How To Repot A Philodendron

How To Repot A Philodendron

Philodendrons are popular indoor plants that can also be kept outdoors in a shady area. These houseplants come in two main types: the vining and the non-climbing varieties. Vining philodendrons, such as the heartleaf philodendron, need supporting structures to climb on, while non-climbing varieties, such as lacy tree philodendrons, stand upright. Like all plants, your philodendron will need to be repotted periodically. This article will help you understand how to report a philodendron properly, as well as some other information about caring for this plant. 

How to repot a philodendron

A day before you plan to repot your plant, water it thoroughly. This will minimize the stress experienced by the plant and make the process easier.  Choose a new pot that is at least one to two inches larger than the current pot, and ensure that it has drainage holes. 

Next, cut back the philodendron to the desired length with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors. For plants that have stunted growth, prune to a height of four inches. Healthy plants do not require pruning before repotting. 

Put an inch of high-quality, well-drained potting soil at the bottom of the new pot. 

Remove the plant from the old pot using one hand to cradle the soil and root ball, and the other hand to slide off the container. Hold the plant upside down and tap the edge of the pot against a hard surface so that the root mass will slide out. 

Check the roots for any discoloration or disease. Healthy roots are pliable, and are a light tan or white color. Cut off any brittle or mushy roots and discard them properly. 

Make a few vertical cuts from top to bottom around the perimeter of the root ball if the plant is root-bound, as this will encourage new root growth. 

Shake the excess soil gently from the plant’s roots and place the root mass in the prepared pot. 

Fill the new pot one-half to three-quarters with fresh soil. Ideally, the soil you should use should be a mixture of one part peat moss, one part potting soil and one part perlite. Commercial potting soil is too dense for potted plants and compacts quickly when watered. 

Finally, water the plant thoroughly until excess water flows out from the bottom of the pot. 

Your plants are less likely to become root-bound if you repot them when necessary. Although they can tolerate being rootbound, it is not ideal for their overall well-being. Symptoms of a root-bound plant include yellow or brown leaves; it will also wilt faster than usual after watering. Repotting the plants regularly facilitates healthy new growth. 

When should you repot your philodendron?

Repot philodendrons during early spring, when they are coming out of dormancy. If you see roots coming out from the bottom of the container, you need to repot your plant. Also, if the plant needs to be watered more often than usual, it is an indication that it is root-bound and ready to be transferred to a larger pot. 

What type of soil do philodendrons prefer?

Philodendrons prefer loose, well-draining soil. The ideal potting soil for these plants is a mix of peat moss, perlite and soil. Peat moss holds moisture and releases it gradually to the roots. It also holds nutrients in the soil instead of them being washed away during watering. 

Meanwhile, perlite improves aeration and provides drainage. Ideally, use one part perlite, one part peat moss and one part potting soil for your plants.

Philodendron plant care

Philodendrons thrive in areas with bright, indirect sunlight. Choose a spot for your plants where the sun’s rays do not directly hit their foliage. If your plants have several leaves that are turning yellow, it could be an indication that they are exposed to too much light. Inversely, they are getting too little light if their stems are long and leggy with several inches between the leaves. 

Allow the top inch of the plants’ soil to dry out between waterings. Insert your finger into the soil to check the moisture level. The plants may be over- or underwatered if they have droopy leaves, but once you have corrected their watering schedule, they should recover quickly. 

Feed your plants with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer that contains macronutrients. Do this monthly during spring and summer, and every six to eight weeks in the fall and winter. If you notice that the leaves are small and the plants are growing slowly, it may be an indication that your plants are not getting enough fertilizer. 


Philodendrons are popular houseplants that originated from tropical America. These plants can be either vining or non-climbing varieties, and thrive in areas where they can get bright, indirect sunlight. They will need periodic repotting, like most plants.

To repot your philodendron, water it thoroughly a day before transferring it to its new container. This will reduce the stress of repotting. Prune the plant to the desired length and trim away any damaged roots. Use well-draining soil for your plant and water it thoroughly in its new pot, until water flows out of the drainage holes. 

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