Re-pot or not? That is the question.

flipgaryAugust 15, 2010

My corn plant was given to me on Dec. 22, 2009. It is a memorial plant from my Dad's funeral. I live in Nebraska, and last winter was really horrible. There were like 5 blizzards that month. The CP was already in shock (according to my mom) when I brought it home, from transport in and out of blizzard temps, and I've been working to help it recover. It started with drooping leaves, brown spots, and yellowing. It still has some brown spots but VERY few then when we brought it home. I have had to remove some of its leaves (which I did from research on the internet on care and my mom's advice). My mom had also told me that it may need to be re-potted. But from what I've read on here and other sites, the CP likes to be root bond and I am now confused. It is still in the original pot from the florist. I have attached a picture, and was wondering if I should just leave it alone or go ahead and re-pot. If I should leave it how do I know when to re-pot it? (Can you tell I'm a newbie? :))

Here is a link that might be useful: My Corn Plant- Facebook

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I wish I could see your pix, but I won't sign into Facebook. Are your Pix anywhere else?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 2:18PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It could be a number of issues - over/under-watering, a nutritional issue, tight roots ..... no plant likes to be root bound. If they did, mother nature would have arranged for the roots to be growing in tight little knots right under the plant stem.


Here is a link that might be useful: More on being root bound

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 3:25PM
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Thank you, Al. I was also wondering if you would be able to link your thread on soil mixes. I was searching for it, but as I am a blonde, I kept getting side tracked on other threads! :) I would be much obliged!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 4:24PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

There is the second half of a long discussion about houseplant soils on this forum, but the one most people link to is the one below.

Because the plant has such special meaning, I'd be glad to send you some soil and offer suggestions on getting it back on track. They're pretty easy to tend when they're grooving along in fine fettle, but might need some extra attention if they're sick. Did you check for root mealies, by any chance .... and have you ruled out other pests, mealies being the only one that's really likely? They're easy to spot, as you prolly know.


Here is a link that might be useful: Click me and I'll take you to the other thread he was talking about.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 5:02PM
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"no plant likes to be root bound. If they did, mother nature would have arranged for the roots to be growing in tight little knots right under the plant stem."

Al, that is one of the finest growing statements I have ever read! I try to explain this all the time but you have made the statement concisely and quite clearly! Where do people come up with the idea plants "like" to be in such conditions?



    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 9:27PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

They confuse the idea that because inducing a certain type of stress might help to produce a desired result, that the plant must like it. I think that's something akin to believing that if you can get a steer to do what you want by using a cattle prod, he must like shock therapy. It doesn't work that way.

The measure of how well a plant likes it's treatment lies in how close it can come to realizing its full genetic growth potential. ANY stress, and tight roots is certainly on the list of possibilities, inhibits growth. From that, we can infer that plants no not like stress - including being root bound. Studies show that for plants in containers, growth begins to be negatively affected at about the point where the soil/root mass can be lifted from the container intact. It will remain permanently affected until/unless something is done to correct the issue. This effect is most noticeable in plants that make wood or that have tree-like root systems, and simply potting up does not correct the problem. Root congestion affects the growth of all plants grown in containers.

As I noted, the grower may think it peachy, because it can be a useful tool for use in bending the plant to the will of the grower, but the plant's perspective would be something wholly different.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 2:20PM
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That'd be great! And thank you for posting the link for the soil mixtures. If you could send me a bag of already mixed soil that'd be great. Like I said, I'm a newbie to caring for plants, and since my mom is now in AZ I can't just take em home and have her handle it anymore! lol! I don't think the plant had any bugs, I haven't seen any or evidence of any. It is doing better, but I would like to repot it into a different pot. I was at the store the other day looking at all the different potting soils and was overwhelmed! Then I found this site, which is overwhelming as well, but VERY helpful. I appreciate all your valuable tips and information you pass along!

:) Blessed Be,

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 12:14PM
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