Houseplants forum: New Deiffenbachia Repot Advice!

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Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Feb 24, 2018 7:23 PM CST
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Pics came out a bit dark. sorry about that. It's only size of root ball and plant you really need to see.

I was given this great big deiffenbachia today. It's about 4 ft. You can see the roots in the top picture. They are longer than the pot you see. Is this pot too small. A bigger size will be a fair bit larger, as in a 1 gallon nursery pot. Is it a good Idea to plant these particular plants deeper up the trunk, or am I confusing this with something else.
The reading I have done only mentions regular potting soil. I am thinking I should at least put in some perlite for drainage. I have cactus soil, potting soil, perlite, grit and small bark; so I can give it just about anything. It's an absolutely picture of perfection. Clean beautiful roots, gorgeous perfect leaves. It was growing in very bright eastern light. I won't have an east window as bright, but am hoping a home close to a west window will please it.
I would appreciate whatever you can share from your experiences, I need to get it in some soil pretty quick.
Thanks all. Thumbs up

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 24, 2018 9:03 PM CST
What happened to the pot it was in? Just curious.

I would use the pot in the photo after soaking it in water first. However, a pot one size larger would also be okay as long as you understand that it will take the extra soil in the larger pot longer to dry out.

If you use the smaller pot add about an inch of soil to the bottom of the pot. The longest roots will bend upward a bit and that is fine.

Not a good idea to put fresh soil higher than it was before just above where the roots emerge as there is some risk of stem rot if you do. A standard potting mix with some extra perlite added would be best. Bark may attract fungus gnats so I would avoid using that.

This is a plant that grows tall and becomes top heavy. Be sure that it is potted securely in the pot with the soil tamped down around the stem so it stays upright. Yours is already quite tall so it will need to be pruned back before too long. If you use the larger pot, there will be room to insert the top cutting in the same pot so you will have a fuller plant altogether.

Try to avoid more than an hour or two of direct sun falling on its leaves.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Feb 25, 2018 1:36 AM CST
I'm so glad you said that. as it's sitting in water now.

The pot it was in is here. It's a 20 gallon monster. It's a division of a group of diefs. I told them to keep that nice big pot for summer but they would not hear of it. So, I bought a the pot in the pic for it today.

The concern for this plant is It's about as top heavy as it can be, and not with a straight stem, but with a stem with a lot of curve. I had not thought ahead as you did regarding managing cuttings. I need a new pot.

I am excitedly waiting for my new houseplant book, I just asked for from Amazon. "Don't Repot that Plant" Maybe you've heard of it. I have been waiting a long time for this one. I guess the Author is a genius. :whistling:

Thanks for the help.
laurie b
[Last edited by lauriebasler - Feb 25, 2018 1:18 PM (+)]
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Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Feb 25, 2018 7:45 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing

I am excitedly waiting for my new houseplant book, I just I asked for from Amazon. "Don't Repot that Plant" Maybe you've heard of it. I have been waiting a long time for this one. I guess the Author is a genius. :whistling:

Thanks for the help.
laurie
[/quote]


[Last edited by Christine - Feb 25, 2018 7:46 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1647568 (4)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 25, 2018 11:12 AM CST
Thank you both for purchasing and promoting my book, "Don't Repot That Plant." Thank You! Thank You! In fact, I just now finished a half-hour radio discussion of my book on a San Francisco gardening program. (See my on this site for more information.) I am not a genius, but I have lived long enough to have had considerable experience with indoor plants. Having members here pose their plant questions, helps me keep learning. I tip my hat to you.

Your Dieffenbachia does have a nice curve on its lower stem. The new pot will need to be large enough so that the stem can be set in the pot so that it is vertical and the lower portion will be set almost horizontally in the bottom of the pot. So it will need some extra width to accommodate the bend.

Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Feb 25, 2018 11:43 AM CST
Hey @Christine, We know a Celebrity! Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Feb 25, 2018 11:58 AM CST
Hey @Christine, We know a Celebrity! Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby

Thank you Will, for commenting on pot size again. It's usually easy to know the best pot size to move a plant to. However, I have been so well trained not to over pot, my errors are too small not too large. Soil that dries too quickly is not as fatal as too moist, but it's still not good.

Thank you for you help. Dieffs are not that beloved anymore, I don't believe I have ever brought home a plant as healthy as this. Gives me a real sense of responsibility for it. Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers! Crossing Fingers!

Happy Sunday. DH and I have a plant to pot.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 25, 2018 4:39 PM CST
Laurie - Post a photo after you have potted up your Dieffenbachia. I would love to see it if I am not too bust signing autographs! *Blush*
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
Image
lauriebasler
Feb 25, 2018 8:54 PM CST
I have repotted the plant. The stem between the growth and the root is so long, and the curve affects a few feet of the plant. It's impossible to stand up in a gallon pot. It's perched, and staked and looks pretty silly. A bigger pot will be too much, and it will still want to fall.

I am considering having to cut it off and rooting from a fresh cut. If I do I think I will let it remain in its deformed state until it's at least spring, so new growth will come with ease. I will post pic in daylight tomorrow.

Laurie b
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 26, 2018 6:10 AM CST
If you are struggling to get it into a pot, then I agree that cutting off the lower rooted section does make sense, especially since Dieffenbachias root so readily in water and make the transition to soil pretty easily.

Dieffenbachias are non-seasonal so there is no advantage in delaying. I would also shorten the stem substantially - enough so that the lowest leaves are just above the rim of the pot after it is rooted and potted. I say that because this is a plant that grows very tall quickly.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
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lauriebasler
Feb 26, 2018 10:07 AM CST
I will do it. I will post the pic of it now and after too.
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
Image
lauriebasler
Feb 26, 2018 2:38 PM CST
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Ok, here is the crooked plant, I am feeling I will cut above the three bottom leaves a number of inches to come to a place the stem is really straight. Which is about 2 feet maybe. I will remove some more leaves when plant is seperated and it tells me what to take off. Any tips on water. Just plain water, and strong indirect light. Always love to have your opinion.
Thank you for the help Mr. Creed.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 26, 2018 4:31 PM CST
Ms. Basler - Yes, prune off most of the lower stem so you have mostly foliage above the rim of the pot. I'm not sure there is a need to remove any leaves unless they start to discolor and die back.

Plain water is fine as long as it is not too hard. Mostly bright indirect sunlight with no more than a couple of hours of direct sun falling on its leaves.

Happy to help! You're:welcome:
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
Image
lauriebasler
Feb 26, 2018 9:55 PM CST
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Edited for @WillC
A little surgery and the stem is nice and straight. Much shorter, About 2 feet, which is just fine with me. It's a monster of a plant. LOL..

No need to reply Will. I just promised pics and I just got home to get them done. I appreciate it. I have a book delivery tomorrow. I may be reading all day long. Lovey dubby Lovey dubby . Have a great Tuesday.



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[Last edited by lauriebasler - Feb 27, 2018 1:43 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1648896 (14)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 27, 2018 9:42 AM CST
Great work, Laurie! Exactly what I would have done. Change the water frequently and don't drink any of it! Thumbs down

I would appreciate your unvarnished thoughts on your new book. I tip my hat to you. Remember, it is a reference book, not a novel, and not meant to be read cover-to-cover.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
Image
lauriebasler
Feb 28, 2018 6:49 AM CST
Hi Will:
Well, I am concerned your book is sold out. It did not come yesterday as promised. I only remembering this happening once before. Tracking said it would be here last night at 8:30. So, I imagine it will come today. I was in and out all day long, because they are now in the habit of giving a light 2 hit knock and then running to their rig. I almost never hear them. I will put it in the Greenpages, like PlantLady did. I am afraid to put it here. I've seen some serious scolding happen.

Well, good I am glad you approve. I will certainly change the water often. I have spring water, as I don't trust my water with anything slightly tender or touchy. I have it in a room with only North light, I am going to rearrange the herd tomorrow for a permanent spot. West with some a little grow light exposure, or North with grow light id.
Would have replied sooner. Had appts early in the day, then took husband to get his car about 4o miles away, got home to company; Suddenly it's bedtime,

Today is hopefully more laid back. Thanks for your help. I have a tracking number to check.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Feb 28, 2018 5:29 PM CST
I'm sorry about the book delivery delay, Laurie. I have no control over book orders. However, because of two recent reviews of my book in some newspapers and my appearance on a radio garden show on Sunday, there may have been an unanticipated rush on book orders. But I will pass your concerns on to my publisher.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
Image
lauriebasler
Feb 28, 2018 10:25 PM CST
I knew it was going to be out of stock. Congrats, Will. It came this evening. I have company at the moment, Sighing! It really looks beautiful in book form. So Impressive.
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
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mcash70
Mar 3, 2018 4:16 PM CST
Laurie, too bad I didn't see this earlier, I have kept a Deiffenbachia going for about 22 years, my Mom gave me the original plant. Over the years when the plant got too tall I would cut it off and root the top, leave the stem in the pot and you end up with 2 plants or more, then I found out that I could also get a plant form a 6 or 7 inch piece of the stalk. I just cut one plant down that was over 6 feet tall, it still looked good but was falling over, that's happens fairly often. Hilarious!

After a few weeks in water the part of the leaf left on the bottom of the stem gets mushy, I carefully pull that off and wash the plant gently, I did that just today and changed the water, and it looks like I am getting a root. Big Grin When you pot it put it in a big pot or it will outgrow it very quickly as the leaves get huge and it will fall over. I use Pro Mix, I think it is BX, I get the bale so I always have lots on hand.

A few photos of the stalk and what I cleaned off.
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My other plant has 3 plants that I started from cuttings, I have given away many plants that came form the mother plant.
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Probably a lot more than you wanted to know. nodding

Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Dog Lover Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tomato Heads Hostas
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Frenchy21
Mar 3, 2018 6:57 PM CST
Thanks for the pics and the info @mcash70. Smiling I learned a lot from that. Didn't know I could do that with this plant. Good post. Thumbs up

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