How to Repot a Philodendron?

If you have done almost everything to restore the beauty of your Philodendron, and nothing seems to work, I have got your back.

Your Philodendrons need a good repot. And, if you don’t know the how’s an why’s, read along!

Carefully remove the Philodendron from the pot by twisting the sides of the pot. Fill in a slightly larger pot with fresh potting mix and plant the Philodendron. Pat down the plant and pour the appropriate amount of water. Place it in a shady spot.

Philodendron in a pot (Source: Bloomscape)

Well, if you are looking forward to giving your Philodendron a fresh start, below, you will find the step-by-step instruction on how to repot your good-old Philodendron baby.

Furthermore, do not miss out on the tips and tricks to a successful repot!

Reasons to Repot Philodendron

Technically speaking, one does not need a specific reason to repot their Philodendron. I mean, who doesn’t love an ample living space.

After all, like humans, roots are living creatures too!

Nevertheless, the followings are good enough reasons for you to think about repotting your beautiful Philodendron.

1. Plant Multiplication

Given the popularity and aesthetic looks of Philodendron, I am sure every plant lover would want to multiply them for their living spaces.

And, are there any other efficient ways to multiply your plants other than repotting them into tiny containers?

2. Mineral Loss

It is time to change the soil if you are not much into using fertilizers or your Philodendron has lived in the same soil medium for over a year or two.

It is very natural for the soil to be depleted of natural minerals over time. Let’s not malnourish our Philodendron.

3. Excessive Root Binding

Root binding is not very healthy for plants in terms of their overall development. It causes damage and decay to the root system, affecting the health of your gorgeous Philodendron.

And, we don’t want any bacterial or fungal infection on the roots, do we?

When Should I Repot Philodendron

A Potted Philodendron Verrucosum
A Potted Philodendron Verrucosum (Source: Unsplash)

Early spring is the best time to go ahead and repot your Philodendron. However, you can repot them in late spring as well.

As the Philodendron plant emerges out of deep winter dormancy, they are all set to develop new leaves and roots.

Furthermore, the roots will have enough time to establish themselves in the new medium and produce healthy fresh growths.

You can also repot your Philodendron if you see that the tiny roots are beginning to seep out the drainage holes.

When the plant is excessively root bound, the roots look for more space to spread.

Another good time to repot your Philodendron is when you see that the roots immediately absorb the water. Also, you will see that a few roots might be creeping out of the topsoil.

Nevertheless, make sure to repot them only during the growing seasons.

Strictly avoid repotting any plants, including Philodendron, in the winter and summer seasons.

How Often Do You Need to Repot Philodendron Plants

A Healthy Philodendron Squamiferum.
A Healthy Philodendron Squamiferum (Source: Unsplash)

In normal circumstances, you should be repotting your Philodendron at least once in two to three years, depending upon its size and growth pattern.

However, the same rule does not apply to all Philodendrons. And time isn’t always the best indicator when it comes to repotting frequency.

For instance, Philodendrons growing outdoors may require more frequent repots than the Philodendrons in your bedroom.

It all depends upon how big your plant is, how fast they grow or what kind of growing conditions they receive.

Place them beside a bright window that receives indirect light throughout the day, and you will see that they need to be repotted more frequently.

Get to know more interesting facts, tips, and more about Philodendron plants.

Materials Required to Repot Philodendron

For those new to plant parenting, let us go step by step first, starting with the things you will need to repot a Philodendron plant.

Below is a summarized table of the materials you will require to repot a Philodendron.

Product NameUseful For
PotPotting a plant
Soil MixPotting Mix
GlovesRepotting, pruning, etc.
KnifePruning, weeding, digging, cutting, etc.
ScissorsCut, prune, weed, etc.

1. Correct Pot

Various Sizes Of Pots According To Plant Size
Various Sizes Of Pots According To Plant Size (Source: Unsplash)

As much as we might think that pot size is not essential for a healthy plant, we are wrong.

Extensively large pots will cause excessive water-logged roots, and tiny pots will damage and prohibit your roots from developing freely.

Hence, if you wish to repot your Philodendron, get a slightly larger and deeper pot than the existing one.

Note: It would be very safe to select one that is at least two to three inches bigger.

The material of the pot also plays a significant role. Clay and terracotta pots allow airflow and avoid water retention. However, plastic pots can cause excessive water retention.

Therefore, choose an organic and biodegradable pot to make sure the roots are breathing well.

Remember, your plant pot should always contain a few drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. It is the most important rule to getting a disease-free and healthy plant.

Philodendrons do not prefer wet and soggy soil; hence, drainage holes are a must.

If your pots do not contain any drainage holes, make sure to drill in about 10-12 holes at the bottom of the pot.

2. Gloves

We definitely do not want the dirt and microbes to crawl on our hands and hide in our nails, do we? And, black nails are incredibly off-putting!

As they say, gloves are a gardener’s best mates!

Hence, get a good pair of latex or rubber gloves before you start repotting.

You can use any gloves, including a plastic one; however, it is good to go plastic-free!

3. Soil Composition

Philodendron loves a potting mix with high content of organic matter. They prefer loosely packed soil with plenty of perlites and sand.

You can either prepare your own potting mix or get a ready-made one from the plant store.

Make sure to use a fresh potting mix every time you repot your Philodendron!

Note: It is best to opt for a sterilized potting mix to avoid the chances of fungal and bacterial infections.

Using an old potting mix is unhealthy, but it will also not be able to meet the nutritional requirement of the plant.

And, fertilizers cannot replace every kind of mineral found in a potting mix.

A 100% sphagnum peat moss also works perfectly for Philodendrons. A few indoor gardeners also prefer peat-vermiculite or peat-perlite.

4. Sharp Knife

A clean pair of sterilized scissors is essential to prune the roots of your root-bound Philodendron carefully.

Sometimes if the root-ball is heavily packed together, you might need to prune them thoroughly.

Tip: Use a chopstick or fork to separate the root ball with minimal damage.

How to Repot Philodendron

A Person Re-potting A Potted Plant
A Person Repotting A Potted Plant (Source: Pexels)

Philodendrons are sturdy plants. They can very quickly be repotted in a new potting mix without any hassle.

Let’s go ahead and give your Philodendron a refreshed and healthy look through an effective repot.

Step 1: Take out The Plant

If your Philodendron has been potted in a plastic pot, slightly pinch the edges of the pot and pull out the plant.

As for ceramic or terracotta pots, rotate the plant slowly and cautiously, then gently pull outside.

Step 2: Detangle Roots

Untangle the roots using a clean fork or chopsticks. You can also run it down tap water to thoroughly clean and untie the roots.

Use a pair of sterilized scissors to prune unhealthy and decayed roots.

Step 3: Prune Old Leaves

Prune the old and dead leaves. It is recommended to give a thorough haircut to your Philodendron before repotting them.

Getting rid of mature leaves helps the plant invest the energy into establishing the roots more efficiently in the new growing medium.

Pruning the roots helps encourage new and healthy growth.

Step 4: Find The Right Pot

Take a slightly larger pot, about two to three inches larger than the existing one. Make sure that the pot has a few drainage holes at the bottom.

Step 5: Prepare Potting Mix

Prepare a potting mix that is rich in coco peat, perlites, and sand. Or, you can use a standard sterilized potting mix from the plant store. Fill the pot with one-third potting mix.

Step 6: Insert The Plant and Cover With Potting Mix

Carefully position your Philodendron inside the pot with all the roots facing downwards or sideways. Fill the pot with more potting mix to hold the plant in an upright position.

Step 7: Water Repotted Plant

Thoroughly water the newly repotted Philodendron until the excess water runs down the drainage holes. Make sure you place it in a shady spot for at least a week.

Step 8: Keep An Eye Out for Dry Soil

Check the water requirement daily. Make sure that the soil remains moist but not too wet for about ten days.

Check out this article on how to repot a jade plant.

Precautions to Take While Repotting Philodendron

Although Philodendrons are easy to repot, the process comes with a few critical points that you will need to keep in mind.

Follow the steps below and give your Philodendrons that cool Instagram-able look!

  • If you have a stunted Philodendron, cut back the plant to four inches. This increases the chances of healthy development and vigorous growth.
  • Remember that Philodendrons are poisonous plants. It is best to use a pair of gloves before you begin to go ahead with repotting. Their sap is very irritating to the skin. Also, avoid getting the plant sap into broken skin or eyes.
  • If the roots and soil appear to be densely packed together, water the plant generously before attempting to repot.
  • If you see soft and mushy roots, remove them immediately. Damaged and rotten roots invite fungal and bacterial infections to your plant.
  • Make sure not to prune more than 50% of the roots at a single time.
  • Do not prune more than 75% of the leaves at one go. Leaves are necessary for your Philodendrons to produce energy, and they help the roots establish themselves.

How to Take Care of a Repotted Philodendron

It is imperative to ensure that your newly repotted Philodendron receives optimum care and a perfect growing condition.

The following tips and tricks will help you ensure that your Philodendron has an excellent environment to adjust and acclimate themselves to a new pot.

1. Location Requirement

Place them in a shady spot that is semi-light. If your Philodendron is an outdoor one, place it on a balcony with almost zero amount of sun.

After about ten days, you can gradually place them in any location. 

Philodendron In a Well-lit Location
Philodendron In A Well-lit Location (Source: Unsplash)

2. Light and Temperature

Repotted Philodendron should not receive direct sunlight for at least a week to avoid excessive water loss and chronic dehydration.

The roots are noticeably stressed due to repot, and they will not absorb the right amount of water during the transition phase.

Furthermore, ensure that the temperature is between 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and around 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

3. Watering Habits

Make sure to keep an eye on your Philodendron to check the water levels. It is vital to keep the soil moist to help roots adjust appropriately in the new soil medium.

However, avoid completely drenching the soil in water.

4. Humidity Levels

Keep the humidity levels moderately high around the Philodendron to help them compensate for the loss of water. Humidity makes sure that your plant looks fresh and supple even during the initial phase of adjustment.

You can mist your plant once in a while to increase the humidity.

Opt for humidity in the range of 65 to 80 percent, although that can be dropped to 55 percent overnight. Your Philodendron will thrive in said range.

However, make sure to wipe down the plant after each mist to avoid the development of fungus. Or, invest in a good humidifier!

5. Check Out for Pests

Pest Infested Leaf
Pest Infested Leaf (Source: Pixabay)

You might find aphids, mealybugs, scales, and spider mites bugging your Philodendrons.

If you see that your repotted Philodendrons have a few bugs crawling here and there, opt for a natural solution.

Note: Avoid using chemical fertilizers at all costs as it stresses the plant extensively.

You can physically remove the bugs or spray the plant with neem oil once in three days.

I would also recommend you wipe down the plant with a diluted mixture of rubbing alcohol or apple cider vinegar to do the trick.

In any case, stop spraying anything other than water on the topsoil.

6. Fertilizer Feeding

Do not feed a newly repotted Philodendron with any plant vitamins or fertilizers. Make sure you wait for at least six weeks before adding in the first fertilizer boost.

The minerals present in the new potting mix are abundant for the newly repotted Philodendrons.

Adding fertilizers before the root’s adjustment will severely burn the new roots.

However, it is entirely safe to use organic and natural fertilizers on the third week after repotting. Always use a liquid water-soluble fertilizer for enhanced development.

Why Does Philodendron Stop Growing after Repotting

Philodendron
A Philodendron that stopped growing (Source: garden.org)

It is considered normal for Philodendrons to stop growing soon after repotting. It is mainly due to the stress that the plant undergoes as a result of repotting.

It might take about three to four weeks for your Philodendrons to show any signs of new growth.

After reporting, your Philodendrons will spend most of their energy on establishing the roots to the new growing medium. Hence, the growth above the root level is absent.

Once the roots have established themselves to the new growing medium, your Philodendrons will continue to grow.

If your Philodendrons show no signs of growth even after the fifth week of repot, your plant might have been stunted. This also happens due to a lack of enough water and plant vitamins.

Change your watering habits and give in some plant food to make sure your Philodendrons continue to grow.

Conclusion

That’s all there is to successfully re-pooting your Philodendrons and ensuring they do not go through an excessive amount of stress in due process.

Additionally, there isn’t any other way to ensure the healthy and free development of the root system. After all, we all love that extra space!

Follow the instructions as given above and be ready to get surprised with an elegant Philodendron adorning your living space!

Also, you might want to check about the glorious plant:  Philodendron Gloriosum – Ultimate Care and Growing Guide.

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