January 20, 2013

A Haircut and New Shoes Make Happy Plants

You know how potted plants get that sinkhole around the stem and the soil packs down so they're sitting well down in the pot a couple inches?

You know too how lanky some plants get?
I gave all the Schlumbergera cuttings some pinches now that bloom is over.
I collected the pinched pieces to root, all with at least three leaf segments. If a piece fell off, I saved it too. Sometimes a single will root and grow; I try not to waste a precious bit.
Every pot within the cache pots had soil that had packed down an inch or better. I pulled out the whole plant and put new soil in the bottom of the pot, enough to bring the soil level almost to the top. Of course when you lift a plant, it no longer fits at the top because of the slanted sides. I carefully sifted more potting soil into the spaces around the edges.
There were enough cuttings to have a half-dozen of each color: pink, peach, yellow, white and scarlet. Six cuttings are perfect for making a Rainforest Sphere in the manner of Steve Asbell's Rainforest Drops. He hangs his, I set mine on an empty pot. 
Steve puts unrooted cuttings into purchased  grapevine balls filled with moss, I root first and then tuck rooted pieces into a moss-filled grapevine sphere made from collected wild grapevines.
Do what works, use what you have.
I left the Easter Cactuses for later after they bloom. They'll enjoy a haircut and some new soil sometime after Easter. Anybody that's rootbound gets a bigger pot but epi's are not wild about getting big pots, just a bit of a lift.

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