Know how do you care for succulents? is one thing, but knowing how to repot succulents is quite another. If you’re a fan of these sweet little houseplants, you already know that while they’re durable, they need some TLC. This is especially true if they have grown too big for their pot, or if the soil has changed a few years ago.
It may sound like an intimidating task, but taking the time to do it is essential to keep your succulents healthy and thriving. It won’t take long and the results will be worth it. Don’t worry if it’s your first time. We’ll explain exactly what to do, with tips and tricks to get you started. Here’s how to repot succulents.
How to repot succulents?
What you need
A larger plant pot
Gardening gloves (optional)
It’s worth noting that before repotting your succulent you should have the plant semi-hydrated, so it’s a good idea to water it a few days ahead of time. You should also trim off dead leaves before repotting.
1. First of all you have to prepare your succulent’s new home† Find a pot that is slightly larger than the current one. You will need one that is about 20% larger in both width and height. Terracotta pots with drainage holes are generally a good option, such as this 6 Inch Clay Pot ($27.99, Amazon (opens in new tab)†
2. Place a small stone over the hole at the bottom of the new pot – this will help with drainage. You can also use clay shards from broken pots to cover it.
3. utilities, fill the new pot about ¾ full with the succulent soil. It is important that you do not use regular compost as it is too dense and does not drain quickly enough. Special cactus soils also exist, so make sure to choose the soil that best suits your succulent.
4. The next step is to remove your succulent plant from its current pot. You may want to put down some newspaper or do this outside as it can get messy. First look at the bottom of the pot to see if roots have grown through. If so, you need to free them from their grasp, but do so carefully.
utilities, tilt the planter on its side, grab the succulent at the base (use gloves if handling a cactus) and move it back and forth to see if it comes loose. You may need to tap the bottom of the jar a few times to provide some encouragement. Be gentle, but consistent until it comes off. If your succulent absolutely refuses to come loose, you can always break the old pot with a hammer. This is better for your succulent’s roots, but you’ll be sacrificing a pot.
5. Now that your succulent is out of the pot, some soil may have mixed in with the roots. Try to brush this off as much as possible. You can ‘tickle’ the roots to help separate the old ground. If the roots look tangled and tied up, try to loosen them, but do this very gently. You can also prune the roots back at this stage if they have grown too long.
6. utilities place your succulent plant carefully on the ground in the new jar. Depending on the height, you may want to dig a shallow hole for it. While using one hand to hold it upright, fill the planter with more soil mix until the roots are completely covered.
However, make sure that the soil does not touch the leaves, as this can cause them to rot. Also, don’t fill to the rim of the pot with soil mixture – this will only make a mess if you try to water your succulent!
7. Gently press the ground to compress it.
There you have it, your succulent has a new home for it to grow in. As a rule of thumb, wait a week before watering again.
When should you repot succulents?
You should always repot just before your succulent’s growing season, which is usually early spring or fall – check your succulent type to make sure. Avoid repotting during the summer or winter months as your succulent will be dormant, in which case you could be doing more harm than good.
Signs your succulent plant could be doing from repotting include:
- It’s getting too big for its pot – Roots will grow out of the drainage holes when it exceeds the available space.
- It’s a new succulent – If you just bought a succulent home, it may come in a temporary plastic pot. It needs a more permanent home, so you should repot it within a week or two.
- It’s been a few years – If it’s been about two years since you last changed the soil, your succulent can use a fresh batch.
- The plant looks unhealthy – Your succulent may have seen better days, in which case repotting can help revitalize it.
- Your succulent has grown – Some succulents will also have offsets that can be cut away from the base and then repotted to grow a whole new plant.
- You need to water it more often – If you’ve noticed that the water is draining much faster than it used to, fresh soil is needed.
For more planting tips, tricks and how-tos, check out our guides on hydrangeas pruning, orchid care and 5 things to get your garden ready for spring.