Houseplants can’t stay healthy in the same containers indefinitely. When the roots fill the pot or the soil dries out very quickly, it is time to move the plant to a larger container. This is known as potting-on.

The first step is to find another pot about 2-3 inches wider in diameter. If you are moving a plant into a previously used container, be sure to scrub it out thoroughly first.

Water the plant in its current container and wait about an hour. Then lay the pot on its side and gently rap it against a hard surface to loosen the plant. It may be necessary to run a knife around the inside of the pot to get the plant to release. Then remove it from the old pot.

Now take the cleaned, bigger pot and cover the drainage hole with broken clay pottery pieces or gravel. Add a layer of potting soil and place the plant on top of this. Fill in around the plant with more potting soil, patting it down gently with your fingers. Water your plant to help settle the potting soil. Your plant now has a more favorable place in which to grow and thrive.

Joann Adair, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Posted in Houseplants