How to Repot Succulents: A Step by Step Guide

A Repotting Succulent Guide

To keep succulents happy and healthy, proper care is essential, and one key aspect is knowing when and how to repot them. Repotting can be a fun way to show off your style and creativity, while serving a functional purpose by giving your plants space to grow out and breathe. But how do we know when the right time to repot is?

In this guide, we’ll go over signs that your succulent may need to be repotted, the tools that you’ll need to do so, and step-by-step instructions on how to repot your succulent so that it thrives in its new home. We’ll also go over a few extra tips and post-repotting care.

When Should you Repot?

You might have just received a new succulent as a gift or maybe from us(!) and want to take it out of the original pot to put it in a stylish new planter. Repotting a succulent for aesthetic purposes is totally valid and a fun way to personalize the plants in your home!

That being said, here are some signs that repotting your succulent may be necessary:

  • The plant has become rootbound and its roots are circling round the pot.
  • The plant has grown too big, might be topping over, and needs more space to continue to grow.
  • It’s been several years and the plant could use fresh soil.
  • Health problems necessitate inspecting and maybe removing damaged parts.
Rootbound succulent
succulent too big for pot

When should you NOT Repot?

You should wait to repot your succulent if:

  • The plant has just been repotted recently,
  • The plant has just been watered
  • The plant is flowering or fruiting
  • Or the plant is in its dormant state, which you can find out with a quick search.

The key here is that you really don’t want to be doing too many things at once to a plant that will stress it out. One change at a time, and your plant will do fine.

Tools You’ll Need to Repot

You will need a few basic things to repot your succulent:

  • A pot with drainage holes
  • Well-draining soil
  • Gloves if the plant is particularly pokey
  • Your plant of course!
Pot with drainage hole

Note: the Lazy Method of finding the right pot is to just make sure there is drainage. For the soil, you’ll want a succulent or cactus mix that you could find at any local gardening store with a healthy amount of perlite or pumice added to it. This will make sure that your soil isn’t retaining too much moisture. The soil should also be somewhat dry when you move to repot.

How to Repot Your Succulent

Once you’ve grabbed what you need it’s time to start repotting! Follow these steps to transplant your succulent into its new home:

  1. Step 1: Grab your pot with drainage holes and fill it up about halfway with well-draining soil, pressing firmly down, as the soil will compress when watered. 
    packing in soil
  2. Step 2: Take your succulent out of its previous container and start to massage the roots to break them up as best you can. A little breakage might happen but don’t worry, succulents are resilient and should recover. It’s important to loosen the roots up so that they can ground themselves well in the new soil. 
    Massage the Roots
  3. Step 3: Center your plant in the new pot. You want the plant deep enough in the soil for stability, but not so deep that the leaves would get wet when watering, so add or remove soil if you need to. 
    center plant in the soil
  4. Step 4: Add soil evenly around the succulent, and firmly tuck it in with your hands. This will help make sure that your succulent is nice and snug! Leave a little bit of space on the top for water and top dressings and you’re done! 
    fill in soil and tuck in

Extra Credit: Top Dressings

Now you’re done but why stop there! Add a finishing touch with top dressings to complete the look, further express your creativity, and really tie your arrangement together. Top dressings, like pebbles or sand, are great for aesthetics but also serve a functional purpose by preventing weeds, helping regulate temperature, retaining moisture, and stabilizing the plant.

add top dressings

You can find a ton of fun top dressing options in our online store!

Lazy Repotting Method

Our tried-and-true Lazy Method, by the way, is plopping that little nursery pot right into a new pot! This works great when you may have a pot that you love buuuut it doesn’t have drainage and you’re probably not going to take the time (and risk) to drill a hole into the bottom. This also works for plants in dormancy you might not want to repot right away. Throw a few rocks in the bottom if you need to get it level with the new pot’s lip and you’re done! Then just take it out when you need to water.

Post Repotting Care

Now that you’ve repotted your succulent go ahead and place it in a spot that has bright light and is in sight. If it’s in a nice pot in sight you’re going to see it more and treat it better! Give it at least a couple days to rest before watering, then let it be. Most likely, you won’t have to worry about repotting again for at least a few years, which is great for us Lazy Gardeners.

Put in bright indirect light and wait a few days to water

If you need advice on other kinds of care like proper lighting or watering you can check out our other guides on our Lazy Sunday Blog.


Congratulations on successfully repotting your succulent! By following the steps outlined in this guide, you've provided your plant with the space and nutrients it needs for continued growth and vitality. Repotting gets easier each time you do it so don’t stress out and keep practicing! Please contact us if you have any questions, and we’d love to see your own arrangements on social media. Be as creative and unique as you want! 

Key Takeaways

  • Repotting for aesthetic purposes is valid!
  • Signs repotting may be necessary: roots are bound, the plant is growing too big for its container, it has been several years, or poor health.
  • You will need a pot with drainage, well-draining soil with perlite or pumice mixed in, and gardening gloves (optional)..
  • Break up the roots of your plant before placing it in a new pot.
  • Firmly tuck in your succulent with soil to keep it stable.
  • Top dressings are great for finishing an arrangement but also serve a functional purpose.
  • The tried-and-true Lazy Method of repotting is placing the original pot right into a new one.
  • When you’re done, place it in a spot with bright light and wait a few days to water.