How Long Can a Plant Survive Out of a Pot?

For a specific amount of time, plants can live outside of a pot. The major reasons for taking a plant out of its pot are repotting and transportation, and how long the roots are completely bare determines how long the plant will survive.

plant out of pot

With their roots exposed, houseplants can live for up to 24 hours outside of a plant pot. The length of time the plant survives before it needs to be repotted can be extended by wrapping the roots in damp paper or a ball of dirt. The plant’s maturity in relation to the size of its roots affects how long it will survive.

In this post, we will discuss how soil and roots work together to supply the plant with the nutrients it needs to survive, as well as some useful hints to make sure your plants survive if they must be kept out of soil for whatever reason.

Plant Survival Based on Root Type

There isn’t a set amount of time because different plant types have varying chances of surviving outside the pot.

The plant’s species and root structure play a major role in whether it survives outside of a pot.

Plants with Thick Roots:

Plants with thick, fleshy roots can survive in the air for longer than those with thin, brittle roots (stringy roots).

Thick-rooted plants can even survive in mildly moistened wood chips bare root (i.e., without packing the roots with a ball of soil).

If you keep plants in wood chips misted with water, they can live without a pot for months.

Plants with Rhizomes:

Rhizome-containing plants (like irises) can be kept in dry wood chips for a few weeks or even months.

Check regularly for mold (throw that away) and shriveling-appearing rhizomes (mist those lightly with water or very lightly moisten wood chips).

Plants with Fibrous Roots:

Plants with fibrous roots are more challenging. They won’t last very long without moisture or nutrition since their roots lack the necessary resources for growth.

Some can be temporarily stored in wet wood chips as described above.

Generally speaking, it is best to keep plants during cold weather in a refrigerator or another cool location.

Make sure that the chilly temperatures do not harm your lovely plant. The best option would be to store the rhizomes or roots.

Pack the roots with a ball of dirt, nevertheless, if the plants’ storage period is limited because they will be transferred soon.

Then enclose it in a plastic bag. For it, use wet soil. You can keep the plant this way for at least a week.

As is common knowledge, soil nutrients are the primary source of sustenance for plants. Plants cannot obtain vital minerals and nutrients from the soil without roots.

Climate and soil quality are crucial factors in determining where plants develop and where they are distributed.

Every plant need water, minerals, nutrients, carbon dioxide, and sunlight for healthy growth, as we all know.

The plant may interact directly with the soil thanks to its roots. To give the plant the nutrition and oxygen it needs to function, the roots are dispersed throughout the soil.

The crevices between soil particles supply plants with oxygen, which is a vital component of plant life.

The air in the areas is used to transport oxygen to the plants. By breaking down the sugars, oxygen gives the plant the energy it needs to grow.

The soil also aids the plant in regulating its internal temperature. Roots are shielded by the soil from any significant temperature changes. which is crucial on days when it’s really cold or hot.

The term “transplant shock” describes the strains that a just transplanted plant, shrub, or tree may go through. Additionally, damage to the plant roots during transplantation may be the cause. Wilting leaves (particularly on recent transplants), yellowing, and leaf rolling or curling are among the typical signs of transplant shock.

The plant will experience less transplant shock if you transplant it when it is healthy. If it’s a houseplant, transplant it when it isn’t actively growing new growth or blooming.

Make sure the roots aren’t seriously harmed. Make a note of the following things to avoid transplant shock:

  • When moving the plant, always use a pot that is a little bit bigger than the previous one. A third of the previous size is the ideal size.
  • To reduce the amount of time the plant is out of the potting medium, always have all the materials necessary for transplanting on hand.
  • Give your plant some fertilizer before transplanting.
  • Later that day or the next morning, you can transplant it.
  • Plants should be moved when they are young, healthy, and in good health.
  • Keep the roots out of the direct sun.
  • Never ever move a plant amid extreme temperature swings.
  • After transplanting, lightly water your plant.
  • In order for the plant to acclimate to its new habitat, let it sit for 2 to 3 days before relocating.

Transplant shock shouldn’t last more than a day or two, or a week at most, if you follow the appropriate procedures and the plant is healthy to begin with.

Depending on how severe the shock was following a transplant, recovery time varies. Unrecoverable shocks may be very harmful ones.

Does your plant have a rootbound problem? So now is the ideal moment to move your plant into a larger container. People frequently ask us how to properly repot a rootbound plant so that it can continue to thrive.

  1. Get a new pot first that is about two inches larger than the one you already have (if your plant is in a 4 pot, get a 6 pot).
  2. The second step is to purchase new potting soil mix that is suitable for your plants, such as well-drained soil for succulents and cacti or all-purpose soil.
  3. Thirdly, fill the new container with fresh dirt. Fill the bottom to a maximum of 2 to 3.
  4. Lift the plant after that, but don’t cut it up straight; instead, carefully tear into the roots in a cross pattern up to a few inches.
  5. Next, carefully set your plant in the container on top of the fresh dirt, filling in the sides as you go (don’t tamp it down too much).
  6. To ensure that the soil settles properly, sprinkle some water. More can be added later.

To reduce transplant shock, freshly potted plants should get only little irrigation and be given a day or two to rest.

Without soil, plants can thrive in hydroponic, aeroponic, or aquaponic systems.

Food plants, such as leafy greens, vines, various root vegetables, herbs, a variety of fruit and flower species, are often those that can survive without soil. It’s interesting to note that several tree species are commercially produced in environments without soil.

The plants are as healthy as they would be if they were grown in soil since the water provides all the nutrients needed by a plant.

Without soil, growing plants won’t take up any additional room. More plants can be grown in a smaller area. Growing plants hydroponically will address the problem of poor soil quality in some areas that prevent good plant growth.

Hydroponically growing plants requires a lot of attention because the amount of nutrients that plants receive might impact their growth. Plant health may be adversely affected if something goes wrong. What kind of plants can you grow without soil?

  1. Orchids
  2. Lettuce
  3. Blessed bamboo
  4. Beans
  5. Mexican moss
  6. Strawberries
  7. Hyacinth water
  8. Peppers, bell
  9. Aerial Plants
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Cucumbers
  12. Paperwhites
  13. NakedStem (Aechmea Nudicaulis)
  14. Crete cress (Arabidopsis thaliana)
  15. Philadelphus horsehead (Philodendron Bipinnatifidum)

The type of plant you are cultivating will determine how long it can thrive outside of a pot. For plants to grow properly, the soil must contain adequate nutrition.

No plant can thrive without it for any length of time. The ideal substrate for locating all of the nutrients required for plant growth is soil. Some plants can get their nutrients from water as well.

During repotting, when the roots are completely exposed to the environment, plants are frequently subjected to such extremes.

The less chance the plant has to live, as it will have to get over transplant shock symptoms, the longer it is out of soil or potting material.

You should have all the supplies ready for transplanting in order to lessen the amount of time the plants spend out of a potting media and to prevent the symptoms of transplant shock.


How long can a tree live out of the ground?

An uprooted tree can perish in just one or two days during a hot, dry summer. The tree that was uprooted may endure longer if it is deciduous and its leaves have fallen. However, if the uprooted tree received enough water, has few exposed roots, is small enough to be properly replanted, and did not sustain significant harm, it may live.

Can uprooted trees survive?

Unfortunately, the majority of uprooted trees die. This is due to the root system’s irreparable damage. For big or old trees, this is especially true. Replanting a tree can occasionally rescue it, but only in specific situations.

Why will a plant not survive if it is uprooted from soil?

a) The plant will perish since its roots won’t be able to absorb nutrients and water without root hairs.

Can plants be out of soil?

Do plants require soil to grow? Yes, plants can develop without soil; however, they are unable to do so without the nutrients that soil offers. Plants require a base, nutrition, defense against extreme temperatures, a consistent supply of moisture, and oxygen surrounding the roots.