Saturday, July 28, 2012


Just before I went on vacation, I purchased this lovely Senecio. Whenever I buy a plant, I go through the same routine...I inspect the roots for health and pests, get rid of as much old soil as I safely can, then repot in cactus/succulent mix in one of my ceramic pots. This fellow was a little rootbound, huh? It's now safely repotted with lots of nice new soil, resting and healing its roots before a watering next week. I'll show it again when it blooms, since it had a few buds growing.

What's your typical routine for taking care of new plants? Do you immediately repot? Change soil? Dust with rooting powder or anything else? How long after repotting do you wait to water? So many questions....


  1. I'm lazy. I just plop them down on the bench and let them fend for themselves. By the way, if you think that plant was rootbound, you should see a Cattleya orchid with roots that have run multiple laps around the pot, forming a solid mass that has to be untangled with a hammer and clippers, a Zygopetalum that has pushed itself straight up and out of the pot, or a Cymbidium that busted right out by breaking a sturdy plastic pot with the force of its roots.

  2. Hi Marla, with a plant like this one, I would gently separate the roots a little before repotting, then I would water, and then rest plant in pot in a semi-shaded area. I wouldn't add rooting hormone to this one too soon. Are there multiple plants; if so, you can repot them separately.

  3. Doc Elly,
    You are a lazy girl!(truth be told, I'd say you have lots more energy than most...!)
    But it's true that it's best to put the greatest effort into the strongest plants, there's an argument for "seeing how they do" in your environment first....though I do like starting everything out in the same soil for its type and an ample pot.

  4. gaianursery,
    You are right, gentle is the rule! I don't use rooting hormone except for stem cuttings, because I don't want to push them too hard. I change the soil immediately, however, I'm kind of compulsive about that. The nursery soil is usually overgrown with green algae, which may not be the case in non-tropical zones.