How to Repot Pothos: Simple Steps for Plant Success

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Pothos is a popular houseplant that is known for its trailing vines and ease of care. Repotting pothos is an important part of its care, as it allows the plant to continue growing and prevents it from becoming root-bound. To repot pothos, begin by selecting a pot that is one size larger than the current one. Fill the bottom of the new pot with a layer of well-draining soil, and then gently remove the pothos plant from its current pot. Loosen any roots that have become tangled or compacted, and trim any that are damaged or dead. Place the plant in the new pot and fill in the space around the roots with fresh soil, pressing down gently to remove any air pockets. Water the plant thoroughly and place it in a bright, indirect light location. Understanding how to repot pothos can help gardeners ensure that their plants continue to grow and thrive.

Why Repot Pothos

Repotting pothos is an essential part of plant care that ensures the health and growth of the plant. There are several reasons why a pothos plant may need repotting, and understanding these reasons can help you determine the best time and method for the task.

One of the primary reasons for repotting a pothos plant is to encourage growth. As the plant grows, its roots may become too large for the current pot, leading to a rootbound condition. Rootbound plants suffer from limited nutrients and water access, resulting in stunted growth and potential health problems. Repotting provides the roots with more space to spread out, leading to a healthier and more robust plant in the long run (All About Gardening).

Another reason to repot pothos is to address any health issues the plant may be experiencing. A poor soil mix, for instance, can negatively impact the overall health of the plant. Repotting allows you to replace the existing soil with a better quality mix that promotes plant health and vitality (Houseplant Resource Center).

Lastly, repotting pothos can also serve a more aesthetic purpose. Sometimes, you may wish to transfer the plant to a more visually appealing pot that better complements the plant’s size and appearance or matches your interior decor. This reason, while not necessarily vital to the plant’s health, can nonetheless enhance the overall appearance and enjoyment of your pothos (All About Gardening).

When to Repot

Repotting a pothos plant is essential for its proper growth and overall health. The ideal time to repot your pothos is during the spring and summer months, as the plant experiences active growth during this period. It is crucial to avoid repotting in the fall and winter since the plant enters a dormant phase and may go into shock if disturbed during this time[1].

Some signs that indicate when it is time to repot a pothos plant include overgrown roots, wilting leaves, or if it has been around 2-3 years since the last repotting[2]. Rapidly growing plants like pothos may need to be repotted every year or so, to prevent the roots from becoming tangled and compacted due to limited space[3].

When the weather is warmer, such as in early spring or late winter, repot your pothos to encourage root growth just in time for spring[4]. Be cautious of the temperature since high temperatures above 90°F can halt the plant’s growth, making repotting less effective or even detrimental to the plant.

Choosing the Right Pot

When repotting a pothos plant, it’s important to select the appropriate pot to ensure its healthy growth. The pot should be slightly larger than the one it currently resides in, allowing for room to grow. Additionally, choosing a pot with proper drainage is essential, as pothos prefer well-draining soil that retains some moisture (The Spruce) .

Consider opting for a pot with a drainage hole, or using a plastic inner liner pot that has drainage capabilities. This will help prevent water from collecting in the bottom of the pot which can lead to stagnant water and root rot (Petal Republic) .

It’s essential to water the pothos plant before replanting it, as this can make the removal of the plant from its current pot easier and less damaging to the roots (Home for the Harvest). Once the plant has been removed from its pot, gently loosen any roots that may be circling the root ball before placing it in the new pot with appropriate soil.

Here is a list of factors to consider when choosing the right pot for repotting pothos:

  • Size: slightly larger than the current pot
  • Drainage: a hole or the use of a plastic inner liner pot
  • Material: sturdy and suitable for pothos growth

Preparing the New Pot

When repotting a pothos plant, it’s essential to prepare the new pot properly to support healthy growth and ensure the plant thrives.

Drainage Holes

Begin by selecting a new pot with adequate drainage holes at the bottom. Good drainage is crucial for pothos plants, as it helps prevent root rot and other issues caused by excess water. If the chosen pot lacks drainage holes, you can drill some yourself or place a layer of small pebbles or broken pieces of terracotta pots at the bottom for added drainage support.

Soil Mix

Pothos plants require a high-quality, well-draining soil mix for optimal growth. You can use an organic potting mix that is rich in nutrients and has a slightly acidic pH level. To create your own soil mix:

  • Combine equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and well-rotted compost or aged manure.
  • Ensure ingredients are mixed evenly to promote aeration and proper drainage.
  • Add a small amount of crushed eggshells or oyster shells to increase the calcium content and help maintain a slightly acidic pH.

Once the soil mix is prepared, place a layer of it at the bottom of the new pot before positioning the pothos plant into the planter. After arranging the vines, backfill with the remaining potting mix and gently press the soil around the roots to help establish the plant in its new home.

Repotting Process

Removing the Pothos

Begin the repotting process by gently taking out the pothos from its current pot. Carefully hold the plant close to the base and turn the pot upside down, applying light pressure on the sides to loosen the soil. Ease the pothos out of the pot, taking care to avoid damaging the roots or the vine during the process.

Root Care

Once the pothos is out of its old pot, examine the root system for any issues. Gently shake off excess soil and untangle the roots if they appear to be bunched together. Petal Republic recommends rinsing the roots with water if there are signs of pests or diseases, to ensure a clean, healthy root system.

If you notice any damaged or rotting roots, trim them off carefully using a clean, sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears. This step is important for the overall health and growth of the pothos.

Planting the Pothos

With the pothos ready for repotting, prepare the new pot by adding a layer of high-quality organic potting soil at the bottom. According to Home for the Harvest, placing the pothos vines carefully around the planter helps in maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Create a small hole in the center of the new pot, slightly larger than the pothos root ball. Place the pothos carefully into this hole, ensuring the roots are spread out evenly. Cover the roots with more potting soil, and gently firm the soil around the plant to provide stability. Remember not to pack the soil too tightly, as it may hinder root growth and water absorption.

Lastly, water the freshly repotted pothos generously until water drains out of the pot’s drainage holes, as suggested by The Spruce. Place the pot in its original location to minimize stress on the plant and help it acclimate quickly to its new environment.


Once you’ve successfully repotted your pothos, it’s essential to provide proper aftercare to ensure healthy growth and development. In this section, we’ll discuss two critical aspects of pothos aftercare: Watering and Fertilization.


Proper watering is crucial for your newly repotted pothos to thrive. To avoid overwatering and root rot, always allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Then, water the plant thoroughly until water flows out the bottom of the pot.

Be mindful of the humidity levels in your home, as pothos plants enjoy some humidity. In dry environments, consider using a humidifier or placing the pot on a tray with pebbles and water to increase the humidity around the plant. Remember not to let the plant sit in standing water, as this can lead to root rot.


Pothos plants don’t require heavy fertilization, but post-repotting, it’s essential to provide some nutrients to support growth. Using a balanced liquid fertilizer, such as a 20-20-20 ratio, is recommended for pothos plants. Dilute the fertilizer according to the package instructions and apply it every 4-6 weeks during the growing season, typically spring and summer.

As pothos plants grow, their leaves may start to lose some of their vibrant colors if they’re lacking nutrients. In this case, using a fertilizer with micronutrients such as iron, manganese, and zinc can help restore the foliage’s brightness and maintain overall plant health.

Potential Repotting Issues

While repotting pothos plants is typically a straightforward process, some issues may arise that could affect the overall health and growth of the plant. Being aware of these potential problems can help ensure a successful repotting experience.

One common issue is transplant shock, which may occur after repotting the pothos. This stress can lead to yellowing leaves, wilting, and slowed growth. To minimize transplant shock, it is best to repot during the peak growing season, allowing the plant to recover quickly and establish its roots in the new soil as soon as possible (Petal Republic).

A root-bound plant may also cause difficulties during repotting. If the plant is difficult to remove from its pot, gently squeeze the sides and pull it out, being careful not to damage the roots (The Spruce).

When repotting a pothos, it is crucial to use the right kind of soil. A poor soil mix can lead to several problems, such as root rot and fungal growth. It is recommended to use a well-draining soil mix, ideally one that contains perlite or another material that aids in drainage.

Another potential issue that may occur when repotting a pothos is the presence of fungus gnats. These pests can cause damage to the plant’s roots and spread through the soil. If you notice a fungus gnat infestation, make sure to treat it promptly by using a variety of control methods such as sticky traps or insecticidal soap.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to repot pothos?

It is recommended to repot your pothos from early spring once the weather warms through to mid-summer. Repotting in late winter is also possible if you live in a warmer region or have a suitable warm room in your home. This allows the root growth to kick in just in time for spring (source).

How often should I repot pothos?

On average, pothos plants should be repotted every 1 to 2 years. Observing roots growing from the pot’s drainage holes and circling the bottom of the pot are signs that your pothos is ready for repotting (source).

How do I choose the right pot for repotting?

When selecting a new pot for your pothos plant, choose a slightly larger container with drainage holes. This will allow the roots to grow adequately and prevent waterlogged soil (source).

What type of soil mix should I use for repotting pothos?

It is essential to use a well-drained potting mix for repotting your pothos plant. This helps in promoting proper aeration and water retention, leading to healthy root development (source).

How do I repot my pothos plant?

Repotting your pothos plant involves the following steps:

  1. Remove the plant from its current pot.
  2. Plant your pothos in its new pot.
  3. Water generously (source).

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