A plant that is starving for space will have roots growing out of the drainage hole of its pot and a frequent need for water. New seedlings and established plants will thrive when transplanted into a new pot with nutrient-filled potting soil. Root-bound, unstable or overgrown plants that are twice as high as the current container should be transplanted. Sterile soil, more room to grow, and a sturdy clean pot gives a boost to any plant that has stopped growing and producing blossoms or healthy new shoots.
Choose a new or sterilized pot that is 1 to 2 inches larger than the current container. The plant height also determines the proper diameter of the pot. A 12-inch plant needs a 6-inch diameter potting container for a healthy root system. Select a pot that will set on to a surface or one that will hold a hanging plant.
Place a 1-inch layer of sterile stones or broken terracotta pots on the bottom of the new container that has no drainage holes. Cover the holes in a built-in drainage pot with a broken shard of clay or terracotta.
Scoop clean, sterile soil into the pot with a trowel until the pot is nearly half full.
Remove the plant from the current container carefully. Hold the stem near the base of the plant and tap the pot to release the soil and plant from the existing pot. Remove soil from the bottom of the plant if there is a mass or ball of overgrown roots.
Set the plant down into the center of the pot on top of the soil. Trowel soil into the pot at the sides of the plant to cover the roots.
Add more soil until the level reaches the top of the root system of the plant.