How to Repot Flowers


Healthy houseplants and flowers will continue to grow as long as you feed and water them. Eventually, though, depending on how fast the plant grows, they need to be repotted. Some of the signs that your flower needs repotting are roots growing out of the bottom of the flower pot, water running right out of the bottom as soon as you water the plant, and a plant wilting even though you have just watered it. Repotting gives plants a fresh start on new growth.

Step 1

Remove your flower from its current pot. If the plant is very rootbound, it may be difficult to remove it at first. Try gently tapping the sides of the pot before attempting to slip the root ball out. If the pot is plastic and very stuck, use shears to cut the side of the pot to remove the plant.

Step 2

Inspect the root ball. If your flower is very rootbound, you will see almost nothing except a webbing of roots wrapped around the soil from the previous pot. If this is so, try to break up the root and soil ball just a little bit. Don't break any of the roots, but try to get some air in between some of them and loosen them up.

Step 3

Use a pot about 3 inches bigger than the old one. Place a piece of screening or broken bit of flower pot at the bottom of your new pot. This will prevent the potting soil from falling out the hole in the bottom. Add potting soil to the new pot until, when the flower is placed in the pot, the top of the root ball is about 1 inch below the top of the pot.

Step 4

Place the flower plant in the center of the pot. Continue to add potting soil to the pot, firming the soil around the roots and root ball. Add soil until it reaches the level that the plant was planted at in the old pot.

Step 5

Water the plant with soluble fertilizer. Allow the soil to settle for 2-3 minutes, to see if any air pockets settle out of the dirt. If there is a noticeable depression in the soil, add more potting soil on top to level out the surface and then water again.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant to repot
  • Larger plant pot
  • Screen or broken pot piece
  • Potting soil
  • Trowel or spoon
  • Shears
  • Fertilizer


  • National Gardening Association: Skillful Repotting
  • Organic Gardening: Organic Houseplant Care
  • The Garden Helper: How to Grow Plants and Flowers in Containers
Keywords: how to repot flowers, flower needs repotting, plant is rootbound

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. Her degree in public law and government began a lifetime love of research, and has served her writing well. Baley has written articles for, and hundreds of articles for