Cactus and Succulents forum→Echinocactus grunsonii - Repotting Question

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Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
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Macrocentra
May 18, 2020 12:42 PM CST
I have three Echinocactus grusonii growing in a pot together (apologies for typing error in the thread title). They're roughly 2" in diameter each. I've had them for a few years now. They were recently due for a repot, as they were incredibly crowded and it was getting difficult to get water in the pot, and roots were starting to peek out the bottom of the pot.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the type of pot I was looking for (something wide and shallow), so I made the decision to move them into an unglazed terracotta pot with more width. I wasn't super happy with the particular pot, as it's too tall for the plants, and might run the risk of retaining too much water.

I finally came across a new pot, the same width as the one I moved them to, but half the height. I'd ideally like to move them into this one as it's a more appropriate size for them.

My question is, the cactuses were transferred to the new pot a few weeks ago. I think it was 4-5 weeks roughly? Would it be okay to repot them again into the shorter pot? Or is this going to be too stressful on them? I've never tried to repot after another repot, so I've been nervous to do it. In hindsight, I probably should have waited a bit longer to move them, but they were admittedly overdue for an upgrade and I wasn't expecting to find something more suitable any time soon.

I can take pictures of the plants and pots if needed.
Suggestions are much appreciated. Smiling
[Last edited by Macrocentra - May 18, 2020 12:43 PM (+)]
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Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
May 18, 2020 1:56 PM CST
Just move them. Not sure if you already watered after the last move, but if not hold off a little longer.

I had GBs sitting out of the ground bare root for weeks last year when I moved, they were a lot bigger than yours, but these are pretty robust.
It is what it is!
Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
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Macrocentra
May 18, 2020 2:11 PM CST
I haven't watered them since. I watered them a week before I moved them into the new pot.

So if I move them, keep them dry and water once they're settled? I usually water around a week before I repot.
Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Enjoys or suffers hot summers Cactus and Succulents Xeriscape Adeniums Hybridizer
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mcvansoest
May 18, 2020 6:05 PM CST
Yeah, it should be OK. If you know you will disturb the roots just give them some time... I am sure it not that warm where you are yet, so they should not get water stressed any time soon...
It is what it is!
Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
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Macrocentra
May 18, 2020 6:25 PM CST
Will do!

Definitely not. We had a very short warm spell and it got cold again. Been chilly and storming for a while now. Had more snow not that long ago too. Glare

Thanks for the assistance.
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
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plantmanager
May 19, 2020 11:24 AM CST
I have often repotted my Grusoni. They do very well with no set back at all.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 19, 2020 11:56 AM CST

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That is my experience too.
Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
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Macrocentra
May 19, 2020 12:07 PM CST
Perfect. Thanks everyone

I'll move them over today. Smiling
Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
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Macrocentra
May 19, 2020 9:24 PM CST
They have been moved. Thumbs up
Thumb of 2020-05-20/Macrocentra/54faef

They look much better in here. The previous pot was over twice as tall as this one.

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 19, 2020 9:33 PM CST

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They look like they are already touching. Confused
Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
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Macrocentra
May 19, 2020 9:54 PM CST
There's space between them all, just tough to see on that angle.

They are bundled pretty tightly too. When I originally got them, they were already together in a smaller pot. I left them together because they still had a good amount of space and were smaller. They've been slowly growing in since.
I contemplated separating them, but I'm not sure the best way to go about teasing apart that root ball. Was hoping they'd be okay for a bit longer. Think it's worth separating now?

Edit: When I found that pot, I grabbed a few of them to have on hand. If they're best separated, I can give them each one of those pots.
[Last edited by Macrocentra - May 19, 2020 9:56 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
May 19, 2020 10:10 PM CST

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I would. You can defer the separation, but I would think it only gets harder with time.

In my experience growing this plant from seed it seems to widen by about an inch a year at that stage, give or take, and that would probably be an upper limit for you given the overwintering involved. So if they have that much space, you can deal with them next year, otherwise maybe one more unpotting would be in order.

To separate clumps with intermingled roots, I remove any soil that easily separates from the sides, maybe wiggle and shake gently to encourage it to fall away. Then I take a chopstick and hold it like a pencil and gently carve away any soil that comes away freely from all sides. At some point I might grab each plant by the stem (one plant in one hand, two in the other) and gently wiggle it in various directions to work up some freedom of motion. One at a time, little by little. During this process you will be able to look in the center and see which roots are keeping them together. Sometimes it helps to take a chopstick and very gently work it all the way to the bottom in the very middle of the clump, then lean it to one side and the other to get things moving.

From there on out try to break as few roots as possible, as consciously as possible, and be sure to look at the situation from all different sides so you know where the easiest angle of attack at any given point might be.
Name: TK
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6b)
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Macrocentra
May 20, 2020 8:46 AM CST
Thanks, Baja Thumbs up

There's a little less than an inch between each plant at the moment, so sounds like I may need to separate them now. They've roughly doubled in size from what they initially were since I've had them.

Thanks for the guideline. I'll give them a bit of a break, then give it a go. Smiling

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