Succulents: A Comprehensive Guide to Repotting

Welcome to this article about repotting succulents! Succulents are popular plants that are characterized by their thick, fleshy leaves and stems. They are great for indoor or outdoor decoration, and their low maintenance makes them perfect for busy people. However, eventually, your succulent will outgrow its container and will need to be repotted. In this article, we will walk you through the steps of how to repot a succulent to keep it thriving. Let’s get started!

The Basics of Succulent Repotting

Repotting is an essential aspect of succulent care. It provides your plants with fresh soil, gives them more space to grow, and helps prevent disease and pests. Repotting succulents involves transferring them to a larger container with fresh potting soil. It’s best to do this in the spring or summer when your plants are actively growing.

When to Repot

If you notice your succulent’s roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot or the soil is compacted, it’s time to repot. Look for signs of overwatering or underwatering, such as yellowing leaves or root rot. These are all signs that your plant needs a new home.

Choosing the Right Pot

When selecting a new pot, choose one that’s slightly larger than your current container. Look for a pot with drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating and causing root rot. Terra cotta pots are an excellent choice for succulents because they allow the soil to dry out quickly.

Preparing the Soil

Succulents prefer well-draining soil that’s slightly acidic with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. You can purchase succulent soil at your local garden center or make your own by mixing equal parts of sand, perlite, and peat moss.

Steps to Repotting Succulents

Now that you have all the necessary tools and materials, it’s time to repot your succulent. Follow these simple steps for a successful repotting:

Key takeaway: Repotting is an important aspect of succulent care as it provides fresh soil, more space to grow, and prevents disease and pests. When repotting, choose a pot that’s slightly larger with drainage holes, use well-draining soil that’s slightly acidic, and avoid overwatering or underwatering. It’s important to inspect roots for damage or disease, water your succulent a few days before repotting, and wait a few days after repotting before watering again to allow time for roots to adjust and prevent transplant shock.

Step 1: Water Your Succulent

Water your succulent a few days before repotting to make it easier to remove it from the pot. This will also help prevent transplant shock.

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Step 2: Remove the Succulent from the Pot

Gently wiggle the pot to loosen the soil, then turn the pot upside down and tap the bottom to release the plant. If the plant is stuck, use a butter knife to loosen the soil around the edges of the pot.

Step 3: Remove the Old Soil

Gently remove as much of the old soil as possible without damaging the roots. If the roots are tightly packed, you can use a toothbrush to gently remove soil.

Step 4: Inspect the Roots

Before repotting, inspect the roots for damage or signs of disease. Trim any damaged or dead roots with a clean pair of scissors or pruning shears.

Step 5: Add Fresh Soil

Place a layer of fresh soil in the bottom of the new pot, then position your succulent in the center. Add more soil around the sides, gently tamping it down to remove air pockets.

Step 6: Water and Wait

After repotting, water your succulent thoroughly and wait a few days before watering again. This will give the roots time to adjust to their new home.

Tips for Successful Succulent Repotting

Repotting succulents can be a bit intimidating, but with the right tools and techniques, you can do it successfully. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:

  • Use gloves to protect your hands from the spines and prickles of some succulents.
  • Don’t water your succulent immediately after repotting. Wait a few days to give the roots time to adjust.
  • If your plant is top-heavy, use a stake to keep it upright until the roots have had a chance to establish.
  • Label your new pot with the name of the succulent and the date of repotting.
  • If your succulent is too large to repot, you can refresh the soil by removing the top layer and replacing it with fresh soil.
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Common Repotting Mistakes

Repotting can be tricky, and there are a few common mistakes that people make. Here are some things to avoid when repotting your succulent:

Using the Wrong Soil

Succulents need well-draining soil that allows water to flow freely through it. Using heavy soil or soil that retains moisture can lead to root rot and other problems. Make sure to use soil specifically designed for succulents or make your own using the recommended ingredients.


Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes people make with succulents. Succulents are drought-resistant plants that store water in their leaves and stems. They do not need frequent watering, and overwatering can lead to root rot and other problems. Make sure to let the soil dry out between waterings and only water when necessary.


While overwatering is a problem, underwatering can be just as damaging. Succulents need water to survive, and they can become dehydrated if they don’t receive enough moisture. Make sure to water your succulent regularly, but don’t overdo it.

Transplant Shock

Transplant shock is a common problem when repotting succulents. It occurs when the plant is disturbed during repotting, and it takes time for the roots to adjust to their new environment. To minimize transplant shock, water your plant a few days before repotting and avoid watering it immediately after.

FAQs – Succulents: How to Repot

How often should I repot my succulent?

You should repot your succulent when it has outgrown its container or when the soil is depleted of nutrients. A good rule of thumb is to repot your succulent every two to three years. If you notice that the roots are growing out of the drainage holes or the plant is top-heavy, it is time to repot.

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What type of soil should I use for repotting my succulent?

When repotting your succulent, it is important to use well-draining soil that is specifically formulated for succulents. You can also make your own soil mix by combining two parts potting soil, one part sand, and one part perlite or pumice.

How do I repot my succulent?

To repot your succulent, start by gently removing it from its current container and loosening the soil around the roots. Inspect the roots and trim away any that are brown or rotting. Place a layer of fresh soil in the bottom of the new container and position the plant in the center. Fill in the remaining space with fresh soil, making sure to leave some room at the top for watering.

When is the best time to repot my succulent?

The best time to repot your succulent is during its active growing season, which typically occurs in the spring or summer. Avoid repotting during the winter months when the plant is dormant.

How do I care for my succulent after repotting?

After repotting your succulent, it is important to give it time to adjust to its new container and soil. Water your plant sparingly at first, allowing the soil to fully dry out before watering again. Keep the plant in a bright, sunny location and monitor it for signs of stress, such as wilting or yellowing leaves. Once the plant has fully acclimated to its new environment, you can resume your normal care routine.

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