Sunday, February 17, 2013



A method of repotting with the least amount of disturbance to the root system never fails to give me a little satisfaction with that final plop into place. You create the perfect size hole "molded" into the center of the pot with a (CLEAN!) pot the size the plant was just in.

The first step I've taken is to drop some of the largest sized pieces of perlite in the bottom for extra drainage. Then a thin layer of potting mix is added  - enough to level the height to make up for any root ball that has been trimmed from the bottom of the plant. If the old pot was quite root bound I usually remove an inch or so, plus snip the sides in several places.

I like to do a combination of top watering and saucer watering. 
Having a saucer beneath catches drips from top watering, plus feeds more slowly from the bottom if the water seems to be running right out. If the soil has dried out a little too much, it drains before the soil has a chance to absorb fresh water.

Place the temporary mold - in this case a spare solo cup similar to the one the plant had been growing in - into the center, on top of the already prepared layer and fill the space around the cup with potting mix.

Keeping your thumb in the solo cup, both holding it firmly to the bottom and pressing slightly against the sides as you fill, allows the dampened mix to form the size "molded" hole the root ball needs to fit perfectly into.

By filling in around the cup higher than it seems you would need, you are then able to smooth the soil mix into the crease.
(A little thump against the table might help it settle into place.)
The goal is to have the crown of the plant at just the right level above the rim of the pot when you're done. 
This plant is a young Blue Dragon, one of my Grow to Show hopefuls. It may too young as it's only just produced it's 1st three buds. They were removed.
Blue Dragon (9516) 12/17/2005 (Lyndon Lyon Greenhouses/P. Sorano) Double light blue large frilled star/raspberry edge. Dark green, plain/red back. Large.
It's week 12 already!

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