Houseplants forum: too big too quick?

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corrinaob
Mar 30, 2018 12:57 PM CST
Hello everyone! Smiling I was wondering if any green thumbs could help me? I was recently given a beautiful well established ivy. On closer inspection I could see a few of the top leaves were yellow and when I lifted the pot could see the roots were growing through the drainage holes.

I decided to re-pot it into a bigger home but now i'm worried it is maybe too large/deep for it? It is quite a big plant! And as a total noob I am worried I will kill it with kindness which would be so sad! Any help or advice would be much appreciated it. I have included some pics of it next to it's old pot. Thank you in advance! Smiling
Thumb of 2018-03-30/corrinaob/acd8f8
Thumb of 2018-03-30/corrinaob/12fc32

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 30, 2018 2:12 PM CST
It is commonly believed that when roots are visible through drain holes, the plant is screaming for more room in a bigger pot. That is not true. In fact, plants grow best when they are moderately rootbound, meaning there are visible roots around the outside of the rootball. As long as there is enough soil to retain water for several days or more, then the pot size is large enough.

Hedera Ivy roots are particularly susceptible to damage when repotted and to inadvertent over watering when moved into larger pots that retain water much longer.

If you just recently repotted and you left the original rootball intact, then I recommend undoing the repotting by removing the added soil and putting the original rootball back into the original pot where it was doing just fine.

If the rootball is NOT still intact, then don't disturb the roots any further by trying to downsize it as I described above. You will have to be extremely careful to allow the soil to dry out sufficiently to allow oxygen around the roots. If you water thoroughly, it will probably take too long for the soil to dry out and the roots may suffocate. Watering will be tricky but do your best.

Hedera Ivies respond well to regular pruning back of their longest stems, which can be rooted in water.
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: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Image
Turbosaurus
Mar 31, 2018 1:51 AM CST
Holy cow- that's some advice you just got...

Re-potting was traumatic so it should be re-potted AGAIN- "Hedera Ivy roots are particularly susceptible to damage when repotted"

Two wrongs make a right? That's what you were just told. By gently placing in a new larger pot with fresh soil you probably damaged the roots- and your best bet is to double down- uproot it again and try to shove it back into the smaller pot? Rolling on the floor laughing

Corrinaob-- that's clearly nonsensical advice. You used your brain, and good for you.
It will be perfectly fine and it will appreciate having a larger pot. Just remember that the soil in the new larger pot will stay damp longer than the old pot and you should water it accordingly, only when dry- about once a week/10 days. Shove your finger down into the pot (the roots will be fine) to feel for dampness.
Open the curtains and give it as much light as you can- put it in a south facing window. Sufficient light will be your biggest hurdle- not the pot. You'll often loose leaves on a new plant while it adjusts. This was grown in a green house where it got sun all day and high humidity and now its in a shady spot (assuming your ceiling is not made of glass) You will loose some leaves while it adjusts. Try not to over-water and give it as much sun as you can.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 31, 2018 7:11 AM CST
Let me clarify. Repotting is often traumatic when done incorrectly, especially if all or most of the original rootball was disturbed. There is little trauma if the rootball is kept intact and moved to a larger pot with soil added around it. The only problem in that scenario is if watering adjustments are not made and all too often they are not.

My suggestion about undoing the repotting was with the (stated) assumption that the rootball had been left intact and not traumatized. In that case, it is easy enough to gently remove the added soil and place (not shove) the original rootball back into its original pot. This is not a case of two wrongs, but a simple non-traumatic way to correct a potential problem.

I did provide an alternative approach that is very similar to what Paula has suggested.

My intention was not to create controversy or upset and I apologize if my lack of clarity precipitated this. Sad
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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