Just a Couple of Questions...

DeadheadRIAugust 25, 2012

Hi Folks..

Well.. I tried. I really did.

I made it through a trip to Lowe's without buying a plant.. even going as far as to keep my hands behind my back! I did purchase a couple of pots though.

I wasn't as fortunate at Walmart however.. I was looking for screened bark for the 5-1-1 mix, and had to walk by some 'just-delivered' Scheffs, and some very pretty Pothos which were full in the middle and had 2 foot vines. I looked away. I started to walk. I looked back. Aw hell, I'm only human.

So, I left the store with a well chosen Pothos, and a four stem Scheff in 6" pots. I think $5.00 each. I'm weak like that. Picked up the Repti-Bark at PetSmart.

Mostly everything now in the 5-1-1..

It's a step up for me.. One Giant Leap for Plantkind.

My Question.. is it too late in the season to re-pot the Scheff and Pothos? Should I let them winter in their nursery pots? They are both really strong looking and healthy plants. i must have caught them day-of delivery..

Any help and/or suggestions as always, will be greatly appreciated..



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You could probably repot based on how tight the roots are.

I repot my pothos any time but don't base what you decide to do from my advice.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:52AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You might want to consider going half way between potting up and a repot by leaving the roots largely intact, but teasing away half or more of the soil on them, and moving them into a free-draining mix. The best time to repot is past, but if you plan to do no major pruning above or below ground, your plants will be fine. It's not that you CAN'T repot any time you wish, it's just that it's much easier on the plant and recovery much faster if you try to time it so your root work is finished sometime between Father's Day & Independence day. If at all possible, I would avoid repotting from Sep through May, but repot anytime.

Even though I truly think plants benefit significantly in moving them from a heavy, water-retentive soil to one that is well-aerated and drains well, I still often suggest only potting up into a soil similar to what your plant is in now and waiting for a more opportune time to repot. That's because I'm always trying to watch out for what's best for your plants. I'm much more interested in helping you make sure your plant is getting its best opportunities than in keeping track of who uses what soil, though I do approve of your choice of soils, obviously. ;-)

Best luck, Charlie.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 11:16AM
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Thanks for the follow-up folks..

My intent with the Scheff was to separate the four stems into four individual pots and then growing each out to a different shape and character, after seeing what can be done with them..and cutting one down to only several inches above the soil line to keep it sparse.. with another growing tall and woody with the eventual canopy..

Al.. if i were to keep half the present roots/soil on an individual stem, what would happen to the 5-1-1 watering conditions, since a Scheff likes to be dry? The two seem to be at odds with each other..

Again, many thanks..

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 7:37PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

First, the idea that certain plants like to be kept dry is promulgated by those who don't fully understand plants or soils. For instance, you'll often hear that said of schefflera, but the fact is, they prefer an evenly moist soil. The problem is, they don't tolerate soggy soil conditions, so the lesser of two evils is to wait until they go dry to water to avoid that soggy layer of soil that comes with using soils too water-retentive to be ideal. You can avoid both the 'wet feet' issue and the drought stress that comes from letting the plant dry down too much by using soils like the 5:1:1 mix or gritty mix. The same advice is also often given about succulents, "Let them get completely dry before you water", but succulents suffer from drought stress just as schefflera and most other plants, other than cacti. Using a fast-draining, well-aerated soil allows you the flexibility of giving plants what they want w/o substituting one stress for another.

If you were to keep half the present roots/soil on an individual stem and pot the plants in the 5:1:1 mix, the plant would colonize the pot with roots and go on prospering, as long as you're able to meet the other cultural requirements of the plant unrelated to soil and watering.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 8:21PM
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