The pothos plant, Epipremnum aureum, and its many varieties are popular houseplants. Pothos tolerates a wide range of growing conditions and is easy to care for.
Many new houseplant owners start repotting pothos when they get home. But, should a pothos need repotting that soon?
In its natural habitat, the pothos grows as a vine, using tree trunks to climb as a sort of trellis.
When grown in containers, the pothos put out many runners and can become overgrown. If the plant becomes too large for its pot, you may want to repot it or take cuttings to make new plants.
When Should You Repot Your Pothos Plant?
Because of the speed with which pothos plants can send out new shoots and runners, your pothos plant will likely outgrow its container every other year.
As a result, some particularly hardy and thriving pothos varieties need repotting every year.
Any healthy potted plant will eventually outgrow its container. So besides the obvious sign that the plant has become sprawling and weedy above ground, you should check the pothos plant’s root growth.
If the roots have grown up to the edge of the container and begun to circle around it, then you should repot.
Similarly, if the roots have begun to grow above ground or have begun to grow out through the holes in the bottom of the pot, the plant has become too big and needs a new pot to call home.
Can I Use the Same Soil For The Pothos?
Over time, a potted plant will eventually exhaust the soil in its container.
The plant absorbs nutrients from the soil, and while those nutrients can be replenished with fertilizer, fertilization is no substitute for good soil, to begin with.
So, you might consider replacing the pothos soil in the plant every two to three years in a small pot.
A larger pot can have its soil replaced every three or four years.
Should I Repot the Plant if It Has Diseases or Pests?
If your pothos plant is showing white leaves, it could have mites.
On the other hand, it might suffer from leaf spot disease if it has brown and yellow spots on the leaves.
In either case, repotting the plant can be a beneficial treatment to remove the parasites or disease.
In the case of mites, be sure to wash the plant thoroughly to prevent them from hitching a ride to the plant’s new pot.
Discard the affected leaves and stems in either case and the old soil.
When Is The Best Time To Repot Pothos Plants?
Like other house plants, pothos is more active in the spring and early summer growing season when days are longer.
This is usually the best time to repot the plant, as it can use the extra daylight to recover from the stress of being transplanted into a new pot. Read: Do Pothos need a lot of light?
Be sure to control the temperature in the room where the repotted plant is kept.
Pothos plants don’t do well in temperatures above 80° degrees Fahrenheit, and they stop growing altogether at temperatures over 90° degrees Fahrenheit.
What Kind of Pot Should I Use?
Pots come in many different styles and kinds of materials.
The pothos isn’t particularly fussy and probably came in a cheap plastic container when you bought it from the store.
These may be fragile, but sturdier ones won’t deteriorate from the sun and weather.
A clay, plastic, or wood container will work equally well, but you have many choices for your plant.
One thing to remember is that the pothos plant grows long trailing runners.
Therefore, it doesn’t need a large pot, so you need only choose a pot size or two bigger than your plant’s current container for repotting.
What Kind of Soil Should I Use?
Pothos needs well-draining soil, as it needs air on its roots. So, heavy soil from the garden is probably not a good choice, and neither is a potting mix.
A potting soil designed for succulents is a good mix for any pothos variety.
If you want to make your own, a good mix might be:
- Four parts of peat moss
- Two parts of perlite
- One part each of sand and shredded bark mulch.
How Do I Actually Repot Pothos Plants?
Here are the steps to follow when repotting pothos plants:
- Remove the plant from the old pot. If the roots have grown out through the drainage hole, you may need to trim them off to remove the plant. The plant has plenty of others, and this won’t hurt the plant. Gently shake the old soil off onto a piece of newspaper or into a bag.
- Gently untangle the roots if they have become bunched up or grown around the sides of the container.
- If you are repotting the plant for pests or diseases, this is the time to rinse off the plant and remove any diseased leaves or stems. Discard any diseased leaves in the trash, and do not compost them.
- Some people like to put a rough stone or a piece of broken clay pot in the container over the drainage holes to keep them from becoming clogged. Fill the new pot up to about 1/3 of its depth with new soil for the plant.
- Put the pothos plant on the surface of this soil. As you do so, spread the roots out evenly so that they are in contact with the soil and are evenly distributed around the plant and not bunched up.
- Fill the rest of the pot with soil, covering the roots first, then put soil around the plant until the pot is refilled to an inch or two of its height. You don’t want to fill the pot to the brim with soil, as it will spill out and cause water to run out and down the side.
- Tap the soil down firmly to hold the plant in place, and give the roots good contact with the soil.
- Water the plant at once until the soil is damp.
Once you have finished, put your pothos plant back in the same location.
The transplant will cause stress to the plant, and you don’t want to cause additional stress by moving it to a new location.
The plant may show signs of distress, like curling or yellowing leaves, for a few days, but these should pass with time as the plant should recover from transplantation quite quickly.