Essential Steps for Repotting Succulents: A Comprehensive Guide

by Holly

Repotting is an essential part of succulent care that ensures healthy growth and longevity. Whether your succulents have outgrown their current pots or need fresh soil for optimal nutrient uptake, repotting provides an opportunity to rejuvenate and maintain the well-being of these unique plants. In this article, we will guide you through the necessary steps and materials needed to successfully repot your succulents, ensuring their continued health and vitality.


1. Selecting the Right Time

Choosing the right time to repot your succulents is crucial for minimizing stress and maximizing success. Spring and early summer are generally the best seasons to repot succulents when they are actively growing. Avoid repotting during the winter dormancy period or during extreme temperature conditions, as this can shock the plants and hinder their recovery.

2. Gathering the Necessary Materials

Before beginning the repotting process, gather the following materials:

a. New Pot: Select a pot that is slightly larger than the current one, providing ample room for root growth. Ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogged soil, which can lead to root rot.

b. Potting Mix: Choose a well-draining potting mix specifically formulated for succulents or cacti. These mixes are typically composed of materials such as coarse sand, perlite, and organic matter, which promote optimal drainage.

c. Tools: Prepare a pair of clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears for trimming any dead or damaged roots, as well as gardening gloves to protect your hands from spines or thorns if your succulents have them.

d. Newspaper or a Drop Cloth: To minimize mess, place newspaper or a drop cloth on your work surface to catch any soil or debris that may fall during the repotting process.

3. Preparing the Pot

Thoroughly clean the new pot with water and mild soap to remove any dirt or residue. Rinse it well and allow it to dry before proceeding. Ensure that the pot has drainage holes to prevent water from pooling and causing root rot. If the pot doesn’t have drainage holes, you can create them using a drill or choose a different pot that has them.

4. Removing the Succulent from its Current Pot

Carefully remove the succulent from its current pot by gently grasping the base of the plant near the soil line. Supporting the base with your hand, gently turn the pot upside down and tap the bottom to loosen the root ball. If the plant is stubbornly stuck, you can gently squeeze the sides of the pot to help loosen it. Avoid pulling the plant forcefully, as this can damage the roots.

5. Inspecting and Trimming the Roots

Once the succulent is out of the pot, carefully examine the root system. Look for any signs of root rot, such as mushy or blackened roots, and trim them off using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears. Remove any dead or dried-out leaves or stems as well. Trimming the roots and removing dead plant material will promote healthy regrowth and prevent the spread of disease or pests.

6. Preparing the New Potting Mix

In a clean container, combine the succulent potting mix with a small amount of organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure. This addition provides some nutrients to support the succulent’s growth. Mix the components thoroughly to ensure even distribution.

7. Repotting the Succulent

Place a layer of the prepared potting mix at the bottom of the new pot, creating a sufficient cushion for the succulent’s roots. Gently position the succulent in the center of thepot, ensuring that it sits at the same depth as it did in the previous pot. Add more potting mix around the sides, gently pressing it down to secure the plant in place. Be careful not to bury the leaves or stem too deeply, as this can lead to rotting. Leave a small gap between the soil surface and the rim of the pot to allow for watering.

8. Settling and Watering

After repotting, give the succulent some time to settle into its new environment. Avoid watering immediately, as moist soil can make the plant more susceptible to root rot. Wait at least a week before watering to allow any damaged roots to heal and prevent excess moisture retention.

9. Post-Repotting Care

Once the succulent has settled into its new pot, resume your regular care routine. Place the repotted succulent in a location with the appropriate light conditions for its specific needs. Avoid overwatering, as succulents prefer infrequent but deep watering. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings to prevent root rot.

10. Monitoring and Maintenance

Monitor the newly repotted succulent closely for the first few weeks, watching for signs of stress or overwatering. If the plant shows signs of drooping or discoloration, it may indicate that the roots are still adjusting. Adjust your watering schedule accordingly. As the succulent continues to grow, you may need to repot it again in the future to provide additional space for the expanding root system.


Repotting succulents is a vital aspect of their care, ensuring proper growth, and maintaining their overall health. By following these essential steps and using the right materials, you can successfully repot your succulents and promote their longevity and vitality. Remember to choose an appropriate time, gather the necessary materials, inspect and trim the roots, and provide a well-draining potting mix. With proper repotting and ongoing care, your succulents will thrive and continue to bring beauty and joy to your space.


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