A Beginner’s Guide to Repotting Succulents: Step by Step Directions

Did you know that repotting succulents can be easy? The truth is, repotting succulent plants only takes about 10 minutes. This blog post will walk you through the steps to repot your own succulent plant so that it can thrive in its new pot for years to come.

You’ll find information about soil, pot saturation level, plant height, pot type (terracotta vs clay), drainage holes, and more! With this helpful information in mind, succulents can be repotted quickly with a few easy steps so that they continue to grow healthily for years to come!

Easy Steps For Repotting Succulents:

1. Remove The Succulent From Its Previous Container

  • Carefully take out the old succulent and soil from your planter. Tease apart all of the roots in order to get out as much dirt as possible.
  • Remove roots from the plant which are dead, rotten, or have been damaged.
  • Gently place the succulent on a towel.

2. Add Soil To The New Container And Plant Your Succulent In It

  • Fill a pot with succulent soil and leave about 3 inches of empty space from the top of the pot to allow for future growth.
  • Place the succulent’s roots in the new pot, working them around so that they are spread evenly across the new soil.
  • Lightly sprinkle some additional soil over the top of the roots, making sure to avoid compacting it too heavily.

3. Add Water To The Container

  • Slowly pour water over the entire plant until it is nice and wet, then carefully pat down any parts of the leaves that stick up above the soil line, being careful not to rip them off completely (this is sometimes necessary if you have a young succulent).

When Should I Repot My Succulent?

  1. If your succulent is in a pot that is too small for the root ball, then when the pot starts to overflow (usually after one-two years), it might be time for repotting.
  2. When your succulent looks like its roots are beginning to come out of the drainage holes it’s a good time to upgrade to a larger size to avoid clogs and standing water in your planter.
  3. When your plant shows signs of rot or mold, you know it’s time to start watering less and thinking about repotting. Mold occurs when the potting mix or soil is too wet.
  4. It’s also a good idea to repot your succulent if it looks like the color of its leaves have changed (usually dark green). This usually means that there isn’t enough sunlight for proper growth, and repotting may help this problem on its own.
  5. Some succulents grow taller than others, so it is important to repot those that are too tall into a pot with the right height.
  6. To repot succulents in a small pot into a larger one without much risk of the succulent toppling over, repot in the afternoon or evening when they are less active and therefore easier to handle.

What Type of Soil Should I Use?

The best soil to use for succulents is cactus potting mix, which is made up of sand, peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. This type of soil can be found at any nursery or garden store.

Cactus potting mix is perfect for succulents because it is lightweight, so it won’t hold water. It will, however, allow all of the water to be soaked up by the soil and roots that are in it. This is helpful since overwatering succulents can cause them to die.

Growing tip: If your succulent has been indoors for most of its life, it will likely prefer a potting medium with more peat moss than sand and perlite. This is because many succulent plants are native to arid regions so they prefer to stay in a more arid environment.

The Most Popular Cactus Potting Mix is made by Hoffman and is a great choice because of its excellent value, high-quality materials, and wide range of use. A standard-sized bag of Hoffman succulent soil is 4 quarts and costs less than $15.

Hoffman 10404 Organic Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix Specs:

  • Low maintenance potting soil for all levels of gardeners
  • Suitable for all climates and types of cacti
  • A unique blend of organic ingredients.
  • Contains all the essential nutrients for healthy growth

If you’re interested in learning more about the best soil for succulents, take a look at this article I wrote that includes my top picks and personal reviews. 

What Container Is Best For My Succulent?

Succulents can be repotted into just about any type of container. There are, however, some considerations to take into account depending on the size and weight of the succulent.

Some common containers include terra cotta pots, clay pots, fiber pots, and plastic pots.

Terra Cotta Pots

A terra-cotta pot is a container that is made of hard-fired clay. The pots are usually a light orange color and have a rough texture. Since they are made completely out of clay, they have the capacity to absorb water and repel soil.

Terra cotta pots are timeless, traditional, and affordable planters that are a common choice for succulent growers. They also have the added bonus of producing a natural weathered look as they age with the plant’s roots.

Fiber Pots

A fiber pot is a pot that is made of crochet or mesh. These types of pots are lightweight, but they do not have the same qualities as clay pots. For one thing, fiber pots repel water and will drain faster than other containers so it is important to keep in mind that you may need to water more often depending on what type of soil your succulent repots into.

They are also less durable than clay pots and can be easily ripped, which means repotting succulents into these containers may not be a good idea for succulents that are heavy or those with long taproots.

Plastic Pots

A plastic pot is the easiest to find at any store since they come in many different colors as well as sizes from very small to large. Plastic pots are the most common type of pot, but they don’t allow light through like other materials do, which is why succulents repotted in them should be watered more often.

The downside of repotting succulents into these pots is that they are not very sturdy and can break easily, so repotting a heavy or deep-rooted plant may be problematic with this type of container.

Some people also avoid repotting their plants because the plastic pots will yellow over time which makes them unattractive to repot succulents into.

However, they are an excellent value and can be a great way to repot your plants on a budget.

Ceramic Pots

Many people re-pot their succulents into ceramic pots because they are more durable than other containers, although these types of planters will also eventually yellow over time and lose some of their shine.

A ceramic pot can be expensive, but they are very durable, which is great if you plan on leaving your succulent in this container for a very long time.

The downside of repotting succulents into these pots is that it may become difficult or impossible to repot them into a different type of pot once they have been repotted, because a repotting succulent into a ceramic pot will break the soil or damage the plant.

Cement Pots

Repotting succulents into cement planters is not as common, but some people do repot their plants this way. These types of pots are usually quite heavy which would make repotting the plant difficult if it has long taproots.

The cement may also repel water which could be a problem for succulents that need lots of moisture or those with shallow roots. These pots are very durable and do not yellow over time like ceramic planters, so they can last for years before repotting them is necessary.

Another downside to repotting plants into these pots is that they are difficult to repot if you want the plant in a different container because cement planters cannot be cut.

What Size Container Is Best For Repotting My Succulents?

The most common size of container to repot succulents is a 4” pot, or one with a diameter of 4”. This is because repotting succulents is often a way to repopulate the container with more soil.

A repotted succulent will also need enough room for its roots, so you should keep in mind that repots usually have at least an inch of space around them without any obstructions or other plants which may hinder their growth.

If you’re repotting your succulents into a container with less space than this, the roots will likely grow sideways and may become tangled.

For those who are considering repotting their plants in a different size container, keep in mind that roots grow in all directions and if the plant cannot be repotted into a larger pot because its roots are too long you may have to remove roots from the sides of the root ball before planting it into a different type of pot.

The best type of pot for succulents will vary depending on many factors, but it depends primarily on what types of plants you repot and how much room you have.

Want to learn more about the best pots for succulents? Read about my top stylish choices here

Growing Tip: Clay pots are porous, which means they absorb water and nutrients from the soil rather than draining it as other materials do. This can cause clay pots to eventually dry out completely if you don’t repot your plant into a different container with better drainage.

How Often Should I Repot My Succulents?

It’s important to repot your plants every two years or so which will help keep them healthy. It also helps the soil stay fresh and oxygenated by removing any old roots that may have died off in their pots over time. 

Since succulents are drought-resistant, repotting them on a regular basis can help keep the soil healthy and make it easier to water the plants because you’re removing old roots which may have become difficult for succulents to absorb.

Growing tip: Pinch off any dead or damaged leaves that may have been caused by repotting the plant.

Taking Care Of Your Repotted Plant

Water repotted succulent plants every week or so to keep the soil moist, but not wet.

Fertilize your repoted plant with a liquid fertilizer every month and water again after you fertilize it. If there is an especially hot spell of weather where temperatures are over 100 degrees Fahrenheit repotted succulents plants need more water to help them stay hydrated.

Remove any dead or damaged leaves from your repotted plant and replace it with fresh soil if needed.

If you are repoting the same type of pot, put a layer of stones around the top edge so that there is no contact between the two containers.

If you repot it into a pot with better drainage, leave the old container on top of your new one and add fresh soil to both containers so that repotted succulent plants have plenty of room for healthy growth.

Summary

Repotting succulents is an important part of plant maintenance. It is a process that can be done at any time, but generally should be performed when the roots have grown so large they are crowding and tangling together or if there’s been a change in pot size because it will provide better drainage for the plants.

Succulent enthusiasts often repot their plants during winter months to take advantage of lower light levels and cooler temperatures which slow down growth rates while also providing ample moisture from rainstorms as well as less direct sunlight exposure on leaves.

Share your experience with repotting succulents by posting below!

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