September 17, 2020

As your plant grows new leaves, it also grows new roots. These new roots will support the plant’s increased water and nutrient needs, while also stabilizing the plant in the soil. However, plants in pots will eventually run into a problem: new roots are growing, but they have nowhere to go! When this happens, the plant is considered “rootbound”. 

How do you know your plant is rootbound?

Observe your plant after you water. Is your plant overly thirsty? Does it need to be watered more often and absorb water quickly? It’s likely rootbound. Another observation to make: is your plant not growing as fast as it used to? If you’re fertilizing your plant and giving it the right light, water, and temperature, but it’s STILL not growing, it could be rootbound. 

Okay, so you’ve determined your plant is likely rootbound.

The solution:

A bigger pot. But not too big! Plant pots are measured by diameter. If your plant is in an 8” pot, you want to buy a new pot that is approximately 10” in diameter. You want to only increase pot size by 1-2”, otherwise it can shock your plant. 

To repot,

gently shuffle your plant out of its old pot. If the roots are coming out of the bottom holes, take the time to work them back into the pot and out with the rest of the plant. Once the rootbound plant is out of its pot, carefully squeeze the roots and massage them apart. Layer an 2-3” of soil on the bottom of the new pot and gently place your plant inside. Fill around the plant with soil, leaving about an inch from the rim of the pot. 

Do you have any rootbound plants you repotted recently? We’d love to see them! Tag us on Instagram @essenciaair.


Photo by: Huy Phan,

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