Pothos are some of the most popular and common houseplants among beginners and plant experts alike. Not only are they attractive, fast-growing, and easy to care for, their long vines can make any space instantly feel like an indoor jungle. Like all houseplants, repotting is an important part of properly caring for pothos, and since these plants grow relatively quickly, they should be repotted regularly. That being said, pothos are also pretty hardy so don’t panic if it's been a while since your plant was last repotted. Fortunately, repotting pothos plants is pretty straightforward and can be done in just a few steps.
When to Repot Pothos
On average, most pothos plants should be repotted every 1 to 2 years. Roots growing from the pot’s drainage holes and circling the bottom of the pot are signs that your pothos is ready for repotting. If it is not obvious from the outside, you can always gently pull the plant out of its pot to check the state of its roots.
Spring and summer are the best months to repot a pothos. Avoid repotting during the fall and winter as pothos go dormant in these months and are more likely to go into shock after repotting.
Before Getting Started
Before getting started, it is important to choose the right pot and potting soil for your pothos. While these tropical plants are hardy, they do have preferences when it comes to their potting situation so having the right tools and supplies is important.
Pothos prefer a potting mix that is rich and loose, and retains some moisture but is also well-draining. For that reason, a loamy potting mixture that is amended with perlite or sand is ideal. These two ingredients can be found at most nurseries and garden centers, or you can order them online. Simply combine one part potting soil with one part sand or perlite. If you'd like to take it a step further, you can also add some orchid bark mix to the potting mixture which will provide additional nutrients and drainage.
It is also important to choose the right pot for your plant. The most important part about the pot is that it provides adequate drainage. This means that it has drainage holes at the bottom where excess water can drain. Drainage holes help to prevent overwatering and root rot and are important for all container plants. When it comes to the pot's material, plastic or terracotta are the most common options and either are fine for these plants. Just keep in mind that if you choose terracotta you will likely be watering your plant more frequently than if you choose plastic because terracotta soaks up excess moisture in the soil. If you are prone to overwatering, terracotta may be a great choice for you, but if you tend to forget about watering your plants you may want to stick to plastic to avoid underwatering.
- Plastic or terracotta pot
- Well-draining potting soil
Remove the Pothos From Its Pot
Remove the pothos from its potting container, being careful not to break any roots. If the plant is rootbound and difficult to get out, try squeezing the sides of the pot while you gently pull on the base of the stems.
Remove Excess Soil and Loosen the Roots
Using your hands, carefully remove any excess soil from around the root ball. If the plant's roots are tightly wound up, try gently loosening the roots before moving it to its new pot. This will help the roots to expand into the new space rather than continue to grow in the root ball.
Transfer the Pothos to Its New Pot
Add some fresh potting soil to the bottom of the new pot and plant the pothos. Fill in excess space around the root ball with soil. You can use your hands for this, or try using a spoon to get soil into tight spaces.
Water the freshly repotted pothos generously until water streams from the pot's drainage holes. Then, return the plant to its original location to minimize the chance of it going into shock.
Pothos are hardy houseplants and usually recover easily from repotting. However, if you notice your plant is developing a few yellow leaves in the weeks after it’s been repotted—don’t panic! It is likely the plant is just getting acclimated to its new space. As long as you continue its care as usual it should recover quickly and be back to its normal low-maintenance self in no time.