When to Repot Calathea: The Best Time for Your Plant

If you own a Calathea plant, you are well aware of how beautiful and common this tropical houseplant from the tropics is. These plants need special care because they are sensitive, and one of the most important things to remember is when to repot Calathea.

Why it’s Important to Repot Calatheas?

You’ll know it’s time to repot your Calathea when you see signs including:

Your Calathea is rootbound

Over time, the roots grow faster in the smaller container, wrapping themselves around the bottom so much that they can’t get more water or nutrients from the soil mix. Given enough time, the plant can eventually cover the entire container with roots, leaving little room for the soil to retain water. As a result, it raises the risk of the pot expanding or developing fractures, which could cause the plant to topple over.

Some containers are not suitable

Calathea plants simply do not fit well in some containers. Because they thrive in a rainforest habitat that is perpetually humid and moist, these plants require moist soil. They dislike having any standing water close to their roots, though. Repotting should be done as soon as possible in containers designed to prevent water from becoming caught in the edges or corners because doing so will harm Calathea.

Low-quality soil

Over time, texture and nutrients in the soil mixture are lost. The roots of the plant receive little air or water when combinations that are too loose are compacted and tight. Because the soil is rich in micronutrients that are challenging to replace, adding fertilizer cannot always make up for the nutrients that are lost over time. Additionally, because fertilizer cannot penetrate compacted soil evenly, feeding a plant is more difficult than is necessary

Root rot

Roots are rotten. Could be the cause of too much watering or small drainage. Your Calathea roots will begin to rot if left in water for too long. You must act quickly because root rot can damage and eventually kill your tree. After removing the rotting roots that have begun to affect your Calathea plant, you can remedy root rot by repotting.


When to repot Calathea? The Best Time?

Now that you know why it’s important to repot your Calathea, let’s talk about when to report Calathea
The best time to repot is in the spring when the plant is just coming out of dormancy. This will give the plant a chance to adjust to its new pot and soil before the growing season begins.
Keep in mind that when to repot Calathea, you will need to use a pot that is only one size larger than the current pot. This is because Calatheas do not like to be disturbed and will go into shock if they are moved too often or put in a pot that is too large.
Especially recommended for larger mature plants since repotting them outside can make a lot less mess and Calathea must stay above 61 degrees F to avoid shock.


What do You need to Repot Your Calathea?

In addition to a pot that is only one size larger than the current pot, you will also need:

Fresh, well-draining potting mix

For a mixture that will keep the soil well-aerated, choose one that contains a significant amount of coarse components like pine bark and chunky perlite. Also present should be some organic matter that is fluffier and can retain a little amount of moisture.
You should be cautious not to overwater because even this kind of mix will typically err on the side of moisture retention. You can add pre-mixed soil from a store to a bespoke blend to enhance drainage. Consider using a mixture of 20% potting soil, 40% coarse perlite, and 40% coconut coir.

A bigger pot

Repotting Calathea is best done with freshly prepared potting soil. The old soil may include fungus or bacteria and will not be as nutrient-rich as it once was.
You should pick a container that is an inch or two larger in diameter than the plant’s existing home. It’s typically preferable to size up no more than this since when a pot has more soil than roots, it takes longer for the soil to dry out, increasing the likelihood of overwatering and root rot. A Calathea’s pot must have at least one drainage hole bottom as a minimum.

A sharp knife or pair of scissors

Even though they might not be strictly essential, a bad pot-bound Calathea plant might benefit from a little root trimming to help it adapt to its new surroundings. Naturally, tree surgery as soon as root rot is detected.

Sanitize chemical

Clean your shears before using them on your plants. Whatever the instrument, make sure to properly sanitize it in between uses. It is harmful to trim numerous plants with the same pair of shears since even bacteria can develop on tools that are only used for one plant. After each use, soak the tools for at least 30 minutes in a diluted solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.
Prepare some tools

A watering can, some gloves, an old newspaper, a tarp, etc.


How to repot Calathea most complete?

Step 1: Thoroughly check your plants

It’s better to start with a healthy plant because Calathea is quite sensitive to repotting.

Step 2: Take the plant out of the pot

Inspect your Calathea pot for any roots that may be poking out of the holes. If the container is made of plastic, you can slightly loosen it by giving the sides a little press.

Turn the plant and pot slowly to the side. If you’re having trouble prying Calathea out of the pot, delicately slip a knife inside and glide it around the interior of the pot.

Step 3: Check the roots

Brush off or rinse the plants with room-temperature water and any remaining potting mix. After that, look for infections, decay, or fertilizer burned in the roots. You might need to loosen your Calathea if it is tightly rooted-bound. Spread out the root ball a little bit with your fingertips after gently touching it.

Step 4: Cut off the rotten roots and trim the leaves

In that case, you can Prune away any rotting roots, with the ones at the bottom.

Trim the foliage to reduce the plant’s energy requirements if you must remove more than one-third of Calathea’s roots. Cut off any leaves that appear dead or diseased. Once more, clean the scissors, rubbing the blades with a disinfectant in between cuts.

You may also like: How to Prune Calathea: The Right Way to Trim Your Plants

Step 5: Replace the plant with a new pot

  • Put 1-2 inches (2.5–5 cm) of fresh potting mix into the pot while holding the new pot in front of you.
  • In the pot you’ve prepared, put your Calathea. Using potting soil that has been lightly watered, fill in the remaining area, patting down to ensure that the roots are still there but not tightly packed
  • Make an effort to maintain the same depth in your Calathea as previously. The goal is to lift the dirt from the pot’s top by 0.51 to 1.25 inches (1.25 to 2.5 cm). Lightly water the plant.

What to do after you’ve repotted your Calathea?

  • Once the plant has acclimated to its new home, you can add enough water to make the soil lightly moist.
  • Place your plant in a location with moderate heat and light. Excessive amounts of either will put more stress on your plants.
  • Try to increase humidity as much as possible at least 50-60% humidity, as this will reduce the risk of foliage problems in the weeks after repotting.
  • After repotting your Calathea, wait at least 4-6 weeks before fertilizing it. A quick increase in fertilizer might injure the roots of your plant, making it more difficult for it to recover after being replanted.
  • When the soil’s top layer starts to dry up, water your Calathea.
  • Every month, spray your Calathea with a solution of neem oil


Repotting your Calathea is an important part of keeping it healthy and looking its best.  When to repot Calathea? The best time to repot a Calathea is in the spring when new growth begins. You’ll need a pot that’s slightly larger than the current pot, a fresh soil mix, and a watering can or hose.

Follow these simple steps to successfully report your Calathea! How often you will need to repot your plant will depend on how large the pot is and how much moisture the soil retains. As long as the plant is growing well and has plenty of leaves, it likely doesn’t need to be repotted again for another 6-12 months. Have you recently repotted your Calathea? Please feel free to share it with your friends or leave us a comment below.

Sylvia Matlock

Sylvia Matlock

Sylvia Matlock graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago, which shows in everything she does, from adding depth, texture, and color to selecting the best plant for the job. She curates plants, garden accessories, indoor and outdoor furnishings, and gifts for the retail store. Plants suited for the site or environment are used in landscape design and installation for commercial and residential customers.

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