The pothos plant needs repotting regularly due to its quick growth and the ideal time to do this is during the warmer months of spring and summer. In these months the plant is in an active growing phase, thus will be able to cope with the stress of the transplant and recover easily.
If you want to understand all about repotting the robust pothos, then read this detailed guide where experts help you understand when to repot your pothos and how to look out for some critical signs that the pothos are indeed in need of repotting.
We also give you a quick peek into how you can easily report the plant in an easy and hassle-free manner without stressing out the plant foliage.
- When to Repot Pothos?
- What Are Sign to Repot?
- What Are the Benefits of Repotting Pothos?
- How To Repot?
When to Repot Pothos?
Repot pothos plants during the growing season of the plant when it is most active which is between early spring to summer when the plant can actively absorb the nutrients from the soil. You must repot it to see the plant growing stronger and thriving in spring and summer.
What Are Sign to Repot?
The signs to repot are seeing the pothos roots extending out, the leaves drooping or turning yellow, the stems feel leggy, finding cracks in pot, the soil drying up, showing of fungal infestations and pests, growth of tendrils and slowing down of the plant’s growth.
– Finding the Leaves Drooping
Find the leaves of your pothos droopy, despite taking adequate plant care and meeting all its requirements? Such a case is indicative that repotting pothos is what you need to consider. As the pothos plants grow in size, the dense pothos root network begins to spread as well. With a lack of space, they get root bound and are seldom able to take in enough water and nutrients.
Thus, with a lack of the right kind of nourishment, the pothos plant is under stressful conditions, leading to droopy leaves. Root-bound leaves also struggle to let the excess water in the pot pass through, thereby retaining a lot of moisture within. This could also lead to low levels of oxygen for the plant foliage, making them look weak and droopy since proper nutrients don’t reach the leaves.
– Roots Sticking Out of Drainage Holes
Look at the drainage holes of your pot or container in which you are growing your pothos. If you find the roots of the plant sticking out, it’s a clear warning sign that all is not okay, and you have to repot at the earliest.
This is because the ever-expanding roots can in a short period clog the drainage holes, which puts the plant at risk of holding way too much moisture, leading to fungal diseases, root rot and eventually death of the plant.
– Find Yellowed Leaves
The leaves of healthy and thriving pothos are green with attractive prominent variegations. If you find the foliage turning yellow with light green patches on the leaves and drying out, it is indicative that it is indeed time that the plant needs to be repotted.
Root-bound plants are unable to take in adequate moisture and additionally, the leaves also begin to curl up or drop off prematurely in case of a severe situation.
– Stems Are Leggy
If despite complete care of the pothos, the stems are leggy and weak, it is a clear indication that the plant is a bound pothos and under stress. A happy pothos will have sturdy and robust trailing vines with green variegated leaves, and the stems are the strongest feature it has. A deviation from this look and you can be sure the plant requires more room to spread out.
Additionally, they may not be getting adequate nourishment as the compacted roots seldom spread in the soil due to a lack of space to seek water and nutrients. Thus, you know that it is time to move it to a container with adequate space.
– Cracks in the Pot
Cracks on the pot can be a common occurrence when the roots expand, extending pressure on the walls of the container, because the roots are strong enough to do that.
As the roots expand and seek more space they push the sides of the pot which can result in cracks. This is more noticeable in fragile and clay pots. Repot as soon as possible to give the plant more space to grow.
– Dried up Soil
Do pothos like to be root bound? Of course not, and root-bound pothos over time displaces the soil in the pot to make space for themselves. At such times, the soil in the pot gets overly dry, lowing out on its nutrients too. Hence, despite proper watering, your soil may look and feel crusty and dehydrated, which means it is a good idea to repot the pothos.
– Roots on the Top Soil
Roots of the pothos may often stick out of the soil when the roots get entangled, and they push out seeking more space, you would see the roots like veins on top.
The topsoil, however, may seem dry, and the roots would be leggy, as they would stand out as brittle which means they need plenty more room or space to grow.
– Fungal Diseases
Do you notice irregular dark spots or water-soaked blisters on your pothos leaves? These are caused by fungal diseases on the pothos.
As the pothos get pot-bound, the moisture within the soil and roots stays trapped, making them susceptible to fungal diseases. Additionally, under such circumstances, the stems too, turn a dark brown and the leaves bear a matted look.
This is a sign that it is indeed time to repot. Snip away all infected sections of the plant, remove the plant gently from the container, loosen the compacted soil and rinse the roots to repot into fresh soil. Undertaking this at the earliest can save the plant from fungal infection.
– Pests Infestation
When you spot soil-borne pests such as fungus gnats or mold, repot your pothos at the earliest. These reside in the moist layers of the soil and lay eggs within, feeding on the roots and the trailing stems of the pothos.
Basically, pests can easily spread through the foliage causing extensive damage to the plant and the best solution is to repot the plant and change the potting mix entirely. Repotting helps you not only eliminate the pests for good, but also gives you a chance to keep the roots clean and better the space for them to grow.
– When Growth Slows Down
The pothos in general is a rapidly growing plant and can add anywhere between twelve to eighteen inches to its trailing vines in a month. The roots rapidly spread below the soil. If you find the growth slow or stunted, then it is a clear indication that the plant is pot-bound and is struggling to cope with the lack of space.
Do note that the pothos does not respond well to pruning, as cutting back is not going to either control growth or will boost it. You can tackle the root-bound problem and you will have it thriving happily and healthily.
– Look Out for the Tendrils
It is natural for the pothos plant to shoot out tendrils aerially that can grow to lengths. These are used by the plant to cling to the surface and walls to grow. If these tendrils begin to grow very long and end up taking the space meant for the plant foliage, hence, repotting is required to be done at the earliest, in such a case, to tackle this.
What Are the Benefits of Repotting Pothos?
The benefit of repotting pothos are to give the roots space to grow and extend in the soil. Repotting will help the plant to grow and keep the diseases away, to prevent root wrap and so that water and nutrients are absorbed properly by the plant to thrive.
How To Repot?
To repot pothos start by preparing the tools, repot in the early morning not to stress the plant, remove the plant from its pot, if inspect any infection has happened to the roots. After, you may move it to a bigger and new pot, and lastly, prune the unhealthy leaves.
– Prepare the Tools
Before you commence the process, it is best if you organize your tools and supplies so that you do not let the plant lie out in the open with the roots exposed as you scurry around for them.
Remember to always repot in fresh soil, thus get a good quality potting mix that is well-draining and light.
Don’t forget to include some perlite or orchid bark that improves drainage and keeps the soil aerated.
You will also need a pot that is an inch or two larger in dimensions than the previous one, sharp pruners or knives which will be used to snip away disease sections. In addition, always sterilize all your cutting tools with a diluted solution of isopropyl alcohol to prevent the spread of bacterial and fungal diseases.
– Choose the Morning Time
As mentioned earlier, the right time to repot the plant is in the warmer month when the plant is growing and thriving and able to take in as much nourishment from the soil as possible, basically when it has the strength to bloom.
Overall, spring, and summer also give you longer days when there is adequate warmth for the plant to overcome the transplantation shock. Note that the pothos are topical vines and thus do not tolerate extreme heat over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, hence morning time is the best.
The right time of the day to undertake transplantation is in the first half of the morning when the sunlight is bright yet not too harsh. In addition, you could also repot the pothos and place it in a temperature-controlled room, typically suited to its native environment. This will help reduce stress and ease recovery.
– Remove the Pothos
Remove the pothos gently from the old pot by tapping the base of the pot with a pruner. make sure that the plant comes out entirely and the roots don’t get damaged in the process.
You have to keep the roots intact, and this is a very important aspect. The plant would get loose as you tap at the base, and then you can gently wiggle it out to dislodge it from the pot.
– Inspect for Infections
Once the plant is completely out of the pot, loosen the soil from the roots. Gently untangle the roots and loosen up the root ball to inspect for any blackened sections. These blackened sections are root rot or fungal diseases.
This is the time to inspect them properly and, with the help of sterile garden pruners or a sharp and sterilized knife, and snip away these sections. In addition, you may also find mushy root sections if it is suffering from root rot, that could be removed.
– Moving to the New Pot
Fill the new pot with potting soil mix along with perlite. Ensure the new pot has proper drainage holes to permit free flow out of water. Layer with orchid bark or worm castings to improve drainage and place the root ball.
Note that it is recommended not to use the older soil as with time the nutrients in the soil tend to get depleted, so getting fresh potting soil is an absolute necessity to keep up the health of the plant.
Do not opt for a big pot when you repot. Choose a pot that is just one size bigger than the previous one. The right dimension would be a pot that is around two inches larger than the previous one with a depth of around ten inches.
A bigger pot gives it way too much room and the pothos may end up getting less water or may have way too much of it.
Fill up the rest of the pot completely with soil, covering the root ball entirely so that it does not protrude on top. Ensure the soil is kept slightly moist so that you could reduce the shock of the movement.
Additionally, as a preventive measure, place a broken piece of clay pot or flat stone over the drainage holes to prevent them from getting clogged by the expanding roots of the pothos in the future.
Lastly, since it is fresh into a new pot, you may prune the leaves that are discolored and diseased, to give it a more comfortable growth. You could also trim the trailing vines at this stage to give the plant a neat look. This will give the plant time to recover from any shock along with the stress caused by repotting, as the pothos or epipremnum aureum grows very quickly.
When pruning, place your cuts just above a leaf node so that new growth can pick up from this last node. Give the pothos time to recover and being a rapid growing, you will find the vines growing well once again.
Your pothos may show signs of dying or wilting and yellow leaves, for a few days after repotting due to the pothos repotting shock. The best way to mitigate this shock is by misting the leaves thoroughly, to increase the humidity around them to meet the water loss that has occurred in the process.
It takes time for the pothos to adapt to its new soil conditions; this misting is an easy way to lessen the stress from the transplant.
Alternatively, you could also give the pothos a complete soak after repotting. However, in this case, you have to allow the plant’s topsoil to completely dry out before you water pothos again.
– Can You Repot Pothos in Winter?
You can repot pothos in winter, however, it is best not to during the active growing months of spring and summer when the plant is growing and absorbing adequate nourishment from the soil. This makes it better suited to recover from the transplantation shock at the earliest.
In winter the pothos enters a state of dormancy and thus begins to conserve its energy and the recovery from transplantation shock may take longer. You still can go ahead with the repotting, however, stick to the first six weeks of the cold season when the chill is not intense.
– Should I Water My Pothos After Repotting?
No, do not water your pothos immediately after repotting, but wait for a day before you do so. By doing so, you are giving the root some time to recover and slowly absorb the moisture that is already present in the soil.
After a day, begin watering generously until it runs out freely from the drainage holes. Wait until the top soil is dry by an inch for your next watering schedule.
It is also recommended to not water your plant before repotting so that the plant can be easily removed from the old pot and soil. Typically, you need to water the plant for at least two days before you consider repotting it.
– Can I Avoid Repotting My Pothos?
If your plant is root bound and you decide not to repot your pothos, the health of the plant can be drastically impacted. If the roots expand they increasingly become more root wrapped, getting more compacted and tangled together.
The pothos then becomes susceptible to growth issues, fungal diseases, root rot and nutrient deficiencies and over time it could lead to the death of the plant. Thus it is recommended that as soon as you spot any one of the signs, repot the pothos into fresh potting soil and container at the earliest.
You have now learned that pothos requires repoting and some clear-cut signs indicate when you need to do so.
Let us summarize all that has been covered in this detailed guide below as final thoughts:
- The pothos is a robust and thriving plant that rapidly grows. It is necessary to repot it every year to give it more space to grow as well as to reduce the impact of root bound pothos.
- The best time get to repot the plant is in the warmer months between spring and summer since the plant is actively growing and can recover from transplantation shock.
- You may notice the roots sticking out of drainage holes and the topsoil when the plant is root bound. As the roots begin to expand they seek out more space and thus tend to extend outwards in the process.
- You may also notice fragile pots of clay cracking when the roots grow and push pressure on the side walls. Discoloration of leaves along with weak and lanky stems are other common signs that indicate that the plant needs repotting.
- The process of repotting is simple. Use a pot one size larger, fill it up with fresh potting mix and place the pothos in it.
Now that you have learned when to repot your pothos and also how you could go about the entire process, you can easily have long trailing vines of the plant. Pothos is robust and this one pothos care step can keep it going for a long time in your garden spreading charm with its attractive foliage.
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