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RE-POTTING: How To Know When It's Time To Re-Pot Your Succulents

A simple guide to re-potting your succulents!

Does the idea of re-potting scare you? Have no fear, we are here! In this segment, we go over common signs and the how-tos of re-potting your beloved succulents.


Don't forget to choose the right pot size before you begin! If you need a refresher on what size is best, pop on over to POTS: Go Big Or Go Small?


Are you new to succulents and not sure of the signs of re-potting? Thankfully there are clear indications and easy ways to tell if your succulent needs to be repotted.

Here are 6 obvious indicators that your plant is telling you it's ready for a new pot.

#1 Root Bound - The clearest sign anything needs to be repotted. The roots are twisting around the inner parts of the pot and are beginning to visibly poke out through the drain holes or even up the top of the soil. This makes for an undesirable root system with no room to spread or develop new roots.

#2 Stunted Growth - Has your succulent stopped growing even though you’re doing everything right? If it starts to look unhealthy, with no new growth happening, and even reabsorbing some of the lower leaves. It's time for a re-pot! This will help stimulate the plant to produce new growth again.

#3 Shriveling or Drooping - If your succulent is starting to turn yellow, droop or shrivel, this can mean a few things:



-needs more sunlight -soil needs changing, no nutrients

If it's not pests, not under-watered, or not etiolating, then re-pot!

#4 Water - While watering, if you notice water remaining on the highest point of the soil and not depleting rapidly anymore, that is normally a sign that the roots are too dense and should be re-potted.

  • NOTE: If you have re-potted recently and water is sitting on the top and does not drain, it is probably because the soil mix is too organic and you will need to add more inorganic materials into your soil.

#5 Old Or Cracking Pot - If it has been in the same pot for many many years - it's generally a good idea to refresh the plant's life by repotting it with new soil and some nutrients.

#6 New Plant - We recommend repotting any newly purchased succulents as soon as possible after purchase. You never know what shape the soil is in or if any pests are lurking in it.

OUR TIP: Sometimes, nurseries and big box stores use a peat mix or even leftover materials that may be harmful to your succulent. Those mixes also could keep your succulent or cacti wet for an excessive amount of time and they can rot. Re-potting your new succulent in a substrate that drains well ensures their survival.


How Often Do I Need To Re-pot?

This all depends on the age and development of your succulents. Typically, younger succulents grow quickly and will need to be re-potted frequently during their first year, roughly every few months or so depending on the size of the pot used and the speediness of growth. The rule of thumb is to re-pot about 2 sizes up from its current pot size for smaller succulents, and if you intend the plant to grow into the pot for years, then a much larger one may be used.

When Is The Best Time Of The Season To Re-pot My Succulent?

To prevent possible death, re-pot during their growing season. Re-potting is usually best done in the spring, fall, or other mildly rainy seasons. Due to the ideal conditions, residents of climates with mild summers and winters may be able to re-pot at any time of year. Also, because they rarely go dormant, indoor plants can be repotted at any time of the year.

  • It is best not to re-pot in extremely hot or cold weather.

  • You may lose the blooms when repotting a succulent while it is flowing. Consider re-potting after blooms if you enjoy your flowers!

  • Root rot chances increase right after a re-pot since the roots have been damaged, water sparingly, or even wait for a few before watering deeply if you want to be safe.


How To Re-pot | instructions & video

Optional Tools You Might Need:
  • Mesh drain covers

  • Scoop or shovel

  • Chopstick or skewer

  • Tweezers (to pull off any dried lower leaves)

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Remove your plant from its current pot situation.

    1. NOTE: If it is root-bound in the pot, you may need a tool to dig around the inner edge, if wriggling it out is unsuccessful. Or, you could use a blunt object like a chopstick or skewer to poke it up through the outer bottom drain hole.

    2. Our Tip: Use a mesh drain filter or cover on the bottom when planting to make it easy to remove when it's time to repot. *Do not despair, any leaves lost during the de-poting process can always be propagated! Hooray for more babies!

  2. Next, separate/slacken the roots and rid of any old soil surrounding the roots.

    1. NOTE: Do not fear that breaking up the roots will damage the plant, trust the process! The loosening of roots permits them to make joyful new expansions, no harm will be done. They can even withstand a root cut (haircut) haha!

  3. Size up the current roots and make sure you have chosen the perfect pot for its size and growing needs, you may also re-pot in the same pot!

  4. Now place the plant in the new pot and place soil around the roots. You will want to gauge how far from the lip of the inner pot you want the start of the plant leaves to sit.

    1. NOTE: Make sure to have enough soil and room on the bottom of the pot to allow for new root growth.

  5. Then cover the rest of the roots until you reach the inner lip of the pot and the roots are fully covered. Tap the pot on your workspace to make sure the soil settles around the roots and top with more soil if necessary.

    1. NOTE: Make sure to leave enough space on the top for proper watering.

  6. You are all done!

    1. OUR TIP: We usually like to wait a few days after freshly repotting before watering to avoid root rot.

Happy re-potting!!

Is there anything else you'd like to know that we didn't cover? Leave a comment or a message for us below.
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Nov 08, 2022

Great articl! The biggest take away was to repot during the growing season! 👍

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