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How to Transplant Philodendron

By S. McMullen ; Updated July 21, 2017

With their large, dramatic leaves and climbing habit, philodendrons add a lush, jungle-like feel to interiors when grown as potted plants. As with many tropical plants, philodendrons grow energetically and necessitate frequent transplanting, but they respond well to the process and will quickly recover. When transplanting philodendrons, the most important factor to consider is the size of the new container, since it impacts the speed at which the plant grows. A small increase in container size is best, as most philodendrons prefer slightly cramped conditions, but it must also be large enough to allow the plant to put on new root growth.

Transplant philodendrons in the spring as the plant emerges from its winter dormant period. Wait until daytime temperatures top 70 degrees Fahrenheit before transplanting philodendrons.

Select a new planting container for the philodendron. Choose one with a 2-inch increase in diameter and depth, as well as two to three drainage holes at the bottom.

Remove the philodendron from its original planting container. Tilt the planting container onto its side. Place your hand over the soil at the base of the stems to help guide the plant. Lift the base of the planting container slightly and shake it to release the root ball.

Crumble off as much soil as possible from the roots of the philodendron. Untangle and loosen the roots if they are tightly coiled or matted.

Fill the bottom third of the new planting container with standard potting soil. Place the philodendron on the soil and spread out the roots. Hold the plant upright.

Backfill around the philodendron roots with more potting soil. Shake the planting container as you add the soil to help settle it evenly among the roots. Keep adding soil until it matches the level in the original planter. Gently press the soil firmly around the base of the philodendron.

Pour water into the soil around the philodendron until it trickles out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Withhold further watering until the top inch of soil dries out.

Place the transplanted philodendron back in its original spot, or move it to a location with bright, indirect light and warm temperatures. Watch for new leaf growth in four to six weeks.

 

About the Author

 

Samantha McMullen began writing professionally in 2001. Her nearly 20 years of experience in horticulture informs her work, which has appeared in publications such as Mother Earth News.