How to Transplant a Large Philodendron: Expert Guide

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Philodendrons are popular houseplants known for their lush, tropical foliage and easy-to-grow nature. However, as these plants mature and grow larger, it becomes necessary to transplant them into a larger pot to ensure healthy growth and maintain their stunning appearance. Learning how to properly transplant a large philodendron can make a significant difference in its overall health and longevity.

The process of transplanting a large philodendron involves a few crucial steps, such as choosing the right pot, preparing the plant, and settling it into its new environment. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on how to successfully transplant your large philodendron, allowing it to thrive and continue gracing your home with its beautiful foliage. With a bit of care and attention, you can ensure that this transition is as smooth and stress-free as possible for both you and your beloved plant.

Preparation for Transplant

Selecting a New Location

When transplanting a large philodendron, the first step is to choose the right location for the plant. Philodendrons prefer bright, indirect sunlight, so select a spot near a window with plenty of natural light but without direct sun exposure. If you’re transplanting outdoors, choose a well-shaded area, as these plants can be sensitive to direct sunlight. Ensure the temperature is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal growth.

Additionally, consider the available space, as philodendrons can grow quite large. Make sure there is ample room for the plant to spread without crowding other plants or obstructing walkways.

Gathering the Necessary Materials

Before beginning the transplant process, gather all the necessary materials to ensure a smooth and successful operation. Here is a list of materials you’ll need:

  • A new pot or container: Choose one with a 2-inch increase in diameter and depth, as well as two to three drainage holes at the bottom. This will allow for proper growth and prevent water logging (source).
  • Fresh potting soil: Opt for a good quality soil that is high in organic matter; adding compost, leaf mold, or manure will promote healthy root growth (source).
  • A trowel or spade: This will help you dig around the root ball and transfer the plant to its new home without damaging the roots.
  • Gloves: Wearing gloves can protect your hands from any irritants present in the plant or soil.
  • Water: After the transplant, you’ll need to water the plant thoroughly to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets.

Once you have all the necessary materials in place, you can successfully transplant your large philodendron, ensuring a healthy and prosperous growth in its new environment.

Timing and Seasonality

Choosing the right time to transplant your large philodendron is crucial for its overall health and adaptation to its new environment. Generally, it is a good idea to repot your philodendron during spring and early summer. This is because the plant will be actively growing during this time, making it more capable of handling the stress of transplantation and recovering more quickly.

Checking for signs that indicate a need for repotting should also guide the timing of transplantation. As opposed to focusing on specific time intervals, it is better to look for signals that your philodendron is ready for a larger pot. One such signal is when the roots start to grow out of the pot. Typically, this happens every 2-3 years.

The optimal temperature for transplanting philodendrons is vital as well. Make sure to wait until daytime temperatures reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit before transplanting your plant. This ensures that the philodendron will not encounter excessive environmental stress.

In summary, transplanting a large philodendron should be done during:

  • Spring and early summer
  • When roots start to grow out of the pot
  • At daytime temperatures of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit

By taking these factors into consideration, your philodendron is much more likely to thrive after transplantation.

Uprooting the Philodendron

Loosening the Soil

Begin by watering the philodendron about an hour before starting the process of uprooting. This will make the soil easier to work with and help to prevent root damage. Using a garden trowel or your hands, carefully dig around the plant’s base, taking care to avoid damaging the roots. Gently loosen the soil in a circular pattern, expanding out a few inches from the base of the philodendron.

Take the time to examine the soil as you go, looking for any signs of pests or diseases that may need to be addressed in the new potting mix. As you continue digging, the soil will become more comfortable to remove, giving the plant’s roots more freedom to move.

Removing the Plant

Once the soil around the philodendron has been adequately loosened, grasp the base of the plant firmly, using both hands if needed. Apply gentle, even pressure to lift the plant out of the soil. It’s essential to avoid pulling too hard or using jerking motions, as this can damage the roots.

After the philodendron has been successfully removed from its current pot, take the opportunity to inspect the root system. Gently remove any loose soil and examine the roots for signs of rot, pests, or other issues that may require treatment.

While uprooting a large philodendron, remember to be patient and cautious, as this will ensure the healthiest transition to a new environment for your plant. With the proper care and attention, your philodendron will thrive in its new home.

Preparing the New Site

Digging a Hole

When transplanting a large philodendron, first select an appropriate spot for the new site. This should be a location with bright, indirect light and warm temperatures, as these plants thrive in such conditions1. Once the ideal location is chosen, proceed to dig a hole. The hole should be slightly larger and deeper than the current size of the plant’s root ball, providing enough space for its root system to grow and develop.

Amending the Soil

Next, prepare the soil for the transplant. Philodendrons need moist, well-drained soil in which to grow properly. Begin by adding a layer of well-rotted compost or aged manure to the bottom of the hole2. This provides ample organic material to nourish the plant and enhance soil structure. Additionally, consider adding a slow-release fertilizer, which can promote healthy growth in the coming months.

When filling the hole back in, mix the excavated soil with additional compost or manure, ensuring an even distribution of nutrients throughout the soil. If necessary, adjust the soil’s pH level according to the philodendron’s preferences (usually between 6.0 and 6.5) by adding lime or sulfur3.

Once the soil has been appropriately amended, it’s time to transplant the large philodendron.

Replanting the Philodendron

Placing the Plant in the Hole

When transplanting a large philodendron, begin by preparing a hole in the new pot. Add about an inch of fresh potting soil to the bottom of the pot, making sure it’s evenly distributed. Carefully remove the philodendron from its original container, trying to keep the root ball intact as much as possible. Gently place the root ball in the center of the hole, ensuring the plant is upright and stable.

Filling with Soil

Once the philodendron is in the new pot, it’s time to add more potting soil. Fill the gaps around the root ball with fresh soil, packing it down lightly to remove any air pockets. Ensure the plant is still upright and secure, and fill until the soil level is the same as it was in the previous container1.


After the philodendron has been replanted, proper watering is essential for its successful establishment. Begin by watering the plant until water starts to drain from the pot’s drainage holes2. It’s essential for the new soil to be saturated, as this helps the roots establish themselves in their new environment. After the initial watering, be sure to monitor the soil moisture and only water the philodendron again when the top layer of soil is dry3. Avoid overwatering, as this could lead to root rot or other issues. Within four to six weeks, you should notice new growth on your philodendron, signaling that it has adjusted well to its new home4.

Post-Transplant Care

After transplanting a large philodendron, it’s essential to take proper care of the plant to ensure its continued growth and health. This section provides guidance on watering and fertilizing, as well as monitoring for pests and diseases.

Watering and Fertilizing

Once the philodendron has been transplanted, proper watering is crucial to its success. It’s essential to keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Water the plant only when the top layer of soil starts to feel dry, as overwatering can lead to root rot 1. Use a well-draining soil mix to prevent water from pooling at the bottom of the pot, causing damage to the roots 2.

Fertilizing a philodendron in its new environment is also crucial. Apply a balanced houseplant fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season, typically from spring to early fall. Dilute the fertilizer to half its recommended strength to avoid burning the roots and damaging the plant 3.

Monitoring for Pests and Diseases

Regularly inspecting the philodendron for pests and diseases will help to prevent severe infestations and maintain the plant’s overall health. Common pests that can affect philodendrons include mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites 4. If you notice any pests, take prompt action by isolating the plant and treating with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Consistently monitor the plant to ensure the pests have been eradicated and do not return.

Philodendrons are also susceptible to diseases such as bacterial and fungal infections when the leaves are kept too moist or in poor air circulation 5. Regularly prune any dead or dying leaves to improve air circulation around the plant and avoid overwatering, which can contribute to fungal infections.

By following these post-transplant care tips, your large philodendron will continue to thrive in its new environment, providing beautiful foliage and improving the overall aesthetic of your space.

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