monster plant

dvdNJ(z6 NJ)November 11, 2008

About a year and a half ago I bought a rather small plant at a nursery -- because I "felt sorry for it". It was in a 4" pot and its roots were pushing out the sides of the pot. I asked the salesperson how fast it grew and like so many others before him, I was assured it was slow growing. I can't remember what he called it though... So I took it home and transplanted it into an 8" pot -- it is now about 3 times it original size and is so strong it is again disfiguring the plastic pot (if this was in a ceramic pot, it would break -- the roots, or whatever is trying to push its way out are almost as hard as a rock). Its 'leaves' resemble a snake plant -- but an internet search never mentions this predominant habit of pushing out the sides of its pot, so I don't know if that is what it is. I would like to know what to expect from this beast? thx!

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If you have a Sansevieria or snake plant, you must have some really good draining soil going from a 4" pot to an 8" one, since these plants can rot easily in too large a pot.
It's not unheard of for a sans breaking out of it's pot with their strong roots and strong side shoots.

I had one that needed re-potting, but I kept putting it off. The plastic pot started to stretch and lose it's shape, mostly on one side, then it started to lean and almost be falingl over. It finally did get a new home, a pot that was an inch or two larger, enough room for another year anyway.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 12:06AM
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nanw_4wi(4/SW WI)

I'm surprised that you didn't find any references to the roots distorting the pot, as Sansevierias are, indeed, famous for this!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 12:27PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I don't think these plants are slow growing, at ALL! And their habit of developing aggressive rhizomes is impressive. I was wakened by a loud 'crash' one night only to find that a snake plant had decided to escape from its clay pot on the window sill....into my kitchen sink!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 3:29PM
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dvdNJ(z6 NJ)

oh my--guess I was duped. Based on the fact that it is in the Sansevieria family -- as you all have indicated -- a search indicates it can get quite large. So even if I put it in a 12" pot it will soon push it's way out of that one? Is there no end? Is division the only solution? thx!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 10:42PM
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I've read that sansevevieria leaves lose their wonderful coloration as they age so dividing the new growth off the mother plant will give you more interesting leaf patterns. I tend to keep my sans in smaller pots. I too have gotten pots filled with sansevieria leaves and roots-like someone dug up a clump and squished it into a small pot. I would divide that plant and repot into 4 inch pots. Fortunately, my kids are now house plant freaks too.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 7:05AM
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Last year I purchased a snake plant.Not really knowing how to care for it, I had watered it once a week. Eventually, the stems died off except one. I put the stem in a cup of shallow water and left it. After about a month or so, I saw a root. The stem was still firm though. I planted it into a much larger pot,an 8-10 inch pot and it still hasnt grown anymore stems. Would it be safe to repot this into a smaller pot or should I leave it? I since learned not to water it weekly but when the soil dries out. the stem is now over 12" long.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 2:35PM
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Joe, the 8-10" pot is wayyyy to large. Unpot, and place in a 3-4" container..Clay is best, plastic will do.
Snake Plants are succulents, so it's important to water when soil dries. In a pot that size, the soil will take months to dry out, plus slow plants new growth.

Sans/Snake Plants are slow-growers. By potting in a huge container, it'll take months or years before you see a new leaf.

Snake Plants like semi-smug roots..They're shallow, but since your leaf is 12", potting in a shallow container might be a pain..the leaf and roots could tip over. I've tried, unsuccessfuly, so ended up potting in a taller, clay pot.

BTW, don't over-fertilize..slow-growing plants don't need as much fertilizer as faster-growing plants. Toni

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 3:15PM
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dvdNJ(z6 NJ)

When I received a notice that someone had posted to my post, I was surprised at the date! I remember buying my snake plant in the summer of 2006. It is still in the replacement 8" pot (thankfully) and about 12" tall (again thankfully -- I thought for sure since it grew so quickly that first year it was going to get huge!). It has multiplied from its original 3 or 4 rhizomes to well over 8.

Soon, here in NJ, all of my houseplants will be going to "summer camp", as I call it. :-) Everyone spends the next few months, until the first sign of frost, outside. Aside from it being easier to water, they absolutely thrive on the natural air and rainwater. I never worry about 'dead leaves' or any other ailments, so far. Sure, they may have a few bug nests too, but I give them a good spraying before they come back in. The most serious problem has been their 'health' -- they love being outdoors so much that the largest are getting increasingly more difficult to lug in and out twice a year -- looks like those wheeled planters may be in my future! :-)

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 10:55PM
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Dvd, lately, quite a few older posts have been popping up. Perhaps, new members are too shy to start a thread.

That's one thing about Sans..if in a decent size pot when purchased, they'll do fine.
The problem lies when they're ordered via mail and arrive bare root or completely rootbound.

My plants, too, go to summer camp. I was planning on hauling some out this wkend. The temps were in the 90's, most of the week, here in IL..but something went wrong..It's 64F today, pitch black, and we're expecting T-storms. What happened?

A few plants are outdoors now..They're saying it could go down to 40..if this happens, back in they come.
Global Warming, Right! lol...

Well, happy to hear your Sans and other plants are doing fine..and I agree, 'Summer Camping' plants are a true treat. Toni

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 4:03PM
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