Planted in the wrong soil... is it too soon to change?

TreeSoakedBlueJuly 15, 2014

I somewhat posted this a question similar to this in a previous thread of mine...

But I am getting a bit worried that I may be slowly killing a few of my favorite plants.

The soil I used is mainly peat moss... This is day 4 after repotting them from their garden container I purchased them in and the soil has turned almost cake-like...It has not dried at all...

I read somewhere that 10 - 20% of the water you use to water your plant with should come out of the pot to ensure the soil is well draining... The soil completely absorbed all of the water I used when initially watering the newly repotted plant.

Would I damage the plants if I started over and took them out of the muddly soil and repotted them again in a less heavy potting mix? It has only been 4 days but I am getting worried that I made a mistake with the potting mixture.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Aside from the time needed to let the plant roots become re-established in a new soil. A few days later ( 4 days?) youinquire to the idea to take it out of the new soil it's in now to put it in a new soil again ?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 7:11AM
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Photo Synthesis

Your plants haven't had sufficient time to become reestablished yet, so re-repotting them shouldn't disturb them anymore than they've already been disturbed. There have been times when I've repotted a plant and wasn't entirely too thrilled with it, going back and redoing it over again. I don't recall ever having any problems from doing this. Just make sure to let your plants take it easy afterwards for a little while.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:00AM
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I agree with Tommyboy. Take them out of that soil. I'd rather be dealing with roots that have been a little overstressed than roots that rotted to mush because the soil wouldn't dry. If you gently remove the plant and hose off the soil, then let the roots dry out for a few hours, they should be okay to be repotted in the proper soil.

Though I have mostly succulents and orchids, I think most houseplants should be a free of peat-based soil as possible. It's horrible stuff. Even my most moisture-loving plants have several handfuls of perlite added to their soil to keep them from staying soggy.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 3:05PM
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Watering a soil isn't an exact complex math. Calcultating if 80% of water that remaines in a soil that provides sufficent drainage. Does anyone ask how much water is 100 % if 10-20 % is intended to flow though ?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 5:14PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

You haven't said what kind of plants these are, at all, anywhere. I'd want to know that, especially in regard to whether you should water them again AFTER another repot.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 5:38PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Treesoaked, how much water do you use at any one time? Even peaty mixtures need to be well saturated or there will really be trouble with the plant if permanently dry pockets full of hydrophobic medium and dead roots form.

I am in agreement with the others.....get some improved, coarse medium prepared ahead of time and repot soon. I've never had any problem with the addition of large amounts of perlite, more so than you expect.

You should gently shake the roots to see if most of the potting mix will fall away. If it does, you do not need to soak the roots nor would I let them dry out afterwards.. It only takes a few minutes of sitting in the open air for the root hairs to die. Those root hairs are critical!

Allow the plant to dry out a bit in the existing medium as is. That should make it much easier to shake the old stuff off, to handle the roots, and to transplant successfully.

When you prepare your new and improved potting medium, I suggest that you dampen it just slightly, very slightly before using. That will make it much easier to sift around the roots as you settle them in. Do not tamp everything down firmly as that can compact and compress your soil, squishing the pore spaces and chasing the oxygen out.

Instead, use a very slow flow of water to help get the potting mix where you want it to go. That and very gentle poking with the eraser end of a pencil or a chopstick. Then, drench the new transplant until you get plenty of excess running though the drainage hole.

With a very fast draining mix, you won't need to be afraid of using a hefty volume of water at any one time. FREQUENCY is the problem, not volume.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 6:45PM
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Thank you everyone for responding! I apologize for my lack of detail in this thread. I will link my original thread that discussed the type of plants and the actual soil mix I used.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:02PM
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