Pothos plants can easily adapt to a new pot and grow bigger and lusher than ever before as long as you make the necessary preparations. You can follow these steps if your plant has grown too big for its existing container, or if you’ve welcomed a brand new baby pothos into your indoor garden.
Table of Contents
Why Repotting Is Necessary
Repotting a plant is typically required for two reasons: to promote growth and to address health issues.
Naturally, there are also times when you fall in love with a stunning new planter and feel compelled to buy it. So, three reasons.
On the first two, though, let’s concentrate.
Repotting For Growth
Each year or so, pothos plants need to be replanted in order to give their roots more room to expand and remain healthy. Without repotting, the plant may become root-wrapped, which means the roots will encircle the inside of the pot and get more tangled and compacted as a result of having no room to spread out.
This is harmful because it may hinder your plant’s ability to properly absorb nutrients and water, as well as stunt its growth. Not good!
The soil in the pot can also harden over time, which can obstruct the roots’ ability to expand and take up water and nutrients. Compacted soil doesn’t drain well, so when it does absorb water, it may hold onto it for too long. This results in problems brought on by root rot and dryness.
To give your roots more room, prepare to repot pothos plants and other rapidly growing aroids every few years. It’s time to move up to a slightly bigger pot if it’s been a while since you last repotted, if roots are poking out the top or bottom of the pot, or if the soil around the pot’s edges is separating. (2-3 inches larger than the root ball of your pothos plant is best.)
To Treat Health Problems
Your pothos plant may experience overwatering from time to time, or the soil may become compacted and clog the drains. As a result, your plant may experience root rot, a condition that starts in the roots and can eventually spread upward to discolor the leaves and kill the entire plant.
Reduce watering and use a root supplement to aid in the healing of the roots if the root rot is mild. Repotting is the best course of action, however, if the condition is severe and/or the result of compacted soil. By doing so, you’ll be able to rinse the roots, get rid of any rotten parts, and replant your plant in soil that is new, clean, and well-draining.
If the soil feels wet for extended periods of time, your pothos plant likely has root rot if you notice the stems turning dark brown or black and becoming mushy. On the leaves, you might also spot delicate dark brown or black spots.
You should repot your pothos if that is the case.
When Should My Pothos Be Replanted?
The ideal time to repot your pothos is in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. When your plant is actively growing and absorbing nutrients, it will be at its healthiest and best able to recover from the stress of being disturbed and moved to a new location.
You’ll know your pothos is ready for repotting when:
- The leaves droop.
- The hole in the pot’s bottom is where the roots emerge.
- The soil’s surface is where the roots emerge.
The following time the soil is dry, you should carefully lift your plant from the pot to check if any of these have occurred. You may need to investigate other issues if the roots haven’t outgrown the pot because leaf droop can also be caused by a number of other issues.
Choosing A New Planter For A Pothos Plant
Pothos plants often quickly outgrow the 4″-6″ plastic growers’ pots they are commonly sold in. Having more soil to spread out into is very beneficial for these enthusiastic vines. Here are some qualities to look for in pothos planters.
Size is the primary factor. It’s common to up-pot Pothos plants into a planter that’s a few inches wider than its current container. For instance, if you bought a pothos plant in a 4″ nursery pot, you can replant it into a 6″ or even an 8″ planter. Most plant parents steer clear of placing extremely tiny plants in extraordinarily large planters because the potting soil can remain moist for a very long time and the plant will likely appear odd with so much soil surrounding it.
A drainage hole is a next thing to search for. In general, you want to replant the Pothos into a container that has drainage. Plant the Pothos directly into the new planter if the planter you like has a drainage hole. That said, many indoor planters do not have drainage holes, as they’re meant to protect the hard surface upon which they sit. For these bowl-like planters, you can simply re-pot the Pothos plant into a larger plastic nursery pot that works as an inner liner (as long as it fits inside the decor planter). After that, you can remove the liner pot and place it in the sink to be watered.
Preparing Pothos Plants For Repotting
With proper care before repotting, pothos plants are much easier to grow (and more likely to do so). The most important thing to remember is to keep the roots moist. Try to prevent letting them dry out in the open air. When the roots are moist and flexible, they are much easier to handle (and less likely to break)
Before moving the pothos plant to a new container, water it. Watering it up to 60 minutes or even a day in advance is possible. The idea is to give the roots some time to absorb some water, which will aid in their relaxation and increase their flexibility.
Remove the Pothos plant from its current container by gently pulling it out. Take a look at the root ball. Without paying any additional attention to the roots, the root ball can be easily replanted into a new pot if there aren’t too many roots visible along the outside. However, if the plant has numerous roots circling the outside of the rootball, it may be advantageous to the root-bound plant to assist them in uncurling.
To help twisted, bound roots recover, soak the root ball of the Pothos plant in a bowl of water. You can either carefully break up the potting soil to look at the roots more closely or you can gently coax the roots away from the ball. To prevent unintentionally uprooting trees, move slowly and gently. You might find that the Pothos plant is actually made up of a number of different stems that have all been rooted in the same container of potting soil. The Pothos plants can be divided into separate plants and grown in separate pots.
How To Repot Pothos Plants
Repotting your pothos is very similar to repotting any of your other plants; you just need to be careful around the vines. To cause the least amount of harm, be sure to grab the plant’s base near the soil and roots rather than the ends of the vines as you go through the process.
Before you remove the pothos from the old pot, you should have your replacement pot ready. The new one needs to be a few inches bigger if you want to allow it to grow bigger. Then grab a bag of fresh potting mix and follow these steps:
- Take the pothos out of its pot. The best way to do this is to tip the pot on its side and slide the plant out. To maneuver around the dirt’s edges, if necessary, use a rubber spatula. Just be careful not to pull on the plant, as this could harm the stems and roots.
- Prepare the new pot. An inch or two of soil should be added to the fresh (clean!) pot to act as a barrier between the roots and the pot’s base.
- Place the pothos in the pot standing up. Make sure the pothos is in the center, then fill in the spaces with more potting soil, leaving about two inches of space at the top. In order to allow the roots room to breathe, be careful not to compact the soil.
- Your newly planted pothos needs water. You should water the plant liberally after repotting until water begins to emerge from the pot’s bottom. You can top off the soil with a little more after it has settled.
Pothos Should I Water Before Repotting?
In all honesty, it depends. Let’s say it’s Monday and you’ve decided to repotter on Saturday when the weather is nice and you have the time off of work. When planning ahead, you should water your plants at least two days beforehand to ensure that their roots are adequately moist. In our example, water would be applied by Thursday but not on Friday.
By keeping the roots well-hydrated, the risk of root shock can be reduced; however, giving the soil a two-day buffer to dry out makes it simpler to remove the plant from the pot and ensures that the roots suffer the least amount of damage possible when being dug from heavy, wet soil.
Are Large Pots Necessary For Pothos?
Everything depends on how big you want your pothos to grow and how big they are now. You don’t need a large pot at all if you are starting with a small pothos or cutting; one with a diameter of three to four inches will do. A pothos, however, will require a larger area if it has long trailing vines and a deeper root system. Keeping your pothos from becoming too root-bound and making sure it is comfortable without being stuffy is all you need to do.
What Do I Put My Pothos In After I Repot It?
When repotting your pothos, you should always use new potting soil and a tidy container with a drainage hole. Your plant will benefit from more nutrients from the new soil, and the clean pot will prevent the spread of any disease or contamination. On the other hand, the drainage hole is essential for reducing the chance that your pothos will suffer from root rot and wet soil.
Your pothos will continue to thrive and grow as best they can once they are content in their new home. If you give your trailing vine careful attention and maintain it, you should be able to enjoy it for a very long time.