How To Repot Pothos Plant? (A Step By Step Guide)
Repotting your pothos plant is not hard. In fact, it’s very easy. Read this article to learn how to repot pothos plant in a safe way.
Many beginner houseplant owners panic over repotting their plants once they’ve outgrown it’s pots.
And, if you are one among them with a pothos plant that needs immediate repotting, then this guide is for you.
In this article, I will be going through everything you need to know about repotting a pothos plant. It includes,
- When to repot pothos?
- Best season for repotting pothos
- Things needed for repotting pothos
- How to repot pothos?
- Lots more.
Let’s dive right in.
When To Repot Pothos Plant?
The best time for repotting your pothos plant is during summer or spring. Since repotting is a stressful activity for your plant, it needs a lot of energy to recover quickly. And, spring and summer are the time of the year when pothos plants produce a lot of energy.
Before repotting a pothos plant, you must make 100% sure that your pothos plant actually needs repotting now. Because, repotting is a process that leaves your plant in a state of shock and stress for a couple of days at least.
So, how do you know when to repot pothos plant?
Based on my experience, There are five scenarios where you need to repot your pothos plant. They are,
- Root rot
- Root bound
- Soil is deprived of nutrients
- Bacteria or fungus in soil
- Existing pot is not good
Let’s have a detailed analysis of these scenarios so that you can be pretty sure whether you need to repot it now or sometime later.
1. Root rot
Pothos root rot happens when the roots of your pothos plant start decaying for some reason.
The common signs of root rot are rotten egg smell from the soil, lots of molds, wet and damp soil, curling or color change in leaves, slow or stunted growth, etc.
If you are seeing any of these symptoms, be ready to repot immediately. Because root rot is a serious issue that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. If untreated, it can even kill your plant in the long run.
And the main cause of root rot is overwatering. But there are a couple of other reasons like nutrient depleted soil, poor drainage in the pots, etc can also lead to root rot.
2. Root bound
Root bound happens when the roots of your pothos plants are bounded by some barriers that won’t allow the roots to grow freely. In the case of indoor pothos plants, the barrier will be the pot in which your pothos plant is growing.
It is a known fact that when a plant grows, their root system also expands exponentially. At some point, the roots will reach the bottom and side edges of the container. Due to the barrier, it will start curling and running round the bottom edge of the container causing roots to overcrowd the space.
If you are not sure whether your pothos plant is root bound or not, check for the symptoms like roots coming out of drainage holes, stunted growth, roots visible in the topsoil, etc.
Root bound pothos plants are highly susceptible to root rot. It is because the excess water may not reach the drainage holes due to the overcrowded tight roots.
There are a couple of ways which you can treat root bound pothos, but repotting is a crucial step in every treatment.
3. Soil is deprived of nutrients
For the optimal growth of a pothos plant, the soil nutrients play a very important role. And it is a known fact that soil nutrients are a finite source of nutrition and it will get depleted over time.
You can add nutrients to the depleted soil by adding certain fertilizers, but still a depleted soil has many other drawbacks like less aeration and water holding capacity which may trigger bigger problems like root rot.
4. Bacteria or fungus in soil
Even if your pothos plant’s soil is not completely deprived of nutrients, sometimes it may get infected with bacterias or other kinds of soil pests.
You can try removing the pests using conventional methods like neem water, or chemical cleaners. But if the infection is very severe, then it is better to repot your pothos plant in a different pot with a fresh potting mix.
After repotting, you can clean the old pot and soil using disinfectants. Once it’s clean and dry, you can use it for other plants. But 100% make sure that it’s free for infection before using.
5. Existing pot is not good
If you are someone who is growing pothos plants to improve the overall aesthetics of your room, then you may be thinking about repotting it to a better pot.
Most of the time, the pot that you get from the grocery store or nursery will be a small plastic one. For an aesthetically pleasing appearance, it is necessary to repot your plant in a fancy designer pot.
I’m not a fan of repotting your new plant just for aesthetic purposes, but if you have some earthen pots like ceramic or clay lying around, then you can repot it for your plant’s own sake.
Things Needed For Repotting Pothos
To safely repot your pothos plant, you need a couple of materials and tools.
It is advised to keep everything ready before even touching your old plant. When repotting, your plant’s root will come in direct contact with air which will dry it up quickly and make the recovery slower.
So, the first item you need to have is obviously a new pot where you want to replant your pothos.
While repotting, you have to think about which pot size to go with and what pot material to choose.
If you are repotting your plant due to some bacteria or fungal infection and you are pretty sure that the plant is not yet overgrown the existing pot, then you can go with a same size pot.
On the other hand, if you are repotting due to root bound or simply because your pothos over grew the pot, then you should get a pot one size bigger. If root bound is very severe, then you can even get a two size bigger pot for a better root space.
Regarding the pot material, it is always advised to get an earthen pot like clay or ceramic because they have a lot of advantages like water absorption which plastic pots lack.
2. Pothos soil mix
If you got your pot ready, then the next item on your list should be a potting mix. The best soil mix for pothos is the one that has higher concentrations of peat moss over any other component.
Since peat moss is not available in all countries, it may not be easy for you to get. In that case, you can use any one out of coco peat, coco coir, or leaf mold. As a secondary component, you can choose either perlite or pine bark compost.
If you don’t have time to mix your own potting media, then the best premade options are Foxfarm Ocean Organic garden Potting Soil and Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix.
3. Sterilized tools & bench
Once pot and potting media are ready, then you need to gather some tools and set up a work area so that you don’t have to run around your home while repotting.
You don’t need any fancy tools, just get sharp scissors and a knife is all you need.
Roots are one of the most sensitive parts of a pothos plant. So, it is advised to wear gloves while repotting. It will reduce the chances of any infection.
Also, sterilize all the equipment you are going to use including the new pot, potting soil, scissors, gloves and the whole work area.
Points To Remember While Repotting Pothos
Here are some of the points you should keep in mind before and after repotting a pothos plant.
- Water your pothos plant thoroughly at least one or two days before repotting. It is to make sure that the plant won’t be dehydrated while repotting.
- If you are repotting your pothos plant due to root bound, then you need to loosen the root before potting into the new pot. Otherwise, it will take a long time for the plant to loosen the root.
- If the root bound is very severe, then before trying to loosen and spread the roots manually, dip the root in lukewarm water.
- Water your pothos thoroughly after repotting. Make sure that water is coming out of the drainage holes without any blocks. Watering after repotting is essential to make the new soil settle in.
How To Repot Pothos?
If everything is ready, then it’s time for your hands to get dirty by repotting your plant.
Here are the step by step instructions,
Step 1 : Uproot your pothos plant
The first step in repotting pothos plants is to remove your plant from the existing pot.
For that, hold your pothos plant in the upside position for a couple of minutes. Hold your pothos plant’s stem in one hand and the other hand in the pot so that a perfect balance will be there.
If you have watered your plant in the last few days, then the existing soil will be wet and it may come out easily. If it’s not coming out easily, then use a knife to run around the edge of the pot.
Step 2 : Treat pothos root if needed
Once your plant is taken outside of the existing pot, you can have a close look at the conditions of the root.
If the roots are rotten, then cut all the rotten roots and dip the healthy roots in a hydrogen peroxide solution to reduce the chances of root rot in the future.
On the other hand, if your pothos plant is root bound then dip the roots into lukewarm water to loosen the tight roots. Once the root is loosened, prune the roots using sterilized scissors and you can divide the plant if needed.
Step 3 : Fill the new pot with soil
While your pothos plant is inside hydrogen peroxide solution or lukewarm water, you can fill up the new pot with the fresh potting media.
It is recommended to fill up to ⅓ of the pot at first. Simply put the potting media inside the pot without using any force. We’ll make it settle by watering after repotting the plant completely.
Step 4 : Plant your pothos in new pot
Once the plant is ready for planting again, place it inside the new pot.
Balance the pothos plant in one hand and fill the remaining part of the pot with potting soil using the other hand. It is best to put soil in a circular motion so that the potting soil will be evenly spread across the pot.
Fill the pot completely with the fresh potting soil leaving just about an inch or two for efficient watering.
Once filling is done, it’s time for watering your repotted pothos plant. Water thoroughly from all the sides of the container until the water comes out through drainage holes.
Watering after repotting makes your repotted pothos plant less shocked and stressed. And as a result, the recovery will be faster. Also, watering just after repotting makes the new potting media settle in.
That’s all to it. you’ve successfully repotted your pothos plant. Now, it’s time to provide the best care to grow your pothos faster.
How To Repot Pothos – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you go to reddit or any other forums, repotting pothos is one of the topics that people have a lot of doubts about.
In this session, I’m going to answer some of the most commonly asked questions around “how to repot pothos” so that you don’t have to search separately.
Do pothos need big pots while repotting?
Yes, generally pothos plants need to be repotted in one size bigger pot than the existing one. But, it really depends on why you are repotting the plant in the first place. If it’s because of root bound or plant overgrowing the pot, then definitely you need a bigger pot.
On the other hand, if you are repotting a pothos plant due to root rot or some other disease and your plant is not root bounded when you uproot, then you can repot it in a similar sized pot and your plant will be happy.
Should I water pothos before repotting?
Yes, it is recommended to water your pothos plant a day or two before repotting for various reasons. Repotting is a shocking and stressful process for your plant. When you water your pothos plant a day before repotting, it minimizes the shock and stress for your plant. It also makes your plant less dehydrated during the repotting process and recover from the stress quickly.
When is the right season to repot pothos plants?
The best time to repot your pothos plant is during the spring or summer season. It is because the pothos plant is strongest during these times of the year. And, you need to make sure that you are not repotting in December or winter months because pothos like to be dormant during that season and plants may take a lot more time to recover.
Should I use the old potting soil in the new pot?
It is not recommended to use the old potting soil in the new pot for repotting. It is because, if you are repotting a pothos plant after a year, then the nutrients in the soil is already depleted and it’s just a waste of space if you include it inside the new pot.
On the other hand, if you are repotting your plant to a new plant within six months just for some aesthetic purpose, then you can use the old potting mix also.
A Quick Recap
So, that’s all you need to know about repotting your pothos plant in an efficient and safe way.
If you’ve reached this far, then you already know that repotting pothos plant is actually an easy task. Just follow the steps properly and you will be done in less than half an hour.
Before repotting, make sure that your plant actually needs a new pot. Also, even before touching the plant to repot, you need to set up everything so that your plant’s roots don’t need to be in contact with the air for too long.
Once repotting is done, don’t forget to water thoroughly so that the new soil sets in. After that follow the normal care routine like providing proper light, water, etc, and see your pothos grow.
- Distribution of Roots in Porous and Non Porous Pots, Linus H. Jones & Henri D. Haskins, US National Library Of Medicine Journal
- Evaluation Of Certain Potting Media On Pothos by Mousa, G.T., El-Sallami, I.H. and Abdul-Hafeez, E.Y., Assiut Journal Of Agricultural Science
- Effects Of Different Pot Mixtures On Pothos by M. Khayyat, F. Nazari and H. Salehi, American-Eurasian J. Agricultural & Environmental Science
- Effect of Pot Type On Plants, RSF Conference Proceeding Series Engineering & Technology