How and When to Repot Your Pothos Plant - Essential Tips

Written by Ivy

Jan 20 2023

How and When to Repot Your Pothos Plant - Essential Tips

A repotting is probably in order if your pothos plant has been in the same container for a while or is starting to struggle. Fortunately, the procedure is simple and gives you a chance to interact directly with these exquisite, symbolic plants. To ensure success, use this repotting instruction manual.

Quick Steps

  • Step 1: Spring and summer are the best times to repot your pothos.
  • Step 2: Keep an eye out for indications that your pothos needs to be replanted.
  • Step 3: To check if your pothos is rootbound, carefully lift it out of the pot.
  • Step 4: Two days before repotting, water your plant.

Repotting Pothos Plants – the Essentials

Pothos plants grow quickly and need to be replanted every one to two years. Repot into a container that is one or two sizes larger than the original when roots start to push through the drainage holes or when the soil starts to degrade. Use the same soil mixture from the original pot when repotting in the spring to capitalize on the growing season.

Why Repotting Pothos Plants is Necessary

Every houseplant that lives a long time will eventually require repotting. Each influences the health or development of plants for a variety of causes.


Most parents of indoor plants are concerned about growth, which is the first justification for repotting. The pothos plant may grow more slowly indoors than outdoors, but it will eventually fill the entire pot.

You'll know the plant is rootbound when the roots begin to circle the bottom of the pot, to protrude above the soil line, or to slither through drainage holes. The top half of the plant cannot grow if there is insufficient room for the roots to expand.

Repotting the plant will increase its space and promote growth. Additionally, it provides an opportunity to separate roots that may be tangled and restrict each other, limiting problems with water and nutrient uptake.

Soil Quality

Extremely slow-growing plants can remain content in the same pot for a number of years without outgrowing it. That doesn't necessarily imply that the soil they're sitting in will continue to be favorable for robust growth.

In the same pot, the soil gradually starts to deteriorate. The building gradually degrades, compacting in some areas and holding much less water in others.

As you water the soil over time, nutrients also gradually wash out. Degraded soil is unable to retain nutrients, even if you add more fertilizer. Instead of delivering the nutrients to the roots where they are needed, they simply wash out through the drainage holes.

The plant will require new soil after 3–4 years (2–3 years for smaller pots) in order to maintain healthy roots. Depending on the plant, you might even be able to use the same container; all you have to do is clean the old soil from the roots and repot it in the fresh soil.

Pests & Diseases

Despite your best efforts, you are likely to run into a sneaky issue with our indoor plants at some point, despite your best efforts to keep them pest and disease free.

When a problem is soil-borne or widespread, such as when mold, fungus gnats, or root rot are present, repotting is a crucial component of finding a solution.

Since the soil is so dark and moist, pests and diseases frequently live there. While some fungicides and insecticides might be helpful, they also have the potential to harm your plants. The best control strategy is repotting.

Repotting enables you to examine the roots more closely and repair any damage if root rot is present. Until the plant is completely dead, the issue won't stop spreading to other roots.

You can completely replace the soil, remove the roots, and solve the issue once and for all by repotting.


Depending on the plant, propagation may be a less "necessary" reason to repot. However, it is an intriguing gardening activity that enables you to grow more of your preferred plants for nothing.

When it comes to the Pothos, most gardeners opt for cutting-based propagation. However, you can also propagate your plant by dividing it if it is bushy and lush.

Pull the roots apart, gather the stems into smaller clumps, and repot the plant into as many pots as necessary after simply removing it from its original container. You are figuratively purchasing two plants for the price of one. (Read More: How to Choose The Best Pot For a Pothos Plant)

When to Repot Pothos

Pothos should be repotted in one of three situations: when it needs more room to grow; when it might be sick; or when the pot needs to be changed for aesthetic reasons. The summer and spring months are ideal for repotting.

Repot the Pothos in the Warmer Months

In spring and summer, most plants start growing new or more actively. These are the best times of year to pot your Pothos plant again.

Repotting during these times will give the roots plenty of time to re-establish themselves and will encourage new growth.

You could even start planting in the late summer or early fall in more temperate climates.

Repotting Pothos to Allow for Growth

By pruning them and managing the "above ground" area, you might believe that you can keep houseplants contained in a single pot for a very long time.

Pothos plants grow quickly and can expand by 12–18 inches (30–40 cm) in a month. But keep in mind that growth occurs both above and below the soil.

Consider the Roots

Roots develop at a specific rate, just like the tendrils and leaves of the pothos. Although not always as quickly as the rest of the plant, the roots are constrained by the pot as opposed to the "above ground" portion, which has virtually unlimited space to expand into.

A pothos plant should ideally have at least 2 inches (5 cm) between the roots and the pot's edge.

You should repot your pothos at least once per year to maintain this as well as to permit the plant's roots to develop and spread out.

The biggest issue with not routinely repotting the pothos is that the roots will eventually grow into a tangled mass and essentially occupy the majority of the space in the pot.

The plant may eventually become stunted in growth or even perish.

The fact that pothos plants prefer well-drained soil is an additional issue.

The soil can become hardened by the pressure and the water will not be retained, but rather will drain improperly, if a plant is kept in a pot that confines the roots.

It is highly likely that the roots are potbound and that you need to repot the plant immediately if the soil is extremely hard to the touch and no longer fits easily around the edge of the pot.

Compost and even fertilizer can be added to the soil when repotting plants. With a fresher and more suitable soil mixture, the plant will be healthier and its growth will be improved.

Consider the Leaves

Also keep an eye out for the plant's tendrils as they grow. The plant needs to be repotted if its leaves become so long that they start to practically take over the area it is in.

Repotting may be preferable to other options like moving the entire plant.

Repotting Your Pothos for Health Reasons

Pothos roots cannot properly drain if the soil around them becomes compacted. Since pothos prefers soil that drains well, this means that the roots will get too wet.

Root rot may result from this. The best course of action is to transfer your plant from the compacted soil to a new pot filled with healthier, looser, well-drained soil.

The best time to repot the pothos may not always be if it is infested with something like mealybugs. The newly potted plant will still be in danger and repotting won't help the situation.

Instead of spraying insecticide on the plant, try treating the pests themselves with alcohol to get rid of them. Repotting shouldn't be done until the plant is healthy.

It's possible that our plant's variegated leaves aren't receiving enough light if they start to lose their patterns.

You could move the entire plant, but it might be preferable to use this time to repot it so that the roots have more room to spread out.

By taking a cutting and preserving it in water until the roots begin to grow, you can save a portion of a pothos plant that is on its last legs.

The old plant will then be saved and this can be replanted.

Repotting for Aesthetic Reasons

It's frequently crucial that the style is constant and that the decor in your home coordinates. The planters will be part of this. You might want to repot the pothos again at this point.

Repotting the plant into a specific ceramic or related pot will be acceptable if you know that your interior design or color scheme will stay relatively consistent for years.

In these circumstances, it is best to use a pot that will provide plenty of room for growth, especially of the roots.

Repotting the plant into an everyday container that can be easily changed as the plant grows and requires a larger pot is a more practical, adaptable, and wise course of action if you intend to change your color scheme soon—or even fairly frequently.

If you want to match the decor when you change it, you can put this in a more attractive pot.

How Often Do Pothos Plants Need Repotting?

Pothos plants grow quickly; the majority of varieties add 12–18 inches to their length each month in the spring and summer.

Additionally, compared to other plants, they are typically planted in smaller pots. The roots expand quickly in smaller pots and prefer a little bit of crowding.

Your Pothos will require repotting on a regular basis due to these factors put together. Most plants will benefit from repotting every 1-2 years, depending on their rate of growth and the conditions in which they are growing.

Repotting is required about every two years, possibly more frequently depending on the size of the original pot, for plants that grow slowly, whether because of variegation or poor lighting.

Repotting should only be done occasionally. When it's not necessary, repotting too soon can shock the plant and stress it out.

Keep an eye out for signs that your plant needs repotting rather than repotting regularly every year:

Signs Your Pothos Needs Repotting

  • Stunted growth in the peak growing seasons of spring and summer
  • Roots growing through the drainage holes or above the soil line
  • Water drains from the pot too quickly
  • Yellowing or dropping leaves (Also Read: Why Are My Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow)
How and When to Repot Your Pothos Plant

The Best Soil Mix When Repotting Pothos Plants

To get oxygen to the roots and avoid root rot, pothos plants need soil that is both airy and well-draining. (Read More: Pothos Root Rot - Cause And Treatment)

The best soil mixture combines components that can hold enough water when plants need it, without allowing the soil to become soggy and suffocating the plant.

Your Pothos should grow well in any specialized houseplant potting mix, or you can make your own by mixing potting soil with coconut coir, peat moss, perlite, or bark.

Repotting calls for creating your own soil mixture. It enables you to adjust the mixture to what your Pothos is used to, decreasing the likelihood of later shock.

Look at the components in a handful of the original potting soil. As closely as you can, replicate that consistency and texture in your new soil mixture. With no growth issues, this will guarantee that your Pothos are content in their new environment.

Alternately, if the initial soil mixture had a problem, you could add amendments to the new pot to fix it. To improve drainage in the new pot, for instance, add an additional handful of perlite and bark if you notice that the original soil does not drain sufficiently.

What Tools Will I Need When Repotting a Pothos Plant?

A new pot is all you need to get started. Make sure you have a clean set of shears or trimmers available if you need to trim the roots (as in cases of root rot).

If you don't feel like getting your hands dirty, you can also mix the soil while wearing gardening gloves.

Potting Vessel Considerations

Container Sizing

Repotting requires several steps, one of which is selecting a new pot. Many gardeners select a brand-new pot that is way too big in the hopes that it will promote more growth. It typically has the opposite impact, though.

If the new pot is too big, the extra soil where the roots can't get to it will retain too much moisture, which can cause root rot or fungus to grow. The additional room will also have the opposite effect on the growth rate of your Pothos because it thrives when slightly under pressure.

Pick a pot that is at most one or two sizes larger, with an inch or two extra space on either side. They will be content in these conditions for at least another year or two, so don't worry about needing to repot too soon.

Container Materials

Container materials are another important consideration in addition to size.

Most likely, a plastic pot was used to plant your Pothos. These pots are cheap and don't break down easily, especially if they're kept indoors and out of the sun. However, there are many more container options when repotting:

  • Terra cotta: favored in interior design. They not only have an excellent appearance but also wick moisture out of the ground, preventing root rot.
  • Fabric: The preferred eco-friendly option is fabric pots. The fact that water can leak out on all sides makes them excellent for drainage but messy indoors.
  • Ceramic: Another common design choice, but it can be expensive. Make sure your ceramic pot has enough drainage holes, or plant in a plastic pot and place it inside the ceramic pot to serve as a pot cover.
  • Wood: gives off a beautiful natural appearance that complements the Pothos' cascading vines. However, they do quickly deteriorate when exposed to moisture.
  • Recycled containers: With a few drainage holes drilled in the bottom, almost anything can be transformed into a Pothos pot.


Drainage is the most crucial feature of your new container. Without drainage holes, water will build up in the pot, rotting the plant's roots and killing it in the end.

Make sure the container you choose has plenty of drainage holes that are sufficiently large to prevent soil particles from being easily obstructed by them. To prevent water from accumulating on one side of the pot if there is no drainage, drill a few evenly spaced holes in the bottom.

You can still use it as a decorative pot cover if you prefer a container without drainage. Simply repot your Pothos into the appropriate-sized plastic pot and set it inside the decorative pot.

To prevent water accumulating and stagnating in the bottom, be sure to remove it after watering and let all the extra water drain before replacing it.

How to Repot Your Pothos Plant

With your soil mix prepared and your new pot ready, repotting shouldn't take more than a few minutes:

  1. Take the plant out of its current container. Tease the roots to release their tangles and shake off the old soil.
  2. Make sure the roots are completely clean by gently rinsing off any remaining contaminants around them with water if the soil contains any pests or diseases.
  3. Your chosen soil mixture should fill up about 1/3 of the new pot. To prevent soil from spilling out the bottom of the pot, you can add a thin layer of gravel to the bottom, but this is not required. In hanging baskets, avoid using any gravel because it will cause the pot to droop, especially when watering.
  4. In order to prevent the Pothos' roots from becoming tangled or from growing upward, spread them out on the base of the soil layer.
  5. Up to one or two inches below the rim of the new pot, add more soil to fill in the spaces around the plant. By doing this, the soil won't leak out when it's being watered.
  6. To anchor the plant in place, gently press down all around its base.

Post Repotting Care

To reduce shock and promote new root development, always water your pothos plant right away after repotting. To avoid further stress brought on by environmental changes, put the plant back where it was at first.

After a few weeks, any stress indicators, like yellowing curling or wilting leaves, should go away. Changes to your daily routine of care will only make the issue worse during this time. If it hasn't resolved itself after about a month, find the cause and fix it. (Read More: Why Are My Pothos Leaves Curling)

Frequently Asked Questions About When to Repot Pothos

When to Repot Golden Pothos

It's best to repot your pothos during the active growing season, usually in the spring or summer months. Your plant will be at its healthiest during this time, actively absorbing nutrients and growing; as a result, it will be better able to bounce back from being disturbed and moved to a new location and withstand the stress that comes with it.

What Will Happen If I Do Not Repot My Pothos Plant?

Due to their rapid growth, pothos plants require frequent repotting. If you don't, the roots won't have a place to spread out and will eventually become pot-bound. The plant will unquestionably grow slowly as a result, and it will probably die eventually.

When is the Best Time of Year to Repot My Pothos?

Pothos plants grow most vigorously in warmer climates. This indicates that the spring or summer months are ideal for repotting pothos.

How Often to Repot Pothos

When the plant's root system fills the pot entirely, it's time to repot. However, make sure to repot your pothos every at least two to three years.

Can I Repot Pothos in Winter

The best seasons for repotting a pothos are spring and summer. Avoid repotting during the fall and winter as pothos go dormant in these months and are more likely to go into shock after repotting.

How to Split a Pothos Plant

To begin, tip your Pothos out of its pot while holding it by the base. Then, grasp a space between two stalks firmly on either side. Pull the root mass apart gradually, then plant the two halves separately. To prevent your plants from becoming stressed after dividing a Pothos, keep the humidity high and delay fertilization.


Indoor plants, especially a hardy and versatile pothos, can be one of the most appealing elements in a house.

You need to take care of these plants because they add beauty to your house by giving their roots room to grow. This calls for at least one annual repotting.