How to repot an alocasia – plus expert tips on when to do it

Keep your alocasia plant happy and healthy with our expert repotting tips – an important plant care step that will help boost its growth

Alocasia in white pot
(Image credit: Boy_Anupong via Getty Images)

An essential task when looking after any indoor plant is repotting your beloved houseplants when they get too big for their current home – it may seem daunting but this is an essential plant of houseplant care.

Alocasias, or elephant ear plants, are popular indoor plants, known for their beautifully shaped foliage. 'Neglecting to repot an alocasia plant can lead to various issues that affect its health, growth, and overall well-being. It is important to monitor the plant's growth and root health and repot it when necessary to ensure its longevity and vitality,' says Autumn Hilliard-Knapp, houseplant expert from Perfect Plants Nursery.

But don't worry, repotting your alocasia is easy enough, and we've asked the experts for their top tips on how to do it successfully.

How to repot an alocasia

Alocasia in pot

(Image credit: Kseniya Ovchinnikova via Getty Images)

Learning how to report alocasia is not as hard as it may initially seem, just make sure you have a few essential materials to hand before you get started:

You can then begin by preparing your new container. It's always a good idea to have clean garden tools so that you don't pass on any harmful bacteria to your plants.

'If desired, you can add a layer of stones or pebbles at the bottom to create a drainage layer,' says Autumn. 'Fill the pot with a well-draining potting mix, leaving enough space at the top for the plant and additional soil,' she adds.

Make sure not to press the soil in too firmly as this can hinder the drainage in the pot and increases the risk of it becoming waterlogged.

Carefully remove your alocasia from its current pot, supporting the roots so that they don't become damaged. At this point you can use your pruning shears to cut away any dead or mushy roots and foliage. 

Make sure to loosen the root ball with your hands before placing the plant into the new pot.

'Position the alocasia in the center of the new pot, making sure it sits at a similar depth as it was in the previous pot. Add potting mix around the root ball, gently pressing it down to secure the plant,' says Autumn.

And that's it. Once planted into its new home, make sure to water your houseplant thoroughly to help it settle into the new pot. 

Autumn Hilliard-Knapp
Autumn Hilliard-Knapp

Autumn is a horticulture specialist and marketing professional at Perfect Plants Nursery. With four years of experience in the horticulture industry, she has developed a passion for helping people create beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy. Her expertise in horticulture encompasses a broad range of activities, including plant care and selection, landscape design, and maintenance.

When to repot an alocasia

person holding a potted Alocasia Silver Dragon houseplant

(Image credit: Luoxi/Alamy Stock Photo)

The first thing you need to do is identify that it's time to give your alocasia a new home. Luckily, there are a few tell-tale signs. 

'Alocasias love a spacious home. Repotting involves giving your alocasia a fresh pot with new soil, when its roots get crowded in the old one,' says plant expert and CEO of Tree Menders, Evan Torchio.

'You'll know it's time when roots peek out of the drainage holes, or the plant seems stunted. If left un-repotted, roots can become cramped, affecting growth and making the plant more prone to problems,' he adds.

The best way to check if it's time to repot your alocasia is by observing how much room there is for the roots. If they're close to running out of room in the current pot, it's time to give your alocasia a bigger container.

You may also notice a lack of growth and an affected appearance if your alocasia is in a pot too small.

'Alocasia plants that are not repotted when needed may experience stunted growth due to restricted root growth and nutrient uptake. This can result in smaller leaves, lack of new growth, and an overall unhealthy appearance,' says Autumn. 

If your alocasia is drooping or the foliage is starting to dicolor, it could be an indication that it's in a pot too small for its size.

'Alocasias sometimes go dormant in the winter months or during times of extreme temperatures, including high heat. It is best to avoid repotting during these times,' says Julie Bawden Davis, indoor plant expert at Healthy Houseplants. It's best to rehome your alocasia when it is actively growing in spring and summer.

Evan Torchio
Evan Torchio

Evan Torchio is a plant expert and the CEO and Founder of Tree Menders. He earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry and is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture. Evan provides advice on indoor and outdoor plants.


How often should I repot my alocasia?

Alocasias, or elephant ear plants, grow at an average rate with a particular growth spurt during warmer months. There are many varieties of alocasias and the type you have will affect how often you need to repot it.

'Generally, younger alocasia plants may require repotting every 6-12 months, while mature plants may be repotted once every 2-3 years,' says Autumn.

The best thing to do is keep an eye on your alocasia roots to see if they still have room to grow. If not, it's time to house your plant in a larger container.

If you're growing an alocasia outdoors, you will need to overwinter elephant ear plants to enjoy them again the following year.

Tenielle Jordison
News Writer (Gardens)

Tenielle is a News Writer in the Gardens team at Homes & Gardens with five years of journalistic experience. She studied BA Journalism, Media and English Literature and MA Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University. Before coming to Homes & Gardens, Tenielle was in the editorial department at the Royal Horticultural Society and worked on The Garden magazine. She is passionate about sustainable living and likes to encourage gardeners to make greener choices to help tackle the effects of climate change with a trowel in hand. Tenielle is also a houseplant lover who is slowly running out of room for her ever-growing collection.