to repot or not?

Plant Moderator
5 min reading

Knowing what to look for in a planter takes all the guesswork out. And guess what, we’re here to help.  

getting started

Getting your hands dirty isn’t just fun, it’s good for your plant. Repotting your plant also gives it fresh potting mix to grow in. Your plant will be able to sustain its current size, but it will also be able to get larger. Repotting doesn’t always mean bigger pots. It could mean changing out old potting mix that’s depleted of nutrients. Eventually, your plant will need a larger pot when it outgrows its current one.

go big or go small

When we talk about plants, we often refer to them in size or inches. This doesn’t refer to the plant at all, but to the diameter of the pot that it is planted in. Let us explain, a 4” plant refers to a plant growing in a 4” diameter pot, regardless of the size of the plant — it comes in a 4” tall x 4” wide pot. We use these terms of measurement to accommodate diversity in height and types of plants. A cactus that fits into a 4” pot may be 1” or 1 ft. tall. When choosing a pot, choose a pot that is 1-2” larger than the current size if the plant is currently in a 10” pot or smaller. If your current pot size is >10”, choose a pot that is 2-3” larger in diameter. Who thought there was so much math involved in houseplants. 

to drain or not to drain 

It is recommended selecting planters and pots with drainage, especially if you are new to watering plants. It’s totally possible to make planters without drainage work with a little finesse! A good tip to remember is to pour no more than 1/3 of the container’s size in water. Lining the bottom of a planter with lava rocks or similar to create crevices for excess water to drain into is a great way to avoid root rot.  

materials that matter

Some things to remember when choosing a planter. Most stores carry terracotta, wood or plastic planters. Our advice is to go porous. Porous ceramics like terracotta dry more evenly than plastic pots, and any wood planter will dry even faster than terracotta. Ceramic planters also are great choices. And if you’re worried about weight, fiberglass planters are ideal for plants 8″ or larger in diameter. Experiment with a few different materials. Horticulture is one part art and one part science.


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