how to repot a large philodendron

Repotting Guide: How to Repot a Large Philodendron

Philodendrons are hearty plants that can grow quite large, depending on the species. As they grow, their roots can become cramped and tangled in their pots, which can lead to waterlogging, poor nutrient uptake, and even root rot. Repotting into a larger container gives the roots room to grow and access to fresh soil, which should be rich in organic matter and well-draining to support the plant’s needs.


  • Choose the Right Pot: Select a pot that is 2-3 inches larger in diameter than the current one. Make sure it has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
  • Select Suitable Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix formulated for indoor plants, or create your own mix using one part peat, one part pine bark, and one part coarse sand or perlite.
  • Gather Tools: You’ll need a trowel, gloves, scissors or pruning shears, and perhaps a friend to help you with the heavy lifting if the plant is particularly large.

Steps to Repot a Large Philodendron

  1. Water the Plant: Water your Philodendron a day before repotting to ensure the soil is moist, making it easier to remove the plant from its pot.
  2. Prepare the New Pot: Place a layer of pebbles or broken pottery pieces at the bottom of the new pot to improve drainage. Add a layer of fresh potting mix.
  3. Remove the Plant: Gently tilt the current pot and tap the edges to loosen the soil. Pull the plant out by the base of the stem, being careful not to damage the roots.
  4. Inspect and Trim the Roots: Look for any signs of disease or rot and trim as necessary. If the roots are extremely tangled, you may need to carefully untangle them or make vertical cuts to encourage new growth.
  5. Position the Plant: Place your Philodendron in the new pot and fill around it with fresh potting mix. The plant should be at the same depth as it was in its previous pot.
  6. Water Thoroughly: After repotting, water the plant well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged in the following weeks to help the plant adjust.
  7. Aftercare: Place the plant in indirect light and avoid fertilizing for about a month to allow it to settle. Monitor the soil moisture closely and adjust as needed.

Tips for Success

  • Timing: The best time to repot is in the spring or early summer when Philodendrons are entering their active growth phase.
  • Watering: After repotting, it’s crucial to find the right balance with watering. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Support: For climbing Philodendrons, consider installing a moss pole or trellis in the new pot to support their growth.

Why Do I Need to Repot My Philodendron?

Repotting a philodendron is necessary because as the plant grows, it requires more nutrients and water. When the roots become root bound, the plant’s growth is restricted, and it may start wilting.

Repotting allows for healthier root growth and prevents roots from clumping together. Additionally, repotting refreshes the growing medium and promotes the development of new foliage. It is important to repot philodendrons to ensure their overall health and vitality.

Repotting a large philodendron provides numerous benefits for the plant’s well-being. As the plant grows, it requires a larger pot to accommodate its expanding root system. When the roots become overcrowded in the current pot, they can get tangled, impacting the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and water efficiently. By repotting the philodendron, you create ample space for the roots to spread out and establish a healthier root system. This encourages optimal nutrient uptake and ensures the plant has access to sufficient water.

Moreover, repotting a philodendron refreshes the growing medium. Over time, the soil in the current pot can become depleted of nutrients, impacting the plant’s overall health and growth. By repotting, you introduce fresh potting soil that supplies the plant with essential nutrients. This revitalizes the philodendron, promoting robust foliage growth and ensuring it thrives in its new environment.

In addition, repotting allows you to assess the condition of the plant’s roots. During repotting, you can examine the roots for any signs of damage, decay, or pests. This early detection helps prevent potential issues and allows you to address any problems promptly. Overall, repotting a big philodendron not only supports its health and vitality but also helps you maintain a visually appealing and thriving houseplant.

When Should I Repot My Philodendron?

The timing of repotting your philodendron depends on its growth rate. Generally, philodendrons should be repotted every 2-3 years or when you notice roots growing out of the pot and slower growth. Signs of a philodendron outgrowing its pot include root growth out of the drainage holes and wilting. Early summer is the ideal time for repotting as the plant is actively growing and can recover faster from transplant shock in favorable conditions.

If you’re unsure whether your philodendron needs repotting, there are a few simple steps you can follow to assess its current state:

  1. Check for root growth: Carefully remove the plant from the pot and examine the roots. If you see a dense mass of roots circling around the edges of the root ball, it’s a clear indication that repotting is needed.
  2. Look for slower growth: If your philodendron is growing at a significantly slower rate or producing smaller leaves than before, it might be time to consider repotting. A lack of growth can be a sign that the roots are running out of space in the current pot.
  3. Observe root growth out of drainage holes: If you notice roots protruding from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot, it’s a strong indication that the plant needs more room to grow. Repotting in a larger container will provide the roots with the space they need to continue growing.
  4. Watch for wilting: Wilting leaves and drooping stems can be signs that the philodendron is becoming root bound and struggling to access enough water and nutrients. Repotting can help revive the plant and restore its health.

By closely monitoring these factors and observing the overall health and growth of your philodendron, you can determine the right time to repot and ensure the long-term well-being of your plant.

steps for repotting a large philodendron

How to Repot a Philodendron

Repotting a philodendron requires careful preparation and the right tools. Before repotting, make sure to wear gloves as philodendrons are mildly toxic. Here are the steps to successfully repot your philodendron:

  1. Choose a new pot: Select a pot that is 2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot. Ensure that the new pot has drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating and causing root rot.
  2. Prepare your tools: Gather the necessary tools, including thick gardening gloves, a new pot, potting soil, water, and a sharp knife or pruning shears.
  3. Water the plant: The day before repotting, give your philodendron a thorough watering. This will help loosen the soil and make it easier to remove the plant from its current pot.
  4. Remove the plant from the old pot: Gently tilt the old pot and slide the philodendron out. If the plant is root-bound, you may need to tap the sides of the pot or use a knife to loosen the root ball.
  5. Tease out some roots: Once the plant is out of the pot, gently tease out some of the roots. This will encourage new root growth and prevent them from growing in a circular pattern.
  6. Place the plant in the new pot: Position the philodendron in the center of the new pot and add fresh potting soil around it. Ensure that the top of the root ball is level with or slightly below the rim of the pot.
  7. Water the soil: After repotting, thoroughly water the soil to help settle it and remove any air pockets. This will also help the plant adjust to its new environment.

Follow these steps for a successful repotting process, ensuring the health and vitality of your philodendron.

steps for repotting a large philodendron

Tips for Repotting a Philodendron

When repotting a philodendron, it is important to follow some tips for a successful transition.

  1. Leach excess salt from the plant’s soil: Before repotting, give your philodendron a deep watering to flush out any built-up salts that may have accumulated over time. This will help maintain a healthy root environment and prevent salt damage to the plant.
  2. Choose the right-sized pot: Select a pot that is approximately 2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot to allow for proper root growth. Ensure that the pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot.
  3. Select a well-draining growing mix: Use a well-draining soil mix consisting of potting soil, peat moss or coconut coir, and perlite. This blend helps to prevent excessive moisture retention and ensures good aeration for the roots.
  4. Trim the roots if root-bound: If your philodendron’s root system is tightly packed and circling around the pot, gently make vertical cuts in the root ball using a sharp knife or pruning shears. This will encourage new root growth and prevent the roots from becoming constricted.
  5. Remove dead leaves and aerial roots: Before repotting, remove any dead or yellowing leaves to maintain the plant’s overall health. Additionally, trim off any unsightly aerial roots that may be hanging out of the pot.
  6. Water and acclimate the plant: After repotting, water the philodendron thoroughly to settle the soil and help the plant adjust to its new pot. Gradually introduce it to its new environment by placing it in a shaded area and gradually increasing its exposure to sunlight.

tips for repotting philodendron

Following these tips will ensure a smooth repotting process for your philodendron, promoting healthy growth and overall plant well-being.

Benefits of Repotting a Philodendron

Repotting a philodendron is a simple yet important task that offers numerous benefits for your plant’s health and overall well-being. By repotting your philodendron regularly, you can ensure that it continues to thrive and beautify your living space.

One of the key advantages of repotting is that it prevents your philodendron from becoming root bound. Over time, as the plant grows, its roots can become cramped and constrained within its existing pot. Repotting provides the much-needed space for the roots to stretch out and grow, enabling healthier root development and improved overall plant vitality.

Additionally, repotting refreshes the growing medium that your philodendron is rooted in. This process gives the plant access to fresh nutrients and allows you to remove any depleted or compacted soil. By providing your philodendron with a nutrient-rich environment, you stimulate new foliage growth and support its long-term health.

Furthermore, repotting presents an opportunity to divide a crowded philodendron into smaller plants. If your philodendron has become overcrowded or is producing multiple stems, repotting allows you to separate and create new individual plants. This not only encourages separate growth and expansion but also gives you the chance to propagate your philodendron and share it with others.

In conclusion, repotting your philodendron offers several benefits that contribute to its overall well-being. By preventing root binding, refreshing the growing medium, and providing an opportunity for division, repotting supports healthy growth, enhances beauty, and ensures the long-term health of your philodendron as a delightful houseplant.

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