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QUESTION: I recently repotting a ti plant that was growing wonderfully. The only reason for the repot was to place the plant in a more beautiful pot. Anyway it has been about 2 weeks and the leaves throughout are turning brown. Although there are still a number of green leaves. At first it was doing very well, now it is not. I do not believe I repotted correctly as I did not trim down the roots or use new potting soil. Is it safe to repot and if so what is the proper way?

ANSWER: Hi Danyale,

The solution to an unattractive pot is to place that pot inside of a more attractive planter so that it is double-potted. This will leave the rootball undisturbed and prevent a myriad of problems that can occur as a result of repotting.

It is unclear to me just how you went about the repotting. You said you didn't use new potting soil. Does that mean you used "old" potting soil or that you didn't add any soil at all? The new planter is a different shape than the nursery pot so I don't know how you accommodated that difference.

There is no reason for you to trim the roots, so it is good you did not do that.

Given the lack of detailed information, I cannot explain exactly what has damaged your Ti Plant except that the roots have been damaged in the process and that is causing the foliage loss. There is a good chance that you are inadvertently keeping the soil too moist now.

I do recommend that you unpot the plant and remove any soil that you may have added. Then put the plant back into its original pot or one that is the same size.

I have written an article on repotting - when to do it and how to do it properly - that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Just to clarify I did use the old soil approx. half way up the pot then topped it off with new soil. The new pot is just a little wider than the original pot, but more decorative.
The plant does get sunlight everyday and I water it once the soil is dry to the touch. Some leaves are surviving but many have died. Do you still recommend repotting it again ?

I am quite sure your Ti Plant is suffering from root rot and I hope it is not already too late. So yes, I do recommend that you get it back into its original pot. Adding any amount of soil is not a good idea and it is never appropriate to add soil to the top of the original rootball. Soil added to the surface dries out first while the soil around the roots remains wet.

When the original rootball is left alone in its original pot, then it can be watered as soon as the top inch of soil feels dry.


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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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