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When repotting houseplants an important factor to consider is the size of the pot. In this article we cover the most common mistake when it comes to repotting. And yes , it has to do with the size of the pot!

Rule of Thumb

For most plants a new pot should be no more than 3-5cm in diameter larger than its current pot and not much deeper.

Some plants have small root systems, when repotting if the rootball still has room to grow, you can change out the soil and use the same pot.


Repotting root bound

If the plant is very root bound, you can use a bigger pot, being careful not to over pot. Tease out the root ball, place it in the pot you want to use without any soil. Check that there is no more than 5cm space before adding soil.

Over Potting

One of the most common mistakes when it comes to repotting is over potting. This is when plants are repotted in to pots that are too big. This is a problem because there is too much soil in the pot! All of that extra soil is going to hold extra moisture which the plants roots aren’t going to be able to use. And while you thought you were doing something good, you end up with an over watered plant!

What to look out for

Once the plant has been over potted it may take weeks or even a couple of months before signs show.  Some signs to look out for are yellowing leaves, soil that remains wet for a long time, fungus/mold on top of the soil, wilting, leaves falling off, dark brown or black patches on the leaves that are not dry to touch. 

What To Do


If you accidentally over potted your plant, don’t worry! You can still repot it into an appropriately sized container. Or if your feeling brave you can keep in it in the oversized pot and water it incredibly carefully!


Happy gardening!


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