When To Repot Calathea To Keep Your Plant Happy

As many plant lovers can attest, it can be hard to know when it’s time to repot a beloved potted plant. Taking on the challenges of transplanting your precious houseplant may sound daunting at first, but with the right steps and some basic understanding of calathea plants, you’ll have your sensitive greenery thriving in its new home in no time!

In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about when to repot Calathea plants. Read on if you’re wondering what guide points are necessary for successful repotting – from ensuring that proper soil is used right down to recognizing signs which indicate when it’s time for a serious freshening up!

Signs that your Calathea needs repotting

Repotting is basically about moving your plant from its current pot to a new one with fresh soil, and it’s super important if you want to keep your Calathea healthy and around for a long time. Here are a few things to keep an eye on that will show you when your Calathea is ready for a change of pots.

The pot has become too small for Calathea

If the pot’s getting too snug for your plant – like when the roots are all bunched up and coming out of the drain holes or pushing against the pot walls, then it’s time for a move. As a plant grows, it needs more room to stretch out its roots and grab nutrients from the soil.

Calathea is root-bound

If your Calathea has roots doing the twist and twirl around the pot’s edge, or it’s bursting out big time on just one side of the pot, it’s a sign that your plant’s trapped and root-bound.

When your Calathea is so root-bound that its roots are doing laps around the pot, hugging the container’s edge and going wild on just one side of the pot, then you gotta move it to a new pot. A root-bound plant can’t soak up the water and goodies it needs to grow, leading to slower growth and other health issues.

The soil is compacted or depleted

The soil your plant’s living in can run out of nutrients, causing your green buddy to feel under the weather and making it easy prey for diseases. If you see that your Calathea’s soil is all compacted or out of nutrients, then it’s time for a change of pots.

Signs of depleted soil include yellowing leaves, dryness, poor growth, and an absence of blooms.

Calathea is wilting or showing signs of stress

If your Calathea’s acting stressed out, like wilting or drooping leaves, it might be telling you it’s time to change pots. Plant stress can come from many things, including too much water, underwatering, or a shortage of nutrients.

If your Calathea’s showing signs of stress, it might be because it can’t absorb the water and nutrients it needs from its current pot. Moving your plant to a new pot with fresh soil and more space can help it chill out and grow healthy new leaves.

signs that calathea needs repotting

When to repot Calathea

If you notice your Calathea’s leaves turning yellow, or wilting, or if it’s got a weak root system, it’s telling you it’s time for repotting. Or maybe it’s just gotten too big for its current pot and is feeling a bit cramped. If you spot any of these signs, it’s time to repot your Calathea. Repotting should be done every year or two to ensure your plant has enough room for new growth.

The best time to repot Calathea

The best time to move your Calathea to a new pot is during spring or summer when it’s in its growth phase. Doing it then helps reduce any repot shock and lets your plant get used to its new pot and soil quickly.

Avoid repotting your Calathea during winter months, ’cause that’s when it’s usually typically dormant.

How often to repot Calathea

When should you repot your Calathea? Well, it kinda depends on how big your plant and its pot are. Usually, you should think about repotting your Calathea every 1-2 years, especially if the roots are getting too cramped or the plant looks stressed out. But, if your Calathea is growing like a weed and has outgrown its pot, you might need to repot it sooner.

Factors to consider when choosing a new pot

When you’re choosing a new pot for your Calathea, there are a few things you gotta think about. First up is size – you’ll wanna get a pot that’s a bit bigger than its current one to give it some room to grow. Just don’t go too big, otherwise, you might end up watering it too much and causing other problems. Make sure the pot’s got drainage holes too, so any extra water can escape and not drown the roots.

The pot’s material is another thing to think about. Terracotta and ceramic pots are really popular for Calathea ’cause they are sturdy and allow for good airflow to the roots. Plastic pots are an option too, but they might not give the roots as much air.

How to prepare the new pot and soil for repotting

Before you start repotting your Calathea, you gotta get the new pot and soil ready. Start by giving the new pot a good clean to get rid of any soil or grime. Then, fill the pot with fresh, well-draining potting soil. You might also wanna add a layer of pebbles or rocks at the bottom of the pot to help with drainage.

Related: How To Prune Calathea: A Complete Guide

How to repot Calathea

Repotting your Calathea is a piece of cake if you know what to do. Here’s how to repot your Calathea:

  1. Remove the plant from its current pot: Flip the pot gently and give the sides a little tap to shake the soil loose. Be careful to remove the plant from the pot, making sure not to damage the roots.
  2. Loosen the roots: With clean hands or a clean tool, gently loosen the roots a bit. This helps the plant get comfy in the new pot and soil.
  3. Place the plant in the new pot: Place the plant in the middle of the new pot and pour in more soil around the sides. Just be sure you don’t bury the stem too deep.
  4. Water the plant: Once you’ve got it planted, water the plant thoroughly to help the soil settle and get rid of any air bubbles.
  5. Place the plant in a bright, indirect light location: After you’re done repotting, find a nice spot with bright, indirect light for the plant to recover from the shock of being repoted.

Following these steps can help ensure a successful repotting experience for your Calathea. Remember to monitor the plant closed in the weeks following repotting to ensure that it is adjusting well to its new environment.

how to repot calathea

Tips for minimizing transplant shock

Transplant shock is a common problem that many plants, including Calathea, can experience after repotting. It occurs when the plant is stressed from being disturbed and transplanted into new soil and a new pot. To minimize transplant shock for your Calathea after repotting, consider the following tips:

  • Use well-draining soil: Calathea plants prefer soil that is well-draining and rich in organic matter. Choosing the right soil can help prevent overwatering and root rot, which can lead to transplant shock.
  • Avoid direct sunlight: After repotting, don’t put the plant in direct sun. Instead, find a spot with bright, indirect light to help it get used to its new environment.
  • Do not fertilize right away: Fertilizing right after repotting can stress the plant out. Wait a few weeks before fertilizing to give the plant time to bounce back.
  • Water Calathea properly: After repotting, water the plant thoroughly but be careful not to overwater it. Overwatering can cause root rot and other problems.
  • Monitor the plant closely: Keep an eye on your Calathea after repotting and look for any signs of stress, such as wilting or yellowing leaves. If you notice any issues, take action quickly to help the plant recover.

Tips for minimizing transplant shock

How to care for your newly repotted Calathea

After repotting your Calathea, it’s super important to look after it right so it gets used to its new pot and soil. Here are some tips on how to care for your newly repotted Calathea:

  • Watering: Water the plant regularly, but be careful not to overwater. Calathea plants like their soil moist, but they can get root rot if the soil’s too soggy. Check the soil often and water when the top inch of soil feels dry.
  • Humidity: Calathea plants prefer high humidity, so think about using a humidifier, a pebble tray, or misting the leaves regularly to keep the air around the plant moist.
  • Light: Calathea plants like bright, indirect light. Don’t place the plant in direct sunlight ’cause it can burn the leaves. Try placing the plant near a window with filtered light.
  • Fertilizer: Calathea plants benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer every 2-4 weeks, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Pruning: Remove any yellow or brown leaves as they appear. This helps the plant direct its energy to new growth and keeps the plant looking neat and tidy.
  • Repotting: Calathea plants usually need repotting every one to two years. Keep an eye on how the plant’s growing and the roots, and repot when needed.


Repotting your Calathea can keep your plant happy and healthy. Knowing when to repot Calathea is key, and it’s usually a good idea to do it every one to two years or when the plant gets root-bound. When you repot, go for a pot that’s a little bigger than the current one and use soil that drains well. After repotting, look after your Calathea by giving it the right amount of water, humidity, light, and food, and trim it when needed.

If you stick to these tips, your Calathea should do great in its new pot and soil, and you’ll get to enjoy its gorgeous leaves for years. Have you just repotted your Calathea? Share it with your buddies if you want, and feel free to comment below in the Famiplants blog post.


Hi, I'm Cathleen Clemens. I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in plant science. I gained detailed knowledge about various kinds of plants and how to properly care for them. My experience has enabled me to easily detect any issues such as pest infestations, nutrient deficiencies, or signs of diseases in the plants.

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