Re-Potting Your New Plant
a guide to caring for a calathea

Re-Potting Your New Plant

Getting Started:


We recommend that you re-pot your new plant within 2-3 weeks after receiving it from the greenhouse. This gives your plant time to recover from the stress of shipping and to acclimate to their new environment in your home.


You will need just a few simple tools to re-pot your plant: A trowel/small spade, gloves, scissors and a sharp knife. You will also need some supplies: a clean pot and potting soil. (For most house plants, a general purpose potting soil will work fine. You can check your plant’s care guide for any mention of soil needs and you can always ask us any additional questions about your plant!)

Re-Potting Step by Step: 

  1. Give your plant a good watering a day or two before you re-pot. This will ensure your plant is well hydrated to help reduce potential shock and also makes it easier to remove your plant from its original container.
  2. Prepare your new pot, making sure it is clean of any old soil or residue. Choose a pot that is no more than 2” larger than the size of your plant’s original pot. A pot that is too large can result in slower growth and can also cause root rot.
  3. Next, gently wiggle your plant out of its original pot by placing your hand around the base of your plant and pulling the pot away. It should come out easily. (NOTE: Plants arriving from the greenhouse have not been in their container very long and should easily come out of their nursery pot. If the plant you are re-potting has been in its current container for a long period of time, you may have to turn the pot on its side or enlist the help of a friend to hold the pot while you wiggle the plant out. You can also use a tool like a butter knife to slide along the edges of the pot to help loosen any roots that may be stuck.)
  4. Use your fingers to gently loosen the root ball and remove any extra soil. You should use sharp shears to cut away any black, brown or damaged roots. (NOTE: When re-potting a more mature plant that is root bound and/or you have chosen a pot that is the same size as its old home, you can trim around ½ of the root mass from the bottom and sides of the plant. But do NOT do this with a new addition!)
  5. If your plant’s new pot does not have drainage holes in the bottom to release extra water, you can add half an inch of activated charcoal to the bottom of the pot before adding soil. Pebbles also work for this purpose.
  6. Now, add fresh potting soil to the pot. You want the base of your plant to sit about .5” below the rim of the pot and fit snugly.
  7. Add your plant to the pot, making sure it is perfectly upright and centered. Add soil until the roots are covered. Gently pat the soil down to secure it and remove air pockets. Be sure not to damage the roots as you do this.
  8. Finally, give your plant a light watering. The soil should just be moist, not soaked. 


  1. Place your plant in a cooler, more shaded place for the next week or two after re-potting. This helps minimize shock.
  2. It is common that plants experience some shock after re-potting. Plants can sometimes look thirty and wilted, but make sure to let a week pass before watering again so that any damaged roots can heal first.
  3. Hold off on adding fertilizer for 6 weeks after re-potting, since most potting soils contain some fertilizer. You don’t want to over-fertilize your plant!

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Dorothy Randall
Dorothy Randall
10 months ago

I recieve your plants and was very happy with them, but the shipping slit says that I recieved a 4 plant which was a acc-cdp.key.chain-Momstera and I didn’t get it,is there a reason/

9 months ago

I received my new plants today and I’m thrilled! They look healthy and happy; there was one broken leaf which was not unexpected considering what they went through. Thank you Cellar Door Plants!

8 months ago

My plant just arrived. Very pretty plant. But I don’t know how to water it. Do I poor water in the center of the plant. I have a bromeliad Donna. When do I repot it? Before or after I water it? Can I wait about two or three weeks before I repot?

Cheryl A. Warner
Cheryl A. Warner
7 months ago

I purchased the Rattle snake plant and it arrived in good shape. I Potted it in a pot without drain holes but added stones to the bottom for drainage. I’v placed it in a low light area as recommended however after just a month of having this lovely plant, it has several dead leaves and I am afraid it’s dying. Can you give me tips or incite on what I should do differently?

7 months ago

What have I done? I love my plants, and I see a houseful of them in my future! I love the fact that there are care instructions. The plants were very well packaged and I only had one brown leaf out of 7 plants. I’m so happy!

Yalanda Myrick
Yalanda Myrick
2 months ago

I bought a birkin philodendron what type of medium is this? I want to repot it with the same medium to keep it from dying.

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