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A Guide to Transplanting House Plants

As a result, a plant can be killed.

Question 14. How do you prepare drainage?

For creating a drainage layer, you'll need shards and sand or haydite.

It's better to have both. For shards, you can sacrifice an old, clay flowerpot

-- the size of pieces depends upon the size of drain ports. Usually it's

one to two inches in diameter. They shouldn't be too big otherwise soil

will run away during watering. You won’t likely meet problems with

storing sand and haydite. It's desirable to have coarse-grain sand.

Question 15. What are the modes of transplanting plants?

There are three modes of transplanting plants.

  1. exact transplantation of plants, when rootage is

    cleaned from the old substratum to the maximum.

  2. trans-shipment, when the clod with roots is preserved.

    A plant with the clod unbroken is carefully taken out of the pot and

    then it's planted into a new pot with the addition of fresh soil.

  3. replacement of the upper layer of soil. This method

    is suitable for those plants which you can't transplant (for example,

    because of size). You simply make the upper layer of soil light (if

    necessary), remove it, and add new soil.

Question 16. In what cases is it necessary to remove soil

in full from plant roots?

In reality, transplantation is carried out very rarely because plant

roots are strongly damaged during the procedure. For preserving a plant,

it's necessary to cut its top greatly in order to decrease evaporation

of the leaves. A plant is subjected to such an operation only in exceptional

cases, when, for example, substratum is desperately ruined or when rootage

is strongly damaged as a result of abundant watering. In the latter case,

it's a question of reanimation –- roots aren't only cleaned from

soil but also washed. Then they are cut to the healthy tissue. A plant’s

top is also cut, then it's planted into a light substratum and put it

into a greenhouse.

Question 17. How do you transplant a healthy plant correctly?

Follow this scheme:

  1. Take a new flowerpot and close a drain port (or several ports) with

    a shard (shards). You can also use a piece of thin foam plastic, or

    mosquito net folded several times.

  2. Fill the bottom of the flowerpot with drainage (small fraction of

    haydite, coarse-grained sand or crumbs of foam plastic making a layer

    of one-half inch).

  3. Make a layer of soil between one-half and one inch thick. You'll

    also need some soil to cover the clod. But be attentive: there should

    be a space of one-half to one inch left at the top edge of the flowerpot.

    This space is left for watering. You mustn't recess plants, especially

    palms. The level of soil should be on the boundary of stem formation

    -- i.e. below a root collar (a place where a stem becomes a root). The

    root collar shouldn't be covered with soil.

  4. Pull the plant out of the old flowerpot and carefully remove some

    soil with your hand, trying not to hurt the roots. You may also lightly

    brush off soil with an old fork or with a hoe. If roots have strongly

    twisted around the clod, then you can cut dry, small roots with a knife.

    In case the roots are weakly developed and are seen on the surface of

    the clod, then you can brush off the soil more thoroughly while at the

    same time trying not to hurt the roots. Don't touch thick and weakly

    divaricate roots. If they are rotted, then cut them until you reach

    the healthy tissue.

  5. Put the plant into the middle of the flowerpot. Evenly distribute

    roots in the flowerpot.

  6. Keeping the plant in one hand, add some soil with the other hand

    or use a child scoop or a tablespoon for this purpose. Firm the soil

    with a sharp stick, then repeat the operation.

    Attention! Large plants are planted by firmly pressing the soil

    with your fingers. Begonia, African violets, crab cactuses, zygocactuses

    and other kinds of plants with thin and tender roots grow better in

    more mellow soil. A tight fit provokes proanthesis and a mellow fit

    provokes active growth of blossoming plants.

  7. Fill the rest of the space with soil and press it with your fingers

    along the perimeter of the flowerpot.

  8. Put the plant on a tray.
  9. Water the plant abundantly until water flows out into the tray.

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