Every once in a while, a houseplant will outgrow its pot. When this happens, you have no choice but to repot it. However, the repotting process can be very stressful on plants so you need to make sure that you do everything just right to avoid killing the plant.
Step 1: Find an appropriate pot for repotting. It might seem like the bigger the pot, the more effective your repotting will be. Unfortunately, that is not the case. You need to be careful to pick the right size pot or you can kill the plant by simply giving it too much room. The reason behind this surprising fact is that soil that is not occupied by roots dries much slower than root filled soil. The trick to finding the right sized pot is allowing the roots an inch or two of room for the root mass to grow without leaving so much empty space that the soil stays wet and mold begins to form. The other thing to know about finding an appropriate pot is that there must be adequate drainage. If you want to repot your plant into a pot with no drainage holes there is a way to do it. You should put the plant into a slightly smaller container that has a drainage hole and then put that container into the pot without the drainage hole. If you do this, you will have to remember to drain the larger container after each watering.
Step 2: Find an appropriate soil. There are different types of soils for different types of plants. If you are going to repot a cactus or a succulent plant, you will need a course-textured soil with large particles for good drainage. On the other hand, more delicate plants with finer roots need a finer-textured soil. Read the instructions on the potting soil when you are soil shopping so that you repot into a soil appropriate for your plant.
Step 3: Prepare the new pot by spreading about an inch to an inch and a half of soil on the bottom of the pot.
Step 4: Remove the plant from the old pot. You will need to wet the soil pretty good in order to get the plant out. Once the soil is moist all the way through, grab the plant firmly by the bottom of its stock or at the point where the leaves or vines come out of the soil. You may have to twist and shake the plant a little but the whole thing should come out as one big mass.
Step 5: Tease the roots. You should try to break up the root ball either by pulling at it with your hands or by using a knife to cut into the roots. If you do cut into the roots, cut about an inch deep and also remove any large coils that have formed at the bottom of the pot. This will not hurt the plant; in fact, it will help it grow.
Step 6: Place the plant in the new pot and fill with soil. Once the roots have been teased, you are ready to repot the plant. Place the whole thing right in the middle of the new pot and then begin to add soil around the sides. Follow a process where you add a little soil, tamp it down and repeat. Continue to add soil until the plant is packed in soil and the new soil fills the pot to about one inch from the top.
Step 7: Water the plant and place it in the sun. The last step is to give the new plant plenty of water. Then you will place it in a sunny place and watch to make sure it does all right. It should start to add new leaves within a couple of weeks.