Common mistakes to avoid when repotting houseplants

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Houseplants are not only beautiful, but they also serve as natural air purifiers, boost your mood and reduce stress levels. However, to ensure they thrive, it’s important to repot them regularly. Repotting helps give your houseplants more room to grow and replenish nutrients. Unfortunately, many people make common mistakes when repotting their houseplants that can harm or even kill them. Here are some mistakes to avoid when repotting houseplants:

Not choosing the right container size

Choosing the right container size is crucial when repotting your houseplants. If the new container is too small, your plant will continue to be root-bound and won’t grow properly. On the other hand, if the new container is too large, the soil will retain more moisture, leading to overwatering and root rot. Always choose a new container that is one to two inches larger in diameter than the current container.

Using the wrong soil type

Using the wrong soil type can also cause problems when repotting houseplants. Regular garden soil can be too heavy and may not provide enough drainage, leading to root rot. Instead, use a high-quality potting mix that is specifically formulated for indoor plants. These mixes usually contain a blend of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite, which helps with water retention, drainage and nutrient retention.

Not watering properly

Overwatering or underwatering your houseplant after repotting it can lead to plant death. Usually, it’s recommended to water your houseplant a day or two before repotting. After repotting, wait one or two weeks before you water again. This allows the root ball to settle down and avoid damage. Also, make sure the soil is thoroughly moist but not waterlogged, and avoid watering too frequently, which can lead to root rot.

Not treating the roots properly

When repotting your houseplant, gently loosen the roots from the old soil without damaging them. If the roots are tangled, you can use a clean, sharp pair of scissors to cut off any damaged or brown roots. Also, avoid burying the plant too deep in the new soil, as it can suffocate the roots and restrict growth.

Not providing the right amount of light

After repotting, houseplants need a few weeks to adjust to their new environment. During this period, make sure your houseplant gets enough light, but not too much sunlight. Some plants perform well in indirect light, while others, like succulents, need plenty of sunlight to grow.


In summary, repotting houseplants is an essential practice for healthy plant growth but should be done with care. Avoiding these common mistakes will help ensure that your houseplants thrive and continue to bring beauty and natural benefits to your home.


Q: How often should I repot my houseplants?
A: It depends on the plant type and size. Usually, every two to three years or when the roots begin to outgrow the container.

Q: Can I use regular garden soil for repotting?
A: No, regular garden soil is too dense and does not provide enough drainage. Use a high-quality potting mix instead.

Q: Can I repot my houseplant anytime?
A: It’s best to repot your houseplants during their active growing season, which is usually in the spring or summer.

Q: Is it necessary to replace the pot with every repotting?
A: No. If the current pot is in good condition, you can reuse it. However, be sure to clean it thoroughly before repotting.

Remember to be patient when repotting houseplants, and give them time to adjust to their new container and environment. Additionally, always ensure you have all the necessary supplies ready, including a new pot, potting mix, and any tools you may need such as scissors. By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll give your houseplants the best chance to thrive for years to come.


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