How to Repot a Plant the Right Way, According to a Viral Video

Every plant parent should know how to repot a plant.

Collage Of Tiktok Showing How To Repot A PlantVia @lynnymillerr/Tiktok (3)

Does your normally hardy houseplant appear to have discolored or drooping leaves? How about a lack of blooms or new growth? Your unhappy plant may need a helping hand.

When Is It Time to Repot a Plant?

To know for sure, it helps to remove the plant from the container and have a look.

Place some newspaper down to create a workspace and easy cleanup. Lay the potted plant on its side and tap the bottom a few times to start to loosen the soil at the bottom of the pot. Gently slide the plant out of the pot and on its side onto the newspaper.

Take a look at the root area. Do the roots look tangled together? The plant may have become “root bound,” or grown so many roots it has no room to expand in the current pot.

Feel the soil and see if it’s heavy or waterlogged. The plant may not be draining properly in the pot. Plants that suffer from poor drainage can bounce back and recover once they are given an indoor plant pot that will drain correctly.

How to Repot a Plant the Easy Way

When moving your plant to a larger pot, you don’t want to overwhelm it by putting it in a container with too much soil. But how do you know how much soil your plant will need?

TikTok user @lynnymiller has a helpful tip for creating the perfect conditions to repot that plant:

@lynnymillerr Repotting Hack #garden#planthacks#foryou#plantmom#gardenhacks#lifehack#plants ♬ Just a Cloud Away – Pharrell Williams

Tools You’ll Need

  • Plants pots of different sizes: Finding the right sized pot for your plant is essential for its growth.
  • Potting soil: You’ll need some extra soil to fill any remaining space in your new plant’s pot!
  • Watering can: Easily give your plants the right amount of water by using a watering can.


Step 1: Pick out a new pot

As a general rule, choose a new pot that is an inch or two wider in diameter than the previous pot.

Step 2: Add soil

Place the potted plant in its current container in the center of the new pot and add soil around the plant to fill in the space. Use the soil level of the plant as an indication of how much potting soil to add to the new pot.

Step 3: Remove the potted plant

Now lift out the potted plant—it’ll leave behind a recessed area in the soil that is the perfect size for the plant to be placed in the new pot.

Step 4: Repot the plant

Remove the plant from the first container and loosen the roots with your hand. It’s ready to be repotted. Place the plant in its space in the soil in the new pot and even out the top layer of soil.

Step 5: Give your plant the right environment

Water the plant and place it in a location according to its specific light requirements. The repotted plant now has the best chance to thrive!

This isn’t the only gardening TikTok hack out there—we’ve also learned how to grow plants in “milk jug greenhouses.”

Alice Knisley Matthias
Alice Knisley Matthias writes about food, family, education, and garden. Her work appears in The New York Times, Washington Post, Food Network, Delish, The Kitchn and Parade. Her book about healthy kid snacks is published by Scholastic. Other work includes Woman's Day, Redbook, Highlights for Children, Boys' Life, Kids Discover and America's Test Kitchen Cook's Country Cookbook.