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May 8, 2020 8:53 AM CST

I have found a second pot under the roots of my olifantplant! However, this pot does not have drainage holes. Can i burn the plastic away? I cant do it with a knife, plastic to strong! Or leave the pot and put it all in a new one? I am afraid of dead roots in that case.
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May 8, 2020 9:05 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
The plastic pot is harmless and can be left as is even though it seems inelegant. Once it is all repotted it will disappear from sight.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
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May 9, 2020 8:12 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
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haha,
It has been there a long time already. I love my Beaucarnea (elephant foot plant) partly because it is such a survivor.
Don't try to burn it, you'll burn a lot of roots. Ignore it if you can. Slice it up (scissors?) and pull out by pieces if you can't ignore it. I don't think you can kill this plant. But getting this pot out will make a hole underneath and will be hard to get soil back under the roots to fill that, not sure what long term implications of that will be.
Plant it and they will come.
Last edited by sallyg May 9, 2020 8:15 AM Icon for preview
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May 9, 2020 10:13 AM CST
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Region: Ukraine Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox
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Will, couldn't it rot due to the pot not draining?
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May 9, 2020 2:24 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
I assumed (thought I saw) holes in the 'lost pot'. Now I cannot say I see holes. It hasn't seemed to hurt the plant yet, judging by the mass of roots.

If my plant, I would take it out. Then repot, trying to poke new potting mix down under the middle of the plant, and expecting, to have holes appear over time as soil settles underneath. Or I might even do a root prune. If it was MY plant.

I have a Beaucarnea, my one and only, I admit. It was in glued-rock stuff and survived my MIL apt windowsill for some years. I finally adopted it, broke the pot off, found a big empty space underneath the trunk, a lot of wound roots on the edges, I potted as best I could, and it has been great ever since.
Plant it and they will come.
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May 9, 2020 5:46 PM CST
Name: Di
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Birds Region: Canadian Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Just wondering. Is it an actual pot that your plant is in or is it one of those saucers that are at the bottom of so many plants that we buy these days.
"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen
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May 9, 2020 5:49 PM CST
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Region: Ukraine Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox
Greenhouse Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
Good thought, Di. I've seen several of those buried in plant roots.
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May 10, 2020 6:36 AM CST
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 38 years
Aroids Region: Florida Tropicals
It looks like a saucer. I have had to repot epiphytes that I put into clay orchids pots by just sinking the whole thing into a bigger basket of moss or bark, the roots stick to the terra cotta like a Vanda orchid and even with soaking you would have to break the pot to get it off. You might try reaching in to see if it IS a saucer, you can probably pry it out
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May 10, 2020 7:55 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
You raise a good point, Karen. We don't quite know much about that plastic thing. My reaction was based on the obvious health of the plant so apparently root rot has not been an issue. If the pot does retain excess water, a simple solution might be to simply poke or drill a hole in it so water can drain out.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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