Repotting Pothos – How to Revitalize Your Plants in 5 Easy Steps

Are your Pothos plants growing out of control? Does their pot look full and overcrowded? Then, it’s time to move them to a new planter.

Repotting Pothos provides the roots with the additional space they need to freely spread out. In the long run, this will help boost your plant’s health and growth.

We put together this handy five-step guide to help you repot Pothos without making a mess, so stick around.

Why and When to Consider Repotting Pothos Plants

Pothos plants are known for their lovely green heart-shaped leaves with pointed tips. They almost always show either yellow, white, or light green stripes.

Many people love Pothos plants because they’re so undemanding and easy to care for. Also, these ivy-like plants don’t have a special preference when it comes to lighting. They do pretty well in almost all light conditions, except direct sunlight when it’s really hot out.

Another advantage is they remain green year-round. New stems typically appear during the warmer months.

So, how often should you repot Pothos? If you have a small desktop Pothos plant, you’ll probably need to repot it every year or so.

On the other hand, if your Pothos plant is a large floor plant, then we recommend you repot it once every two years.

Here are several reasons when repotting becomes necessary.

  • Leaves are wilting and turning yellow or brown
  • Roots are starting to grow upward and appear through the topsoil
  • The pot is starting to crack because the roots are expanding with no room for them to go
  • Soil is either drying out too fast or not fast enough
Woman watering a houseplant

Repotting Pothos: How To Do It Right

You can buy Pothos at almost any flower and garden shop around the globe. They’re quite affordable, which is one reason why people love them so much.

Another reason why Pothos plants are so well-liked is that they grow pretty quickly. They’re also easy to propagate, which means more plants for less money.

The best time for repotting is either in the spring or summer. This is when the plant is healthy and strong enough to handle the transition.

Check out our step-by-step guide on how to report Pothos:

Step 1: Pick a Planter

When choosing a new planter, there are a couple of important factors to keep in mind. The most important is the material of the planter.

Note that terracotta pots are fairly porous, allowing the soil to aerate at a quicker pace. Alternatively, plastic and ceramic pots aren’t as porous, even with drainage holes.

Having determined the right material for your pot, it’s time to consider size and drainage. Read ahead to find out more.


Pothos are fast growers and enjoy having ample space for their roots to spread into. The plastic pots you bought your Pothos in can quickly become stifling and cramped.

If you’re using a new pot, make sure it’s a couple of inches larger in diameter than the previous one. So, for example, if the old pot was four inches wide, choose a planter that’s six inches wide, and so on. Having a bit of extra space to breathe will help the plant grow and flourish.

Otherwise, if you’re using the same pot, replace the old soil with new potting soil, preferably organic if you can. Then, trim excess roots and foliage.

Repotting Pothos


The second factor you have to think about is drainage. Almost all plants benefit from having drainage holes, and Pothos are no different.

That being said, these plants are extremely easy-going and low-maintenance. They can thrive in almost any type of container or pot. Even without drainage holes, they’ll manage to grow and flourish.

The one problem you may encounter is overwatering. Despite being thirsty plants, there’s also the risk of watering them too often that it leads to root rot.

Root rot is a common problem with indoor plants. The reason? Well, indoor planters are designed to be decorative rather than actual planters. They’re meant to protect various surfaces in your home from getting soaked and muddied up. This is why many of them don’t come with drainage holes.

One way around this problem is to find a nice decor planter without drainage holes. Then, get a slightly smaller liner planter with drainage holes. Measure the two pots to make sure the liner can comfortably fit inside the decor planter.

Another solution is to only water the Pothos when the soil feels dry to the touch. Between waterings, you can spray the leaves if you feel they’ve collected dust or need a little pick-me-up.

Step 2: Water the Pothos Before Repotting

Before removing the plant from its old pot, there are a couple of things you have to do first. The most important thing is to make sure the roots are moist. You’ll find that Pothos roots are easier to work with when they’re hydrated.

So, the best thing to do is water the plant before repotting and leave the roots to soak up the moisture. You can do this a couple of hours before repotting or even the day before.

Watering the plant helps accomplish two things. The first is to ensure the roots are relaxed so that when they go to their new pot, they’re able to adapt more quickly.

The second thing is it helps prevent breakage. Since roots are typically bunched up in the soil, moving them while they’re dry can lead to breakage and you can end up damaging the entire plant.

Step 3: Choose the Right Type of Potting Soil

Now that you have your plant and have given time for the roots to hydrate, it’s time to get their new home ready. The first thing you have to do is get some high-quality potting soil. If you can, try to find something listed with the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).

We also suggest you find a potting mix that consists of some organic fertilizer. This ensures that the plants will be well-nourished for the next three months at least.

Once you’ve chosen the right type of potting soil, start by placing two or three scoops in the bottom of the pot. Make sure you create a nice, even layer.

Step 4: Loosen the Roots from the Old Pot

With the new planter almost ready, let’s remove the Pothos from its old planter. First, give the planter a few gentle wacks on the sides as you turn it in your hand to loosen the soil.

Next, cover your work surface with a towel or paper. Slowly turn over the planter to one side.

If everything goes according to plan, the soil should slide out onto your hand as one large section. You may also find some loose soil falling out.

Now comes the tricky part. Look at the root ball. If there aren’t many roots wrapped around the root ball, then, you can go ahead and replant it right away.

Alternatively, if more than a few roots surround the surface, this means you have to intervene. Begin by pulling the roots away from the ball. If the roots are dry and stiff, you may have to soak the root ball in some water for several minutes to make them easier to manage.

We recommend that you take your time with this step. You want to avoid tearing off any roots in the process.

Step 5: Arrange the Pothos in the New Planter

Place the Pothos in the new planter. The area where the stem meets the roots should only be an inch below the rim of the pot. This leaves space for the water to gather before the soil absorbs it. It also reduces the risk of overflow.

If the plant is in too deep, take it out, add more potting soil, then try again. If the base of the plant is too close to the rim, you’ll need to remove some of the potting soil before replacing the plant.

Once everything is at the right height, spread out the roots across the soil. If you can, try to extend them sideways so they can get as much space and nourishment as possible.

The next step is to add a top layer of potting soil. Take the time to spread it out to create an even top layer. Make sure all the roots are covered and safely out of harm’s way.

Finally, lightly water the soil. This helps pack down the soil and it keeps your Pothos happy.

A child holding a potted houseplant

The Wrap-Up

Repotting Pothos as required is the best way to ensure a thriving plant. Use our step-by-step guide to help you safely move your plant from one pot to another.

When your plants get the nourishment and moisture they need, they pay it forward by growing strong, healthy stems and roots in abundance.

Remember, Pothos are quite generous when the conditions are right. So, it’s up to you to provide them with the safe and reliable environment they deserve.