Written By Ellie Jonas

When and How to Repot a Philodendron Plant: Expert Tips

A woman holding a potted plant on a table in her home

Repotting a philodendron is necessary to make it look beautiful and fresh. The plant becomes root-bound if repotting is not done from time to time. Repotting a philodendron also helps you to choose a few plants from the crowd and grow other smaller plants separately.

When you repot your philodendron, it becomes healthier and grows fast. Repotting the plant into a larger pot can provide enough space for air circulation and thus your plant thrives for long.

To know more about different ways of repotting a philodendron check, out this post thoroughly.

Why is It Important to Repot Your Philodendron?

The roots, stems and leaves also grow when a philodendron matures. During this period, it needs enough water and nutrients to survive. As the roots grow they become round and clump together in a circular pattern. So, to prevent this root-bound repotting the plant is necessary.

The growth of the plant gets stopped when there is a root bound at the bottom of the pot. so, transferring the philodendron to a new larger pot at this point in time can prevent it from dying before time. Also, use fresh nutritious soil while repotting the plant to boost up its growth.

Did You Know

A philodendron can be repotted in a pot that is one or two sizes larger than the current one. As philodendrons are epiphytes they do not need a lot of root space and grow on other plants for support.

When Should You Repot Your Tree Philodendron?

Most varieties of philodendrons should be repotted every 2 years since you have bought them. Trimming the root and transferring the plant to a bigger container can make it healthier and grow faster.

The growth rate of each variety of philodendron can be different depending on the overall health of the plant. Keeping your plant outdoors can help it grow faster.

philodendron re-potting-guide

Drying the soil too quickly indicates that the root is not drawing enough water as it has become too compact. So, check your pot has enough drainage holes or that the plant has tightly woven roots near the holes that are stopping the water from draining out completely.

After repotting the plant in a bigger container with fresh soil you can just leave it without trimming if you want to grow the tree philodendron taller. However, if you want to keep it short then, trim 1/3 of the root to restrict the growth of the plant.

Did You Know

Philodendrons like their roots to be slightly crowded. So, putting them up tightly will help to keep them from getting root-bound, which can stunt their growth.

How Do You Repot a Philodendron?

By following the methods shared below you can easily re-pot your philodendron without much effort. As this plant is mildly toxic so, always wear gloves before working on a philodendron.

Avoid Salt Build-up

The roots of your philodendron may get damaged by the salt build-up in the soil due to fertilizers. So, leaching the excess salt once every 4 to 6 months is necessary.

While repotting always use fresh soil and avoid transferring any salty soil into the new pot. While transplanting give your plant a deep wash using water to remove extra salts from the plant. Make sure the salty water gets completely drained out from the drainage holes before transplanting.

Go for the Right Pot

The size of the pot is very important while repotting a philodendron. it should have enough drainage holes to drain away excess water. Always avoid using pots that are attached to any drainage saucers at the bottom as it will make the plant sit in standing water.

A happy woman holding a potted philodendron plant

You should get a pot one size larger and 2 inches wider than the current pot. Avoid using excess larger pots as it may cause drowning of roots and waterlogging.

As a philodendron prefers warm weather conditions keep it outdoors for a few months of a year so, the pot should retain water. Using a clay pot that dries out quickly can be a good idea.

You can also use a plastic pot for a plant that is 4 to 5 feet tall so that you can easily move it whenever needed. Try out light fiberglass containers from Jay Scotts that have rolling platforms to move the plant from one location to another easily.

Rio Grande round fiberglass planters from Jay Scotts weigh 12, 16, and 31 pounds and come in 18, 22, and 31 inches in diameter to provide that extra stability.

Use a Good Potting Mix

Always avoid using a growing mix containing dirt or other unwanted ingredients while transplanting a philodendron. even after being transferred in a new container your plant still needs proper drainage and enough nutrients to stay healthy and lushy.

A good potting mix can be prepared by combining an equal proportion of perlite, peat moss, potting soil, and coconut coir. You can also buy homemade potting mix from True Leaf Market. This growing mix is free from animal byproducts.

The Old Pot Should Be Removed

While repotting your plant you need to be very careful as pulling the plant too hard from the pot can make its roots get torn. Use a shear or a knife to loosen the soil gently around the edge of the pot.

Remove any roots affected by diseases after taking out the plant completely from the pot. As the roots will be tightly packed during this time so you need to loosen them up by making 4 top to bottom incisions in the root ball.

This will make a philodendron stay healthy and grow fast when placed into the new pot.

Philodendron Repotting

Some varieties of philodendrons get bigger and taller quickly. So, while repotting these plants you may need someone to help you out with the same.

How to REPOT Philodendron

Step 1: Use table covers, newspapers, or clean towels on the surface where you want to perform repotting to avoid making the place dirty.

Step 2: After loosening the soil remove the plant gently from the pot. The philodendron should come out all in one piece including its root.

Step 3: If your plant is very bushy, you can trim out the extra parts, such as dead leaves, soft, and diseased roots.

Step 4: You need to remove all old potting mix from the plant’s roots using your fingers.

Step 5: Pruners can be used after sanitizing to remove any oldest or largest root. Use a plant mister to keep the soil moist while working on it.

Step 6: Take a new pot one size larger than the current one and put some growing mix at the bottom of it. 

Step 7: Center the plant in the pot and completely fill it with the remaining potting soil mix. Cover the root ball with the growing mix.

Step 8: To mix and settle the soil around the plant you can use your palm or fingers and tap the pot on a solid surface.

The Soil Should Be Watered

It would be best if you watered a philodendron immediately after repotting. This will help your plant to get adjusted to the new place. The plant can establish new roots in the new soil if watering is done just after transplanting.


Repotting is a vital part of growing philodendrons. Repotting the plant from time to time can encourage its growth. You can also get several smaller plants from a crowded philodendron while repotting.

So, make sure you repot a philodendron when it becomes root-bound to make your plant stay healthier and thrive longer.

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My name is Ellie Jonas, and I’m a writer, editor, and lifelong plant lover. With over 12 years of experience in growing different varieties of philodendrons and other indoor plants, I inspire and educate new gardeners with a focus on planet-friendly gardening practices.

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