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How To Know When A Plant Needs A Bigger Pot? (Complete Guide)


When a plant reaches the final size you desire, it is no longer necessary to pot it in a larger pot, however, if you want your plant to grow further, it will have to be repotted.


A good pot is important for your plant. Not too big or too small, but always with good drainage. How do you know when your plant needs a bigger pot? This is the question we will answer.


How do you know if a plant needs a larger pot?

When the new leaves or flowers become smaller or when the roots come out through the drainage hole.


For large pots, you can simply scrape off the soil, remove as much old soil as possible and replace it with a mixture of potting soil and compost. The best time is during March, when the vegetation starts again with the lengthening of the days, but never during the flowering period.


What arguments should be considered when choosing a pot?

Excess water

Whatever the pot, it is extremely important that excess water can drain out of it. Therefore always make sure that the bottom of the pot is pierced with small holes. To avoid flooding your living room, you can put the plant together with the growing pot (the plastic pot with holes) in a closed cachepot.


Always make sure that there is a free space of about one centimeter at the bottom of the cachepot so that the pot does not get wet. A few pebbles, pieces of cork or an inverted saucer will do the trick. You can also put the plant in a terracotta or plastic pot with a hole in the bottom and put it on a saucer that will collect the excess water.


Choosing a terracotta or plastic pot?

Clay pots are porous and breathe a little. This means on the one hand that water also evaporates from the pot and therefore the plant needs to be watered more often. On the other hand, this porosity also ensures that air enters the potting soil.


And this is important for many plants to keep the roots healthy and fresh. Practical tip! If you have a new terracotta pot, start by soaking it in water for 15 minutes. New pots are often so dry and thirsty that they absorb all the water from the first watering, leaving nothing for the plant.


The advantage of plastic is that it is waterproof and therefore retains water well. The water from the watering goes directly to the plant and is not lost in the walls of the pot. The disadvantage is that the roots are only aerated from the top of the potting soil. 


Choosing the weight of your pot

The weight should also be taken into account when choosing the pot. If you intend to move the plant often, for example because it is in a dark place and needs regular light, plastic is very light.


Terracotta pots are heavier, especially large ones. But they have the advantage of being more stable. A plant whose head is heavy can easily tip over in a plastic pot.


Perfect shape

Most plants do not like pots that are too big. Water can accumulate in places where the roots can’t reach and this excess moisture can cause them to rot.

But a pot that is too small does not provide the space the plant needs to grow. To find out if the pot is too small, look at the roots of the plant.


If they are growing upwards or coming out through the holes in the bottom of the pot, they are in urgent need of space. Sometimes plants need a new pot as soon as they are bought. Before you give it a final location, check if your plant does not need a larger pot.


When to repot a plant?

A potted plant needs to be repotted when: the roots come out through the drainage holes, the foliage looks big compared to the pot or the new leaves are smaller.


Repot potted plants, whether house or balcony plants, in late winter/early spring, when the plants are coming out of their vegetative rest and will start growing again. They are then repotted in a larger pot (2-3 cm more in diameter).


In the case of an adult plant, one will not change pot (or at least the size of the pot), one will be satisfied to renew the substrate as much as possible, every 2-3 years on average.



A flowerpot is as much a useful object as a decorative object, so it is important to choose it well. But apart from the criterion of weight which can be a problem, it is the comfort of your plants that is the most important objective.


Plants installed outside are subject to the vagaries of the weather even more than in the open ground because it protects their roots well. Sufficient space for the roots, protection against frost or excessive heat, a substrate that remains reasonably cool, these are the imperatives for an effective pot!

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