When to Repot Succulents?
Growth stages, Time of year, etc.

It could be about time that your succulent got a new home. How do you determine when it's time for your plant to move out into a better pot?

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Jimena Bolívar

June 20, 2021


When to Repot Succulents? Growth stages, Time of year, etc. Thumbnail

Introduction

It may look and sound complicated, but it’s pretty easy to tell when a plant needs to be repotted. That aside, it’s also important to know when it should not be repotted. By observing its stages of growth and bloom, we can be sure of the perfect opportunity that arises to give it a new home and ensure its health stays stable.

You will usually repot the succulent when it overgrows its planter, dries out the soil quicker, does not bloom during its season, looks unhealthy, or topples to the side.

soil covered pot with tools

When to Repot your Succulent

shovel with soil by a planter

Before repotting your plant in its due time, which we shall discuss soon, you need to see if its ready for the transition. This will be evident by the leaves of your plant. If your plant has been recently watered within a 6 to 8 days’ time frame, their leaves should be plump. This gives your plant a window of withstanding a drought-period, which you will take advantage of since the success of this lies in not watering the plant right after repotting it.

Repotting is a very stressful event for succulents, as is rehoming for any living being. Be kind to your plants and make sure you read through the article to find out the correct measures you need to take.

Pro-tip!

Succulents need to be repotted every 12 to 18 months, but there are some species that have their own time frames and require repotting much earlier throughout the year.

Newly repotted succulents need to stay in the shade for at least 2 weeks in order to readjust.

1. After Bringing it Home

plant supplies for repotting

Succulents are often sold in small black containers that do not have enough soil for nutrition, nor proper draining. It’s vital to repot your new succulent within the first week or so in order to ensure that it continues to grow out without restriction. Be mindful of not delaying it as a young succulent grows very quickly.

2. Overgrowing its Planter

plants growing out of their planter

Succulents mature exceptionally fast during the initial stages of its life. You might find yourself repotting it more often in the beginning than later down the years. Within that time, the leaves may grow out beyond the boundary of its planter, and this can not only clash with the aesthetics, but with the space needed for the plant to grow to its full potential. Restricting succulent growth is never good for them and can lead to an early death.

3. Lack of Water Retention

cracked and dry soil

One of the easiest ways to tell if you need to repot your plant is when your soil no longer retains water. You find yourself watering it more. This means that the soil goes dry before the week is up. This could only mean that either your soil has depleted in nutrients, or your plant’s roots have grown denser and thus take up more water. You will need a bigger planter to transfer the plant into.

4. Root Overgrowth

overgrown roots in soil

If you find your succulent’s roots hanging out of the holes of its planter, it’s a sure-fire sign that it needs more room to grow. Be gentle during the repotting stage and be sure to check for any abnormalities and bug infestations, especially on the exposed roots.

Always repot your plants in dry soil in order to avoid breaking roots.

Pro-tip!

A regular change of soil is good even without the need for repotting. It's not uncommon for roots to outgrow their planters, but if you notice it was much too soon then it's possible your soil suffers a depletion in nutrients which is why the roots went haywire in search for sustenance.

5. No Flower Blooms

flower blooming on cacti

It’s not too odd for cacti to not bloom flowers sometimes, but keep a closer eye on its health and you might find some form of hindrance or deficiency in its growth all together. Under your watchful eye, you might even catch you succulent looking sick. If this is evident in the first few weeks, it may be time to repot it into a better soil mix in order to promote proper growth.

6. Toppling on its Side

plant fallen over

Succulents are always top heavy considering how much water they store in their leaves. If your plant is toppling over, it’s because the leaves are heavier than the soil and planter combined. While this is a relatively good sign of your plant’s growth, it’s best to re-pot such succulents in planters twice their size in order to leave space for growth and avoid any more toppling incidents.

When to Avoid Repotting

a repotting kit

There are some growth stages and specific seasons where your plant would not appreciate being interrupted. Succulents can be dramatic and will die if bothered during such periods, and we will take a look at some of the ways you can avoid bad timing.

1. Active vs Dormant Window

a succulent in the dark

Avoid repotting succulents during dormant periods of growth. While it may not be actively growing, it’s still alive. It’s a sensitive time where the plant is stocking up on nutrients and has created a specialized biological schedule to facilitate in their growth while shielding themselves from the harshness of the weather.

if you have a succulent that is dormant in the winter and blooms in the summer, you will find that spring time is the best period for repotting. Similarly, if the reverse is true the you will repot it during the fall. This window between the dormant and active seasons of the plant will allow a near seamless transition of adjustment.

2. Flowering Season

succulent flowers in bloom

Repotting while flowering is just as bad as repotting during dormancy. Your succulent will stress out and stop blooming, and any existing flowers will wilt. Succulents are only resilient within spaces they are familiar with, so do not strain it during its peak performance. If they bloom in the summer, repot them in spring-time. If in the winter, then repot during fall.

Conclusion

We now know the best times to carry out repotting of succulents, and when to avoid the procedure. You may repot your plant when it overgrows its planter, dries out the soil quicker, does not bloom during its season, looks unhealthy, or topples to the side.. It’s also important to take note of your succulent’s active and dormant periods to determine the mid-months crucial to repotting. This should keep your plant happy, healthy, and alive.

Jimena Bolívar Picture

By Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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Jimena Bolívar Picture

Jimena Bolívar

Easy Succulents Founder

My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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