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May 6, 2020 5:09 AM CST
Thread OP
Hi! I'm new to this forum and gardening in general, so please excuse my lack of knowledge or wrong terminology.
I was given a large pot of bird of paradise; it had 2 separate clusters which appear to be quite old. I decided to repot them in separate pots.
On depotting them, I noticed they were severly root-bound. I pruned the roots, split each cluster in 2 using a knife and repotted them. I used a mix of regular soil, compost and sand. Was this correct? I also included a couple of photos of the pruned roots before potting - did I overdo it?

For these newly split plants, what conditions are best? Sun/shade; water a lot/water sparingly; MiracleGro plant food/none. I have them in our yard, which has around 5 hours of direct sunlight.

Also, I now have a lot of root cuttings; can I use then to propagate? Some roots were thicker than a thumb.

Thanks in advance,
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May 6, 2020 8:21 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Welcome! Sarah. The roots of potted plants should be left undisturbed. Cutting the roots and removing the soil does serious damage to the roots, especially the tiny roots that do most of the work and often go unnoticed. Recovery will be long and difficult, I'm afraid.

Put each of the separated plants into pots that are just large enough to accommodate the roots and enough soil to cover them. Plants do best when they are snug in their pots. Make sure the pots have drain holes. Use a sterile indoor potting mix with added perlite; no compost and no sand.

If it was originally grown outside in sun, then that is the best location for them. But if it was grown in a shaded greenhouse, then it is best kept inside in a sunny location or outside in shade.

Try to keep the soil around the roots damp, but not wet.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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