For Greener Thumb (FGT) Tips: When to Repot a Plant

For Greener Thumbs (FGT), Tip#4:

Let’s talk about the home most of your indoor plants are living in. This would be the typical pot or container. Typically, they are made of terra cotta, or plastic.  I like to get decorative containers as well.  Whatever type of pot you use for the plant, it’s important to have a drainage hole in the bottom.  This is to ensure your plant isn’t drowning!  The roots need the water and nutrients but, not to bathe in it too long.

So, when do you know if a plant has outgrown its home?  Well, sometimes the plant, if it’s a tall one, may start looking like it’s toppling over.  Or, perhaps you seem to be watering the plant a whole lot more than you used to.  Maybe it’s been over 2 years since you potted the plant.  A sure sign of a rootbound plant is if the roots are growing out the hole in the bottom.

Let’s get to the bottom of this! Take out the plant to see for sure!

Check if the plant is root bound by gently placing the container on its side and tapping along the edge to loosen the root ball and release the plant from it’s container home. Avoid using the plant itself to pull it out of the pot.  If the roots are growing in a circular manner and tightly compacted at the bottom of the pot, then you know you’ll need to repot it.  Usually, a pot about 2 inches wider in total diameter is the best thing for the plant.

Okay, that’s the For Greener Thumbs Tip for the day!

Happy Gardening and keep exercising your green thumbs!


  1. In door plants are usually in a smaller pot therefor it is easier to re pot.
    We had bamboos grew in a wine barrel size pot for years and was in a terrible root bound.
    I asked help, together we used saw, ax and shovel to dig them out after trim to half of there size then we dug the huge bamboo roots. I have decided to just save feel nice root along with few small bamboo branches to place them in water pot. It looks good and grow well now in water. One day it may going into pot again. But root bound is such a headache.
    I love plants but it is getting to the way now that every thing need to be simple and easy to care for them so I can appreciate them. Not just labor work.

    Thank you for sharing.



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