How to Repot a Philodendron – Beginners Guide
Repotting a Philodendron may seem intimidating, especially for new plant owners 😱.
But it’s a crucial process in ensuring their health and longevity and a skill every plant parent should have in their gardening tool belt.
In this guide, we’ve set out a simple step-by-step process on how to repot your philodendron to help you overcome any initial doubts. By the end, we’re confident you can repot any plant with your eyes closed!
DISCLAIMER – we do not recommend repotting your plants with your eyes closed!
- Repotting a Philodendron promotes health and growth and prevents root rot.
- Choosing the right soil and pot size and recognizing when it’s time to repot is essential for success.
- Proper aftercare for a repotted Philodendron ensures continued growth and vitality.
So grab a coffee, put on your gardening gloves, and let’s get our hands dirty!
Steps for Repotting a Philodendron
If you prefer watching tutorials, check out our video on YouTube below
1. Remove Plant from Pot
Firstly, let’s give your philodendron a bit of water.
You don’t need to drench it – just enough to moisten the soil. This makes everything much easier when we get to the actual repotting part!
Next up, gently hold your plant near the base, where it meets the soil. Tilt the pot sideways.
Now comes the fun part! Start tapping on the outside of the pot. If your pot is plastic, you can give it a gentle squeeze. This helps loosen the soil and makes it easier for your plant to slide out without hurting its roots.
With one hand supporting the base of the plant and the other on the pot, gently pull them apart. If the plant doesn’t budge at first, don’t panic! Simply continue lightly tapping and applying a gentle tugging motion until you feel it begin to loosen. It is also worth checking the drainage holes to see if any roots hold the root ball back.
2. Inspect Root Ball
So, we’ve got our plant out of the pot, and it’s time for a little health check. Let’s turn our attention to the ‘root ball.’
Healthy roots usually look white or light tan – think inside of an apple. They should also feel firm, like undercooked spaghetti!
If you see darker, mushy roots, those could be signs of ‘philodendron root rot.’ But don’t worry – we have a troubleshooting guide for that HERE.
3. Clean up Your Philodendron
Okay, with the plant out of its pot and the roots checked, let’s proceed. They will need to go if you see any yellow or dead-looking leaves.
We recommend using garden scissors that have been sterilized with rubbing alcohol.
A gentle touch is key here; treat it as if handling something very delicate.
4. Set Your Pot Up
When choosing a new pot for our philodendron, it’s important to pick one that’s just one size larger (1-2 inches) than the previous pot.
Philodendrons don’t particularly like to live in crowded conditions. But if you choose too large a pot, you will have difficulty achieving a good water balance, which can increase the risk of overwatering your plant baby.
Drainage is also another important consideration. Ensure your philodendron’s new home has plenty of drainage holes for excess water to escape.
5. Prepare Potting Mix
Now for the fresh potting mix.
The qualities that we are after for the ideal philodendron soil mix include:
- a well-draining mixture
- that is full of nutrients from organic material (like compost), and
- has plenty of aeration.
We look closer at the best soil type for philodendrons later in this guide so we won’t double up here.
It is important in caring for your philodendron, so we encourage you to read more about it HERE.
When potting, fill about a third of the new pot with this mix.
6. Insert The Plant and Cover it With Potting Mix
Now it’s time to introduce your plant baby to its new home.
First, gently lower the root ball into its new pot. The depth is important here – you’ll want it to sit comfortably, not too near the surface or too deep.
Backfill the remaining space with more potting mix and gently pat down the soil to secure your philodendron in place.
The entire root ball should be covered with soil. We recommend leaving about half an inch of space below the pot’s rim. This space is important because it means when you water your plant, there’ll be a little reservoir to prevent overflow.
7. Water Repotted Plant
The last step in repotting our philodendron is to water it well.
Water the plant slowly, allowing the water to saturate the soil without overflowing the pot and displacing any top soil.
Once you see water flowing out of the drainage holes, we know our plant is well-watered, and the repotting process is complete.
Reasons to Repot Philodendrons
We mentioned earlier that repotting your philodendrons on a regular basis is important to their health and longevity. But why is that exactly?
As part of our mission to help you grow into a competent plant parent, we think it is important for you to understand the purpose of activities, such as repotting your plants.
So here’s a quick rundown on the benefits of repotting philodendrons:
- It’s all about Space: As your plant grows bigger, it needs more room to spread its roots. Repotting in a larger container ensures your philodendron has the space it craves to keep growing beautifully.
- Refresh the Soil: Much like we enjoy a refreshing drink, your philodendron appreciates fresh soil! Over time, nutrients are used up. By repotting, you’re providing new soil chock-full of those important nutrients your plant needs.
- Spot Health Issues Early: If your philodendron isn’t as pretty as usual, repotting provides an excellent chance to do a ‘health check.’ You can inspect the roots and soil for signs of pests or diseases and catch them before they get out of hand.
- Regular Care Routine: Just like we schedule regular visits to the doctor or dentist, remember that your philodendron also benefits from routine care. Depending on its growth rate and variety, aim to repot every two to three years for optimal health.
Remember – by taking good care of your plants, you’re nurturing their growth and creating a calming and beautiful environment around you. Stay fantastic at being a plant parent!
What Soil is Best for Philodendron Plants?
In step 5 of the repotting process, we touched on the ideal properties of philodendron potting soil.
In this section, we will look closer at the ideal soil for philodendrons and why particular properties are critical in ensuring the root mass stays healthy and strong.
Key Properties for the Best Phildendron Potting Mix
When cultivating a healthy indoor Philodendron, the choice of soil mix plays an indispensable role. Key properties that define an ideal soil environment for your plant are as follows:
- Well-draining: The soil should allow water to pass through it quickly. This will prevent overwatering and root rot.
- Retains moisture: While the soil needs to be well-draining, it should also retain some moisture. Philodendrons prefer slightly moist (but not wet) conditions.
- Nutrient-rich: Philodendrons need a good amount of nutrients for healthy growth. Ingredients like compost can add necessary nutrients to the mix.
- Light and airy texture: A light and airy structure helps the plant’s roots to grow freely and allows air to reach them, contributing to their overall health.
- Neutral pH level: Philodendrons prefer a fairly neutral soil pH. A pH level between 6.0 and 7.0 works best for these plants.
Remember, a good soil mix can make a difference in your plant’s health and growth!
Signs Your Philodendron Should Be Repotted
By now, you know about the benefits of regularly repotting your philodendron.
However, there are other signs, such as root rot, when it is necessary to repot your philodendron to prevent your plant from becoming sick or even dying.
Here are a few signs to watch for next time you are doing the watering rounds:
- The roots are coming out of the drainage holes
- Yellowing leaves
- A droopy plant
- Loss of foliage
Aftercare For a Repotted Philodendron
Let’s now turn our attention to the aftercare of your philodendron that has just endured the repotting process.
The first thing to remember is that it might take a little while for your plant baby to adjust to its new home.
Try placing your plant in a spot where it can get plenty of light but not direct sunlight. Also, try to keep the room nice and warm. Somewhere between 65 – 75º Fahrenheit is perfect.
Now onto watering. It’s best to wait a day or two after repotting before giving your plant some water again. This helps it settle into its new pot.
Garden Bench Top Tip
The trick with watering is not doing too much or too little – like Goldilocks’ porridge! So when the top inch of soil feels dry when you touch it, that’s the time to water.
For food (aka fertilizer), try using a balanced liquid fertilizer once every month during spring and summer – this means an equal amount of nitrogen (for leaf growth), phosphorous (for root and flower development), and potassium (for overall health). But don’t overdo it – dilute the fertilizer with water using half as much as they recommend on the packet.
Lastly, don’t forget to trim and maintain your plant baby. If you see any leaves turning yellow or looking sad, don’t hesitate to trim them off. This helps your Philodendron stay healthy and look its best. And do watch for any bugs or signs of disease that could harm your new friend.
Don’t worry about remembering everything simultaneously; caring for plants comes with practice! Before long, you and your Philodendron will flourish together in your indoor garden!
Frequently Asked Questions for How to Repot a Philodendron
What Time of the Year Should I Repot?
Ideally, we want to repot during late spring or early summer. Our philodendron will be actively growing during these warmer months, which means it can handle stress better, avoid transplant shock, and bounce back more easily.
How Often Do You Need to Repot Philodendron Plants?
It’s recommended to repot your Philodendron every 2-3 years. However, don’t worry. It’s not a strict rule. Your plant will give you signs when it’s time for a new home, which we identified earlier. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with these signs to improve your plant parent skills.
Why Does Philodendron Stop Growing After Repotting?
Repotting your Philodendron is like moving it to a new house; it takes time for the plant to adjust, which might seem like stopped growth. This adjustment period allows the plant to focus on healing any potential root damage from repotting. The new soil and the stress of change can also contribute to this temporary halt in growth. But don’t worry, keep showering your plant with love (and proper care), and you’ll soon see fresh green leaves again!