A Guide to Repotting Houseplants


Yay! I'm assuming you're here because you just purchased a Left On Olive planter for your brand new houseplant and are trying to figure out the best way to repot! I couldn't be more excited, and I have tips! Let's go over some basics.


First things first, you don't need to repot right away.  Repotting can be traumatizing for plants, especially after they're leaving their comfortable nursery environment that they are so used to. Let them get settled in before repotting! Most plant specialists recommend keeping your plant in the plastic nursery pot for about a year. Which is actually perfect for your LO pot! They slip right in and nursery pots have great drainage, so you don't need holes in your LO planter (which is how they come by default).

When is it time to repot?? Most houseplants grow slow and prefer to be in tight fitting containers, so you don't need to repot until there are more roots than soil (a good indicator is roots coming out of the nursery pot drainage holes). It's also best to repot in the spring just before growing season when plants are hungry for fresh nutrients.

Every plant is different, so it's always a good idea to research your specific plant type and see the type of environment they like and specific repotting tips. 

Once you've decided it is time to repot, here are some best practices!
  • It's best to only go up a size or two when picking out your new pot because most house plants prefer tight fitting containers. If you think you'll need to repot again soon, you might decide to go into a bigger nursery pot instead of directly into a decorative pot. (This is because it's easier to have a decorative pot a few sizes too big and gradually put bigger nursery pots into it rather than swapping out decorative pots often).
  • Water your plants a couple days before it's time to repot. It will make it easier to get it out of the nursery pot and will help avoid risk of shock.
  • You don't need drainage holes in your LO planter, even if you're planting directly into the pot. Instead, put about an inch layer of rocks at the bottom (we like to use lava rocks, but activated charcoal is also recommended as it will actually absorb liquid).
  • Put at least an inch of soil above your rock layer (more if you need your plant to be lifted so it's closer to the top of the planter) and now you're ready for the plant!
  • Remove your plant from the nursery pot, (you may find it helpful to slide a butter knife around the edges to loosen it) and gently loosen the root ball. You can also clip any black or damaged roots before repotting.
  • Slide your plant into the new planter and fill in with soil. You'll want to firmly pack the soil in so the plant is snug. And you're all set!
***Note: Most potting soil contains fertilizer, so you don't want to give your plant any extra fertilizer/food for at least 6 weeks after repotting.

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