Ask a Question forum→Repotting airplane or spider plant

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Name: TT
MS Gulf Coast
Bromeliad Composter Container Gardener
Image
hiyall
May 20, 2020 10:32 AM CST
Hi Y'all, this pot of airplane plants with tangled roots was on a neighbor curb on trash day. I thought it needed new home instead of going to trash. Plants have grown during the month here. I have repotted some plants from edge of pot and they are growing. Today I am trying to clean it up and repot these others.
This project is not going as quickly or as easily as I hoped. These tangled roots are strong. There is new growth on roots, too! Hope an avid gardener, or a weekend gardener like me, can give advice about untangling these roots.
I probably need stronger trowel though don't want to damage roots. Do you soak roots in water before repotting! Thanks!
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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 20, 2020 1:24 PM CST
I find untangling cause more damage than good.

To expound, now I cut them, right through the dirt, with a very sharp machete. My understanding of my experience is that if I try to gently tease them apart I'm actually causing damage on every root, so even though the tubers still look great I'm destroying the small hair roots that absorb from the soil and support the plant and everything suffers, where if I cut them I have a much better overall result.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: TT
MS Gulf Coast
Bromeliad Composter Container Gardener
Image
hiyall
May 20, 2020 3:22 PM CST
@Turbosaurus, thanks for replying to my message. I was hesitate to cut roots. I used shears to make small cuts and finally got the root ball apart and in separate pots! Now I agree with your comments about untangling and pulling on roots causing more damage. When I was working on this task, I thought I know why my neighbor didn't do it.
Now they are growing, so I am glad I carried home pot of sticks & roots!

Here are the after photos! Smiling
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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Image
Turbosaurus
May 22, 2020 11:47 AM CST
You're velcome? They'll do great. You'll see some leave die back, but overall it's the best way to go and you'll see new growth soon. It looks like you have them in a shady spot? That's a good idea for now, you don't want to expose them to too much sun or extreme heat until they've had a little recovery time from the operation.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: TT
MS Gulf Coast
Bromeliad Composter Container Gardener
Image
hiyall
May 22, 2020 1:11 PM CST
@Turbosaurus, thanks for info and reminder about helping them recover from operation. Thank You!

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