How to Pot a Plant

Whether you’re hoping to pop your new leafy friend into a cute planter or give an older plant more growing room, it’s essential to brush up on your potting practices!

Follow our easy how-to below for setting your plant up for success! 


Assess your plant.

Does it even need a new pot? Look at the foliage. If the plant has gotten quite top heavy, it’s most likely time to size up. Likewise, if roots are escaping the top of the pot or out through the drainage holes, your plant needs a larger home. If your plant looks comfortable in its current pot, consider using a decorative cachepot to cover it’s grow pot for a new look without the effort (and root disturbance) of repotting.

Assess your current pot.

Pots are measured in inches by diameter (from one side of the opening to the other.) Knowing the diameter of your current pot will help you choose a new one.

Select your pot.

The rule of thumb is to choose a planter two sizes larger than the pot in which the plant is currently housed. This means if your plant is in a four inch pot, size up to a six inch pot, and so on. Choosing a pot that is too small will stunt growth. Choosing one that is too large will retain too much water in the soil and you run the risk of rot. It’s best to pot directly into pots that have a hole for drainage. If you’ve found a pot that you love that doesn’t have a drainage hole, pot your plant into a larger grow pot and use the one without drainage as a cover pot. You can also use a drainage layer like LECA or lava rocks to help account for the lack of drainage. Just remember to watch your watering, as without drainage water can build up at the bottom of the pot and rot your roots! A water meter can help avoid this by measuring the dampness at the bottom of the soil.

Select your soil.

If you’re potting a cactus, choose a cactus soil. Most house plants will do just fine in a standard potting soil. If you tend to over water your plants, a soil amendment like perlite or charcoal can add extra drainage to the soil.

Remove your plant from the grow pot.

Gently wiggle your plant free from its container. Be careful with the roots. There is no need to break up the root ball. If the plant is very root bound, carefully unwind some of the roots to encourage them to spread out in the new soil.

Add a layer of soil to your new pot.

The layer should be enough that the base of the plant where its roots begin sits about level with the lip of the new pot.

Put your plant in the new pot.

Gently set the plant into its new home. Check that the roots have enough room and that the plant is sitting level. 

Add soil.

Place new soil evenly around the root ball. Soil should be even and level, not packed too hard but also without large gaps of air. Leave about an inch of space from the rim of the pot down to the soil so as not to get overflow when watering.

Water your plant.

Give your plant a drink to help it acclimate to its new home. Careful not to overwater, use just enough to dampen the soil.

Place the plant back into its preferred lighting conditions, clean up, and you’re done! 

Potting a plant isn’t difficult, and practice makes perfect! Feeling unsure? Don’t want to deal with the mess? Give us a call. Plant Salon offers potting services! 

Check out a few of our favorite pots in store now: