How To Know When to Repot Succulents (10 Helpful Factors)

By | Updated November 5, 2023

Succulents are a popular plant to have in your home. They’re low maintenance and easy to care for, which is why they’ve become so popular over the years. 

But when should you repot succulents? And how do you know when it’s time? 

So, how to know when to repot succulents? It can be difficult to tell at first glance, but there are a few factors that can help you determine whether or not your plants need repotting or not.

How Do You Know When to Repot Succulents

It can be a bit tricky knowing when you need to repot your succulents. 

Here are some factors that can help you determine when your succulents need to be repotted. 

Right After They Have Been Purchased

New succulents may need to be repotted when they are brought home. This is because they are typically grown in containers with a good amount of old soil, with very little air space around the roots. 

This doesn’t mean that all succulents should be repotted when first bought. 

But if you’re unsure whether your new plant needs potting again or not, you can always try to twist the succulent out of its container gently, and if it falls apart into several pieces or has a lot of roots coming out from around the sides, this means that they need a new pot. 

Soil Dries Fast 

When the soil of your succulents dries up quickly, it means that it is time to repot. 

The potting soil mix may be drying out quickly because it is not draining correctly, has poor aeration, or contains too much fertilizer. 

Succulents need a potting mix that retains water and has good drainage properties so they don’t dry out when you forget to water them. 

Succulents Are Falling or Leaning Over

When you notice that your succulents are falling or leaning, it may be a sign that the roots have grown too large for their pot. 

The plants will need to be planted into a bigger pot with a succulent/cactus soil mix. 

With time, you should see an improvement in their health. 

Succulents Stop Growing

Succulents stop growing when they are in a pot that is too small. 

The roots will start to circle the pot, and when they cannot grow anymore, that plant needs repotting. 

This will help the plant grow more and live longer because it needs a bigger new pot so the roots can grow better. 

Succulent Leaves Start Drooping or Begin Looking Wilted

A clear sign that your succulent plant needs repotting is when the leaves on it start drooping or begin to look wilted. 

This happens when they are either in too small of a pot, not getting enough water, or need more sun. 

The other reason that this happens is when there isn’t room for the roots to grow anymore. 

This causes them to be growing on top of one another instead of spreading out only at the soil level, where they need space to grow new roots and store more moisture and give off oxygen.

Succulents Become Root Bound

Succulents become root-bound when they are in a pot that is too small for them. 

The roots will grow out of their pots and onto other surfaces, such as the floor or surrounding furniture. They also begin to spread horizontally instead of vertically, which can cause problems over time. 

When you spot symptoms like this on your plants, it’s best to examine how much potting soil mixture there is left in the pot before adding more water. 

Is there plenty of space at the top? If not, then it might be time to repot your plant. 

Succulents Get Too Big

Succulents grow very quickly when they’re planted in a pot with lots of soil and water, but over time their roots get too big for the container. 

Overgrown succulents need to be repotted because they will stop growing new fleshy leaves or flowers and might even look unhealthy.

Succulents Have New Growths

Succulents grow new offsets on the sides of their leaves. The offsets will eventually form new roots, so it’s essential to repot your succulents.

When there is no space for offset growths, you should remove the offsets instead of just leaving them in place. This will create more space for other plants that can grow alongside each other nicely without too much crowding.

Succulents Look Unhealthy

Succulents need to be repotted when they look unhealthy. 

This might happen for various reasons, from not having enough room in the pot or too much sun exposure on their leaves. 

Sometimes succulents will just have outgrown their pot and need more space to grow. This is especially true if you plan on propagating them by taking cuttings off the plant’s stem or tip.

There Is a Small Gap Between the Soil and the Pot

The plants need to be repotted when the water stays on top of the succulent soil mix instead of draining through. This is usually because there’s not enough drainage in the pot, and it needs to have more holes for excess water to drain out. 

If your succulents are too big, they will start forming roots around the edges, creating an unhealthy root system with no room for new growth. 

Your best bet would be to have a separate planter and transplant them from their current container into one with better drainage. 

How Often Should You Repot Succulents

The frequency of when to repot succulents depends on the health and age of your plant. If it’s a new or young growing succulent, you should expect to be repotting them every couple of months for the first year. 

Plants in their second year of growth will need less frequent potting as long as there is plenty of light and room for air circulation. 

You can wait another six months between replanting this succulent when compared with a newer one. It all comes down to how much time you want to spend caring for your indoor succulents and what level thrives best under these conditions.

When Is the Best Time to Repot Succulents

The best time of the year to repot a succulent plant is when the weather is dry. This means that you should only be repotting succulents when there has been no precipitation in at least two days or if it’s around wintertime and the ground will not freeze for several months.

When a succulent is dormant, its root system shrinks, so when you repot a succulent in the fall or wintertime, it’s best to give them extra room to grow. 

If you are repotting succulent plants into a larger pot than they’ve been in before, make sure that there is at least an inch of space between the edge of the old pot and where the new soil line should be. 

This way, your succulents can still get plenty of water even if their roots haven’t yet grown past the edge of their container.

A good rule for determining when is “the time” is around late November through early March. The ground has usually cooled down enough by this point that watering won’t leach nutrients from plants as quickly. 

If you are repotting succulents into a smaller pot than they’ve been in before, it’s best to do this during the spring and summertime when roots can take up water quickly without drying out too much. 

How to Repot Succulents

Now that you know the best time to repot your succulents, let’s move on to how you should do it.

The first step is to determine what size pot you need for your particular succulent. If you are unsure, it is always better to err on the side of a pot that is too large rather than too small.

Once you have your pot, it’s time to prepare the succulent for the move.

Gently remove the plant from its current pot, careful not to damage the roots.

If the root ball is tightly bound together, you may need a sharp knife to loosen it up.

After the succulent has been removed from its pot, shake off any excess dirt clinging to the roots.

Once the roots are clean, it’s time to start adding them to the new pot.

If you are using a pot that is much larger than the previous one, you may need to add some additional soil to the bottom before adding the roots.

This will help to keep the plant from tipping over when it is first put into its new home.

Once the roots are in place, you can start adding more fresh soil around them until the pot is filled.

Be sure to compact the soil gently as you go so that there are no air pockets.

Don’t water the succulent immediately after repotting it.

This can cause the roots to rot, so it’s best to wait a few days before giving it a drink.

Now that you know when and how to repot succulents, you can keep your plants healthy and happy for years to come!

Final Thoughts

Succulents are not challenging to take care of. They just need some light, water, and love! 

The best time to repot your succulents is when they start looking shaggy or the roots outgrow their pot.

One thing about this plant family is that there isn’t a wrong time for repotting. 

However, if you are looking for the best time to repot your succulents, then it would be when they start to look shaggy.

If you notice that their roots have outgrown their pot and need more room in a larger container, now is the perfect time to do so because this indoor plant does not like being cramped.

Thus, a repotted succulent will have a new chance to thrive and grow healthy.

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