Author Topic: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)  (Read 7331 times)

FlyingFoxFruits

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Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« on: October 18, 2012, 03:55:27 PM »
Here goes a crash course on how to repot plants.
These are a few guidelines I follow, and why.

Select plants to be repotted, and consider the size of the new containers you're using...don't go too large when you step up a plant...most plants don't appreciate such treatment. 

Also consider what soil mix to use, as far as drainage and Ph requirements for your plants. 

In my particular case, I'm repotting
2 pitangatubas from 7 gal to a 12 gal,
some small Luc Limoncillo and humilis, Garcinias  from 1 gal or 3 gal, upto 7 gal,
and a red annona from Israel in a 3gal upto 7 gal.  :)

(i'm guessing on pot sizes...sorry if I'm off by a few gallons here and there!)

all the pots Im using are  Accelerator® air root pruning types (I've heard such good things, now I'm putting them to the test).  Because they will dry out faster and need more watering, I've used a much richer and moister mix...comprised of Fafard Soil Conditioner, moisture holder, (peat moss/pinebark), and fafard 2P ( a lighter mix with peatmoss and perlite.)

I also added some organic garden manure from Espoma (4-2-2).

I like to use a large 50 gal container for mixing soil/fertilzer, etc...and also to repot plants in, so whatever soil falls out as I'm repotting small plants, lands back in the big container, wasting less soil.

Here are some pictures with captions of what's going on, and why!

Plants to be repotted....Pitangatubas (largest trees, only one in the pic), 2 Luc Limoncillo Garcinias, 2 Garcinia humilis, and a grafted Red Annona from Israel.




pitangatuba from 7gal, not root bound, but roots have filled out the pot, and ready for new territory...and a bigger pot.  This plant was gently removed from the container it was in...now ready to be set in its new container.

 
Pitangatuba gently placed in it's new container, a 12 gal root accelerator container. I made sure to have just enough soil in the pot to make this tree sit at the perfect height.


 now I use my hands to gently loosen the top 2-3 inches of soil around the root ball...I only do this at the top edge really...not down at the bottom (unless the plant is root bound). This allows for me to see the true height of the plant being repotted, and to adjust the levels of soils if need be. Essentially  I'm trying to gently expose the root crown.  Try to remove any weeds at this point!

 the process of exposing the root crown is complete (although it was pretty much visible before any how)...now I can go ahead and add more of the new soil mix I'm using (fafard soil conditioner, fafard 2P, and manure from Espoma 4-2-2).

soil added, and filled to the very top, as much as the container will hold...but it hasn't been packed down yet!

use your hand, or the back of a shovel, or a similar type tool, and mash the soil down as far as you can, all the way around the circumference of the container.  You will notice how much more your container expands with soil when you gently force it down into the pot, around all sides of the rootball...Be sure to do this without damaging the roots!!

 keep mashing! almost there

almost there

 now its jam  packed with soil.  (BTW some trees will not appreciate very tightly packed soil, or excessive trauma to roots...but every tree I grow get the treatment I'm showing you!  Soil tightly packed into container!)

now its refilled again to the top!

repeat process of mashing soil down around the circumference of the pot.

now firmly press with your hands flat, onto the soil...making sure the level is even!  You can top dress with any fertilizers you didn't add to your mix at this step, or the step before.

 all done!! hand prints show how this plant was firmly, but gently pressed into it's new innovative abode...now it's time to gently water this plant...and I water quite heavily...because my mixes are always dry prior to planting...and also because these air pruning pots dry out quickly....also to make sure the soil is saturated, and no longer fluffy!


here is a Luc's limoncillo about to undergo a similar treatment as my pitangatuba! Its going from a one gal to a 7 gal.  I'm turning the pot upside down, trying to make sure all of the soil falls into my big container of soil I use for mixing and repotting smaller plants.


 the plant was successfully removed from it's container without the root ball falling apart!  (this is a common mistake, and can mess up certain trees)...look at this tap root all coiled up!!  I think it's new container might help this problem!!

here is the tap root unveiled! Holy cow! even longer than the G intermedia it seems.

the taproot is gently placed into the bottom of it's new pot, and soil is added as the root is evenly placed (in a spiral somewhat) within the container.

the proper height is determined, and soil is gently etched away around the circumference of the top of the rootball.   Soon after...soil is added to the brim, and gently mashed down like in the pics above with my pitangatuba!  the process is repeated until the desire amount of soil has been added.  The final step is to gently water, and place this plant in proper lighting conditiions!

 here is the line up!  all worked over, and stepped up!

Notice the products I used are on my truck so u can see them!  GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR REPOTTING EFFORTS!!!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 03:57:23 PM by ASaffron »
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nullzero

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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2012, 04:08:08 PM »
Love the picture guide. Trying out the air pruning containers now  ;D, your going to go broke buying more lol. I got (5) 12 gal ones on the way. I have never heard of the Accelerator® brand ones, they look good.
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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2012, 04:23:12 PM »
the super root ones are better i think (the ones Ed uses), they encourage less weeds..but I got these for free pretty much, so I had to try them, being they're a similar product.

thanks for the kind words Nullzero!
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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2012, 04:25:04 PM »
Hi Adam,
Thanks so much for sharing how you repot your diamonds ;) Your advise you gave me, in the begining of the year...on how to repot my large Jab tree, was truly top notch and my jabs thanks you...I also watered the hell out of that tree and she has been flushing non stop 8)
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nullzero

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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2012, 05:33:51 PM »
the super root ones are better i think (the ones Ed uses), they encourage less weeds..but I got these for free pretty much, so I had to try them, being they're a similar product.

thanks for the kind words Nullzero!

I plan to slowly switch over the most prized fruit trees. I want to aim for 15 to 20 (12 gal) superoots. Staggering out the buying, because it does add up. I am hoping the superoots last more then 6 years.
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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 07:32:15 PM »
iim gonna step up my 10gal G madruno into a rootpruner!!

before the night is over!!  I will post pics! I can't wait to repot that tree!!!
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nullzero

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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 08:54:45 PM »
iim gonna step up my 10gal G madruno into a rootpruner!!

before the night is over!!  I will post pics! I can't wait to repot that tree!!!

Nice! Been spending time pondering which plants to put in the first 5 containers this weekend lol. I think i narrowed it down to a Marula, 'Sharwil' avocado, Pantin Mamey Sapote, Lucuma, 'Silas Woods' sapodilla.
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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 11:23:49 PM »
I found the time to repot my G. madruno.

It seemed to really want a new home.  I usually pot my plants about 3/4 full in a container, so I can step up a plant in the same container, by filling it all the way...so when I put this tree in a root accelerator pot...about 12-15gal, it actually was a big jump (more like going from 6gal-15 gal, instead of 10-15gal)  I'm really hoping this plant responds by growing even faster.

It took forever for the soil to drain when I watered this plant heavily after repotting....so I'm hoping I don't have to water as much as I've been told!  I was happy to see the water sitting around.

I'm thinking of wrapping some of these pots with old sheets to discourage evaporation and intruding weeds.



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TropicalFruitHunters

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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 07:21:26 AM »
Nice little tuttorial there Adam.  I am surprised that you pot up your plants with dry mix though...especially with mixes using a lot of peat.  I've found that most of the water just slips off the dry mix like off a duck's back.  Even slow watering with a spray, I notice that many times the dry soil in the middle never seems to soak up water.  It just slips thru pockets and keeps on going.

I always pre-wet the peat mix lightly...not to where it is soaked, just enough where the mix easily accepts the moisture.  I load my wheelbarrow with the peat and slowly spray and mix vigorously.  A good workout too...which has contributed to this awesome physique of mine!!   LOL!  ::)  I'll then wait a bit allowing the mix to "swell" and then mix in the rest of the materials.  This has worked for me much better.  Also, while potting up, I don't have that dry peat dust blowing all over the place...including up my nose!  I believe this reduces a lot of wasted water too.  Just my two cents tossed in!   :D

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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 09:11:07 AM »
thanks Jay.

the mix has been slightly moistened by being out in FL weather.

so peat buggers are minimal at the end of the day.

I find it's much easier to pot plants with dry mixes, and I believe most nurseries do the same thing (at least the ones I've visited)

mixing and repotting with wet soil is a nightmare to me.  I've worked at a nursery before that repotted plants using wet soil, it much harder to manage, and more traumatic to roots (in my experience)...it's also painful to your hands to mix wet soil for hours...believe me.

sorry I had to let u know how I feel about dry vs wet, I'm sure somewhere in between in best!  I guess I took your two cents and handed you back a pair of my own pennies. :D

« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 09:14:00 AM by ASaffron »
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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 10:03:11 AM »
Hell man!  No need to apologize!  We're here to exchange ideas and such.  I'm not flying down to Florida to challenge you to a duel over this!   :o

I don't make my mix "wet".  Far from being wet.  I just get it to a point where the peat absorbs the water and turns a darker brown.  The goal is a very light, "loafy" mix and by the time perlite and other materials are added, this is achieved nicely.  It is very manageable and I can get it to settle and penetrate loose roots very easily.

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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 10:21:21 AM »
I'm flying up to Ohio to fight u right now! lolol (actually am flying there now for other reasons)

sorry I think my hatred for mixing wet soils has maybe rubbed off into my comment to you! :-[ 

Jay u r always my role model...u could say jabo sucks,and that u hate people who grow in containers, and I'd still look up to u.

so of course no hard feelings...ever!

and I totally agree with your view points...mixing certain dry mixes can be uncomfortble and even deadly in the long term!!

 

« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 10:23:02 AM by ASaffron »
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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 11:44:05 AM »
Thanks, very nice ASaffrom

As I dont know anything, I would like to ask

why should you prune the roots?

what happens if you dont prune them?

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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 11:49:32 AM »
I like the mixes slightly wet as well, since I have to wet the coco peat anyway. I am getting tired of peat moss, because of the reluctance of re-wetting after dry out. Also the dust particles are kept down with water down.
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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 11:50:54 AM »
Thanks, very nice ASaffrom

As I dont know anything, I would like to ask

why should you prune the roots?

what happens if you dont prune them?

thanks amigo!

the pruning of roots can be necessary for certain Species in particular...garcinia being one...if the roots coil around the bottom of the pot, it will inhibit proper development if the trees root structure, permenatly hindering the tree in the long term.

it also can be adventageous to prune roots to encourage branching and less tangled/poorly formed roots!  Some trees don't mind being root bound, but others will thank u for paying attention to their rhizomatic requisites.
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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2012, 01:56:09 PM »
Whether repotting or planting in the field I NEVER tamp down the soil. Plants need 8-12% oxygen in the soil. Tamping tamps out the interstices. I just water them in.

When re-potting assuming plant needs re-potting I ALWAYS tickle all the roots and if root bound I scratch them hard.
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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2012, 02:01:14 PM »
Nice tutorial you've put together here, Adam.


Whether repotting or planting in the field I NEVER tamp down the soil. Plants need 8-12% oxygen in the soil. Tamping tamps out the interstices. I just water them in.

I also follow this practice.
Tim

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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2012, 02:56:26 PM »
recher,

the amount of perlite in the mixes I use is sufficient to allow such oxygen levels about the roots, even with mashing the soil down.

I've been repotting hundreds of plants this way with positive results.

I could imagine with heavier mixes this could be a problem
Whether repotting or planting in the field I NEVER tamp down the soil. Plants need 8-12% oxygen in the soil. Tamping tamps out the interstices. I just water them in.

When re-potting assuming plant needs re-potting I ALWAYS tickle all the roots and if root bound I scratch them hard.
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Jackfruitwhisperer69

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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2012, 02:57:57 PM »
Nice tutorial you've put together here, Adam.


Whether repotting or planting in the field I NEVER tamp down the soil. Plants need 8-12% oxygen in the soil. Tamping tamps out the interstices. I just water them in.

I also follow this practice.

Me too...I also use this method for planting trees out in the field :)
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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2012, 08:50:19 PM »
how have I been getting away with mashing down the soil all these years? in ground, in containers...all the same...I firmly press down to make sure all soil is evenly settled, and that the tree sits snugly in it's new location.

I suppose I don't ever push down too hard?
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nullzero

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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2012, 08:56:45 PM »
I may take some photos tomorrow, got the superoots in today  ;D. I will try to take photos of the process of what I am doing when I repot.
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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2012, 09:32:40 PM »
i think I know how I've gotten away with mashing plants into place!

I've only been planting in central FL sand! and light mixes in containers with excellent aeration!

id imagine in soils in CA, Australia and Madeira would be much easier to set a plant back by tamping down.  the soils seem heavier and more clay like in those places.
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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2012, 10:04:36 PM »
Where did you get the Accelerator pots from?  Will be interested in seeing your results as I expect to have to re-pot a cambuca and white and red jaboitcaba's next year.  (Thanks again.)

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Re: Repot-ology 101 (crash course in how to repot a plant)
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2012, 10:13:04 PM »
Markos

I had a few friends who got them by purchasing plants that were grown in them, and one friend even got them from the city when they discarded them after planting a bunch of 15gal oaks!

so my two friends gave me these pots (in the same day, which was a funny coincidence.

I got about $200 worth of these pots for free!  some people just don't see the value of them...especially of they didn't buy them in the first place.   these pots make great hand me down gifts! they're exceptionally durable.

« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 10:16:11 PM by ASaffron »
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