So you have had your plant for a while, and its roots are starting to poke out and growth is slowing down. Searching for an answer for this online will likely lead you to a common answer of repotting. But when is the best time to repot a plant?

When to repot plants

spring growing season for repotting plants

The long story short: spring, which is also known as the growing season.

Because spring is the growing season, this means that your plants will have actively growing roots, meaning there will be less transplant shock and your plants will adapt to their new homes a lot quicker.

With that said, if you brought a new plant baby home during autumn or winter, and you notice that they absolutely need to be repotted, be gentle when freeing it from its pot, and try to do it in a warm environment i.e. turn your heater on an hour before repotting.

Other signs for when to repot plants

repotting houseplant

If your plant is losing a lot of leaves

This is usually a sign that your plants are not getting sufficient nutrients. Because it’s getting crowded inside the pot, the roots aren’t able to absorb as much as they should be.

Yellowing leaves

While this may be due to under or over-watering, and too much sun, if you’re monitoring your watering and checking the soil’s moistness consistently, it could be another sign to repot, especially if you suddenly notice a lot of yellowing leaves.


Checking the bottom of your pots is the most obvious sign that your plant needs to be repotted; hence why drainage holes are so crucial too. If it’s only one or two roots poking out, and none of the above signs are showing, give the plants a couple more weeks. However, if you start to notice a lot spilling out the bottom or even aerial roots, it is time to repot. Roots can also be root bound, which requires a little bit more care.

Repot a root bound plant

root bound plant

A plant being root bound is 100% a sign to repot. You can check this by pulling your plants out of their pots, but also by looking at the bottom of your pot. If there are aerial roots too, we don’t suggest cutting them off. Not only will this limit the growth of your plant, but it can actually have more transplant shock when it's repotted too, and so slower recovery time. We suggest gently loosening the roots, and cutting the pot instead (plastic pots).

Click here for a more in-depth how-to on repotting plants.

Remember to not rush into repotting. Sometimes just adding a little bit of compost or fertilizer on top is enough.

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