, as pothos plants tend to halt growth when the temperature is above 90°F (32°C). For those living in warmer regions or maintaining a consistent indoor temperature, repotting can also be done in late winter, encouraging root growth just in time for spring.
When repotting, ensure you use a well-drained potting mix and a container with drainage holes to prevent waterlogged soil. Plant the pothos at the proper depth and water it thoroughly to support the growth of a healthy root system.
Choosing the Right Pot
When repotting your pothos, selecting the right pot is a crucial step to ensure the health and growth of your plant.
While pothos plants enjoy being slightly root-bound, they may require a larger pot to accommodate their rapidly growing roots. Generally, a pot that is 1-2 inches larger than the current pot will allow the plant room to grow without causing issues related to an excessively large pot.
- Pothos plants can grow 12-18 inches each month during the spring and summer, making them rapid growers that may need repotting quite regularly (Petal Republic).
- Avoid choosing a pot that is too large, as this may lead to overwatering and root rot due to excess soil retaining moisture.
The material of the pot is important in maintaining an appropriate balance of moisture and air circulation for your pothos plant. There are several materials you can choose from:
|Plastic||Lightweight, inexpensive, and retains moisture well.||Less breathable, which may lead to root rot if not monitored properly.|
|Ceramic||Sturdy, attractive, and good at maintaining even moisture levels.||Heavy, breakable, and may require more frequent watering.|
|Terra Cotta||Excellent breathability, which allows for good airflow to the roots.||Fragile, prone to chipping and cracking, and may dry out the soil more quickly.|
Regardless of the chosen material, make sure the pot has proper drainage holes to prevent overwatering and root rot.
Pothos plants typically need repotting every 1 to 2 years, depending on their growth rate and size. The repotting process involves several steps to ensure the health and longevity of the plant.
Step 1: Preparing the Pot and Soil
Choose a new pot with good drainage holes that is one to two inches larger in diameter than the current pot. Prepare a soil mix suitable for pothos, which should consist of a well-draining, lightweight mixture, often including ingredients like perlite and coco coir. Fill the new pot with a layer of this soil mix, leaving enough space for the pothos root ball to sit comfortably.
Step 2: Removing the Pothos from Its Current Pot
Carefully remove the pothos plant from its current pot by gently grasping the base of the plant and inverting the pot. You may need to tap the edges of the pot or slide a dull knife around the perimeter if the roots are tightly packed. Once the plant is out, examine the roots and trim away any that are rotting or excessively long.
Step 3: Placing the Pothos in the New Pot
Loosen the root ball by gently massaging it to help the roots expand in their new environment. Place the pothos into the new pot, positioning it so that the top of the root ball is level with the rim of the pot. This will allow for proper growth and prevent the plant from sitting too deep within the pot.
Step 4: Adding Soil and Watering
Fill in the remaining space around the root ball with the prepared soil mix, gently pressing it down to stabilize the plant. Once the soil is in place, water the pothos thoroughly to encourage the roots to settle into their new home. You may also consider adding a slow-release fertilizer to the soil or water, as recommended by the instructions for the specific fertilizer you have chosen.
Once you’ve repotted your pothos plant, it’s important to provide the proper care to ensure it thrives in its new environment. This section will discuss the post-repotting care requirements, focusing on watering and fertilization.
It’s essential to water your pothos plant immediately after repotting, as this helps limit shock and encourages new root growth(source). Make sure to place the plant back in its original spot to prevent further stress due to changes in conditions. If you notice any signs of stress like yellowing or wilting leaves, these issues should resolve themselves within a few weeks(source).
Going forward, you’ll want to maintain a consistent watering schedule based on the needs of your pothos. Monitor the soil moisture and water the plant only when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Remember that pothos prefers to be on the drier side and is susceptible to root rot if overwatered, so err on the side of caution.
Repotting often replenishes the nutrients in the soil, so there’s no immediate need to fertilize your pothos plant right after repotting(source). In fact, it’s recommended to wait about a month before you start fertilizing the plant. This allows the pothos to settle in its new pot and prevents stressing the plant with an influx of nutrients.
After the initial month, you can begin fertilizing your pothos. Choose a well-balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution and application. Typically, you should fertilize your pothos once every 4 to 6 weeks during its active growing season, which is spring through summer. During fall and winter, reduce fertilization to every 8 to 10 weeks, as the plant’s growth rate slows down.
By following these post-repotting care guidelines, your pothos plant will have the best chance of thriving in its new environment.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
When repotting pothos plants, there are several common mistakes that you should avoid to ensure a healthy and thriving plant. In this section, we will discuss these mistakes and provide guidance on how to avoid them.
Repotting Too Frequently
One mistake is repotting pothos too frequently. Spring and summer are the best months to repot a pothos, and it is recommended to avoid repotting during the fall and winter months when the plants go dormant and are more likely to go into shock after repotting The Spruce. It is essential to check the health of the plant and its roots before deciding to repot, as unnecessary repotting can disturb the growth process and cause harm to the plant.
Using Incorrect Soil Mixture
Another common mistake is using an incorrect soil mixture. Pothos plants require a well-draining soil mix that retains moisture but does not become soggy. Using a soil mix that does not meet these requirements can lead to root rot or poor growth for your pothos plant. Ensure that the soil mixture you choose to repot your pothos is of high quality and appropriate for the plant’s needs.
Overwatering After Repotting
Overwatering after repotting is also a mistake to avoid. When repotting, ensure that the new container has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. After repotting, water your pothos plant thoroughly but avoid overwatering, as excess water can lead to root rot, especially if the soil remains wet for long periods Houseplant Resource Center. It is important to let the soil dry between watering sessions, as keeping the soil consistently wet can harm your pothos plant’s health.
By following these guidelines and avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure the long-term health and growth of your repotted pothos plant.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.