Do your plants need repotting? Lewis Cox of Urban Tropicana explains how you know when they do

Urban Tropicana, 21 Turnham Green Terrace

How do you know when your plant needs repotting?

Guest blog by Lewis Cox

Houseplants can be repotted at any time of the year but spring really is the ideal time. Longer days means more sunlight which stimulates our little green friends and helps them produce new growth.

If you’re unsure whether your houseplant is in need of repotting then check for the following signs:

If you remove the plant from its container is there only roots and no soil? This is what’s known as ‘pot bound’ and in most, but not all cases it is a good sign that your plant needs repotting.

Has your plant stopped growing? A fresh soil change and a slightly larger pot might fix this.

Roots popping out of the pots drainage holes? One of the clearest indicators that your plant needs a bigger pot.

Your current soil is looking a little meh and doesn’t hold any water when you’ve watered it? Soil ages and eventually will lose all of its nutrients. Repotting with fresh substrate will be to your houseplant what an English breakfast is to a hangover – heaven.

Images above: Snake plant, (aka ‘Mother in law’s tongue); Jewel Orchid, (Ludisia Discolor); Alocasia (‘Dragon Scale’)

A few simple rules

When repotting always follow a few simple rules:

Use a pot with drainage holes. If you’re potting straight into a decorative pot without drainage holes (not something we would advise) make sure it’s made from porous material like terracotta otherwise you run this risk of creating a little reservoir at the bottom of your pot which will eventually lead to root rot and your plant ending up in the big nursery in the sky.

When repotting, upsizing from your current pot makes total sense, go one size bigger and if you’re recycling an old pot then make sure you give it a good wash beforehand to prevent the possible spread of fungus or bacteria.

Images above: Philippine Orchid (Medinilla Magnifica); Sweetheart Plant (Hoya Kerrii); Calathea (‘Makoyana’)

Urban Tropicana’s new repotting service

If you think your houseplants might be in need of a repot and can’t think of anything worse than doing it yourself then fear not, just drop them off to us at Urban Tropicana, 21 Turnham Green Terrace and we’ll do the mucky work for you.

We’ll take your plant, remove its current substrate and give its roots an MOT. We’ll then replace the soil with our hand mixed, peat free blend which is packed with everything you plant needs to thrive. We’ll then end the plants pampering session with a good soak in our 100% natural fertiliser.

House plant re-potting costs:

Small Pot (up to 12cm) – £5
Medium (12cm to 19cm) – £7
Large: (19cm +) – £12

Cacti & succulent re-potting costs:

Small Pot (up to 12cm) – £5
Medium (12cm to 19cm) – £9
Large: (19cm +) – £20

For larger plants which can’t be transported to us we can arrange home visits. Please ask for further details about this service.

To book a slot please email us at or call the store on 0208 616 0910. You can bring your own replacement pot or purchase one in store. To ensure we have the right replacement pot size available please let us know when booking your appointment.


Images above: Hoya Linearis; Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica); Asparagus Fern

Urban Tropicana
21 Turnham Green Terrace

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