How to repot a Philodendron house plant
A key part of plant care is making sure that you give them enough room to grow. This is even more important when it comes to fast growing plants like the Philodendron. In this guide we will take you through everything you need to know about how to repot a philodendron to keep it happy and healthy.
Why do I need to repot my Philodendron?
As a Philodendron grows, it will need more nutrients and water to keep it alive. As the leaves and stems grow, the roots do too, and eventually the plant will become root bound, which means that the roots will grow round and clump together in a circular pattern at the bottom of the pot.
A root bound Philodendron will eventually stop growing, and may begin to wilt, you may also see roots growing out of the bottom of the pot. To stop a Philodendron from becoming root bound or to save a plant that has begun to be root bound is to transfer it to a new, bigger pot.
Repotting your Philodendron will also refresh the growing medium by introducing new, nutritious soil to your plant that will give it a boost and produce a lot of fantastic new foliage.
When should I repot my Philodendron?
This will depend on how quickly your Philodendron is growing.
You should repot your Philodendron when you see roots begin to grow out of the pot and when you notice it is beginning to grow slower or wilt. Usually your Philodendron will outgrow its pot every 2-3 years.
Ideally you should repot your Philodendron in early summer when conditions are right to help it grow further, transplanting shock is something all plants will go through and it will recover faster in conditions it likes.
How to repot a Philodendron
Before you repot your Philodendron, remember that the plant is mildly toxic, therefore you must always wear gloves when handling your plant.
Choose the right pot
You want to pick a new pot that is 2 inches bigger (in diameter) than your current pot. You can choose a larger pot if you would like to, but it can cause problems with judging when you need to water your Philodendron. Make sure that the new container has drainage holes at the bottom so that excess water will drain away.
Prepare your tools
Repotting a Philodendron is not as simple as just pulling your plant from it’s old pot and putting it in a new one, and doing so may result in your plant dying from shock. You need to transplant the plant carefully, and to do so you need the correct tools. Before you start, make sure you have:
- Thick gardening gloves
- New pot
- Potting soil
- Sharp knife or pruning shears
Step 1 - Prepare your Philodendron for repotting
To get your plant ready for repotting you should water it well the day before. This not only makes it easier to remove from the pot, but also reduces the stress on your plant.
Step 2 - Remove from the old pot
Slowly loosen the soil around the edge of the pot with your knife or shears, then slowly remove the plant from the pot. Make sure you don’t pull too hard as you may tear the roots.
When you have removed the plant, check the roots and remove any soft or diseased roots. The roots will likely be tightly packed, and if put into the new pot like this they will not grow. Make four top-to-bottom incisions in the root ball and slowly tease some roots loose. This will encourage new, healthier growth once repotted.
Step 3 - Transplant your Philodendron
Once your Philodendron is prepared, you can go ahead and put it in the new pot. First, add about an inch of the new potting medium to the pot. Place your Philodendron into the pot and begin to surround it with the new potting medium, pressing it down firmly to remove any air pockets.
Step 4 - Water the soil
To help your plant get used to its new home you should water it immediately after transplanting, this will lessen the effect of transplant shock on your plant and help it establish new roots in the new soil.
If you're looking for the perfect soil mix when repotting your Philodendron, take a look at our potting mix.