It feels like a few weeks since I did any proper repotting here at HPH! As I’ve stressed in my other posts in this series, it’s good practice to only re-pot your houseplants when it really is needed + not just for the sake of it (or only for instagram photos!). Over the last few weeks, I’ve been focusing on feeding my collection + managing general plant care whilst also sorting out the garden a bit too. I prefer to re-pot in batches as small-space gardening can be a little messy, so I prefer to do a few plants at a time which streamlines the process a little. In this ‘repotting diaries‘ I will be potting on my hoya linearis, selenicereus chrysocardium, a couple of my smaller sansevieria/ dracaena plants, before switiching my crassula marnieriana into terracotta + popping my SOH cuttings back with the plant.
If this is the first post in this series that you’ve seen, these posts are intended to be short + ‘behind the scenes’ in style; showing a more everyday + relaxed view of what it is like to live with a lot of plants. In addition, if you have any of these plants it might help to see how I’ve repotted mine + things to look out for. Have a browse through the other posts in this series if you want to get in the mood for some plant care.
You might remember that I have a bigger hoya linearis hanging in my living room, but as is the case with most plants, I like to get the snips out to experiment with how the plant propagates + grow from a smaller division or cutting. I like to think of this as a process of ‘getting to know them’ a bit — I think it really helps to understand first hand how to ‘read‘ what a plant likes, dislikes + requires to be a flourishing part of your houseplant collection.
As the photo below shows, I rooted the cutting in water 9 months ago + it’s been in the same tiny pot for the last 7-8 months — the cutting took around 5 weeks to root + be ready for planting. I knew it needed a bigger pot, because even though the roots are quite delicate, the plant was drying out really quickly + needing more frequent watering. I only went up one pot size because hoya plants like to be pot-bound to some extent. I probably won’t need to pot this on for another 12 months or so. I must add here, if you notice any signs that your hoya might be preparing to bloom DO NOT RE-POT! The waxy, ‘porcelain flowers’ are a sight to behold which will often appear when the plant is a bit stressed — that is why it’s really important not to re-pot these often as this can help to encourage blooms.
In terms of potting mix, I use a concoction of cacti + succulent compost with houseplant mix added in plus some perlite, grit + chunky orchid bark. It’s starting to trail nicely now + it will be needing a macrame plant hanger + a place on my curtain pole before long I think!
Ahh, my fern leaf cactus. If you are a regular here at HPH, you’ll know that this is a special plant to me as I received it as a cutting from a plant friend in Sweden a few years ago as a very kind gesture. As a result, it’s one of my favourite plants so I feel a great responsibility to keep this plant happy + healthy. Like the closely related epiphyllum genus, these plants don’t have a big root structure as they are largely epiphytic/lithophytic, which means they grow on trees or rocks in their natural habitat. This also means they don’t need regular repotting, so I only re-pot around once every 12-18months.
I used an orchid pot as its new planter as that’s what I had to hand + used a free-draining potting mix of houseplant compost, cacti + succulent mix, perlite, horticultural grit + chunky orchid bark.
I had a few snake plants that I haven’t touched for a long time which I just knew would benefit from a soil refresh. After a few years, the nutrients can be depleted from the compost + some fresh potting mix can really help to perk things up. I also wanted to transfer two of my three plants here into terracotta as I had some nice light grey pots that would suit them well + look good on the windowsill. In the photos are my sansevieria/dracaena golden hahnii, trifasciata hahnii + trifasciata laurentii.
I definitely have some plants that I forget to photograph + my jade necklace/crassula marnieriana is one of them. Since getting it around two years ago, it’s been happily growing in the same nursery pot. The last month or so though, it’s been looking a little crispy + in need of some TLC — I tend to neglect this plant a bit as it’s on a hard to reach window ledge. I potted it in a light grey terracotta pot to give it a little more room to grow + used the same mix as I did with my fern leaf cactus above. I made up a batch of potting mix at the start of the session + it turns out that I didn’t really need to tweak it much for all the plants in this post. That’s why I try to pot similar plants at the same time!
As the two photos below show, I accidentally broke this piece off so I’m going to try root it in water as an experiment. I think it would also root well in perlite like other succulents, the stem is quite woody, so I wanted to start it off in water first.
My string of hearts lives really close to my big hoya linearis I mentioned earlier in this post + they are both really thriving around a metre away from my south-east window, behind a net to soften the light. I have been rooting any bits that I’ve accidentally broken off + have now planted them back in the main pot to fill it out a bit. As you can see from the photos, I used a pen to poke a hole into the potting mix, then gently wiggled the cuttings in to place before filling the hole in again. If your cuttings feel a bit loose, you can use an unfolded paper clip to ‘pin’ the cutting down into the soil until the stems have ‘taken’ + rooted some more. Mine were secure so I didn’t need to do this.
There we go, a couple of plant-y jobs ticked off the ‘TO DO‘ list! If you have a lot of plants like me, I’d recommend making a note when you are thinking about doing some repotting so that a) you can be sure you have everything you need …nothing worse that starting to plant then running out of perlite/potting mix! + b) you might be able to group similar plants together as I did in this post, so that you aren’t amending your soil mix for every plant.
I hope you enjoyed seeing what has been on my potting table this week!