Welcome back! Today’s post is the first Repotting Diaries of the growing season + of 2021 too. Repotting is an aspect of plant care I find really therapeutic + a process I sorely miss over the Winter months. During the colder part of the year I rarely carry out any repotting (unless there’s an emergency) but from early February, I start to make a list of my plants that could really do with some repotting — whether that’s a soil change, a bigger pot, or a spot of propagation by division or taking cuttings. In addition, I begin to collect together the multitude of glass bottles + propagation vessels dotted around HPH that have been patiently propagating for the last few weeks/months. Propagation is generally slower in winter, but I always have a few things rooting around the place!
For this initial repotting session of the season, I am starting small + tackling the more manageable houseplants, before working my way up to those that need more attention or are larger in size. My Ficus family need some help after a long, cold winter + after the shock of moving them all last year, many haven’t been repotted for over 2 years + are looking a bit lanky! My 3 monstera plants all need some attention too as they all have roots growing out of their drainage holes + some have been in somewhat challenging positions over the last few months. These larger plants will likely be in the next instalment of my Repotting Diaries as I need to get more supplies before tackling these hefty pots — plus, I prefer to work my way up to these bigger tasks!
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: there’s a tab at the top of the homepage called ‘repotting plants’.
A few months ago, my monstera adansonii was frustrating me so I decided to separate the vines that were all squished up in one pot to give them more space to grow as individual plants. One of the stems was looking quite sparse so I decided to chop + propagate instead…
This is something I often wait until Spring to do as adansonii stems are not as robust as say, pothos or scindapsus in my experience — but I did manage to prop a few stems to make up a little pot last weekend. I love how little pots of these look!
I’ve got a Monstera Adansonii propagation post going up in a few weeks so keep a look out for that if you want to see how the other plants I divided up are doing. For now, I’m going to enjoy this little plant on my work desk in my propagator as it transitions to potting mix. This is a good tip in general if you are potting up any propagations that are more sensitive, as the increased humidity in a dome/propagator/even a clear plastic bag with some ventilation holes cut out can really help the plant along! Adansonii plants can develop lovely larger leaves if given good levels of humidity so I might keep this one in a dome for a while as an experiment to compare to my other plants.
Senecio jacobsenii /Kleinia petraea ‘Weeping Jade’
This is a plant that I rarely see online + one that I love to grow. I propagated this trailing jade as a cutting a few years ago + it’s only really started to trail over the last year. It has been loving life on the south east windowsill but I forgot to move it back a bit in recent weeks (a classic mistake as the seasons change) + as you can see, it has developed a bit of a suntan! It will revert back to green after a few weeks (see photo below from my IG stories after a few days), but this is a warning to anyone that hasn’t looked at their windowsill plants now that Spring is here + the light in increasing in intensity! This was a plant that I checked + it didn’t need repotting quite yet, so I just popped it back in + gave it a clean + tidy up. Sometimes it’s good to have a quick look at the roots to see how your plant is doing but I don’t re-pot for the sake of it…. there are plenty of other plants that need it right now!
Tradescantia fluminensis tricolor
If you are a regular reader, you’ll know my tradescantia fluminensis is a plant that I’m always propagating + these stems have been rooting for longer than I care to admit! I’ve got a few tradescantia posts, including making a new plant from cuttings so have a look if you want to read more on the process.
For these stems, I decided to pot them in two smaller pots initially + when they have adjusted to potting mix, I think I’ll group a few of my smaller plants together to make a larger plant again. I find them more manageable as smaller pots initially because they can fit on my potting bench near my south-east window sill, nestled amongst my other houseplants. I’d like to create a hanging plant this Summer so that’s the aim with these I think.
One of my ‘houseplants I’ve grown to love’ is my Saxifraga stolonifera/strawberry begonia (FYI not a begonia!) + it was in need of a bit of a tidy up after winter. I chopped off a few dried leaves + lifted it out of the pot, before adding a fresh layer of potting mix to lift the plant + allow it to sit higher in the planter. These leaves hate getting wet, so I do plant this one high to help stop the lower foliage sitting on damp potting mix which can often cause botrytis (grey mould) on this lovely fuzzy foliage.
New growth is starting to appear now the days are lighter for longer + I always like to see a new leaf starting to form on my little saxifraga, nestled amongst those cheerful, rhubarb-coloured stems:
Snake plant duo
Both of these plants have been troopers throughout the cold months + were the only ones that coped with being in the part of the cottage that is unheated — almost all other plants had to migrate for a few months to other (warmer) rooms! To the left is a little ‘boncel’ dracaena/sansevieria + to the right is a dracaena/sansevieria trifasciata hahnii I’ve had for years! The bird’s nest snake plant to the right got a few yellow leaves around the base, but other than that was fine + the boncel to the left just sat there for a few months looking exactly the same! Snake plants are slower growers of course in normal household conditions, but I will try and give these a bit more light than they have been getting here when I move.
As with the saxifraga plants, I didn’t go up a pot size, but just gave the potting mix a re-fresh + planted back into the same pots as the roots weren’t circling the bottom of the pot yet. I also took this time to give these plants a good clean as they were a bit dusty. When washing snake plants, be careful with getting the heart (centre) of the plant saturated as this can cause rot if the plant doesn’t dry out adequately. I tipped my hahnii plant upside down after showering to ensure that water wasn’t sitting in the rosette clusters.
Epipremnum aureum / golden pothos
This poor plant has tolerated all sorts this winter + was in great need of some attention, so was one of the first plants on my repotting list! Before I even looked at the roots, I noticed my plant was getting thirsty more frequently, which is often a sign that repotting might be needed. As you can see below, those roots were definitely wanting some more space to grow! I lifted the plant out of the pot + slowly worked at loosening the root ball + shook off any old potting mix. I also checked for any dried roots + pruned those. I found a planter that was slightly larger + less tapered at the base as a temporary planter, but ideally I will give it something a little larger in a few months. For now, I needed to pop it back in the same plant hanger in my bedroom — the low ceilings here make it hard to position my larger hanging plants!
There were quite a few leaves that needed removing as they had been damaged by being so close to a heater in January, so my longer term plan for this plant is to chop + propagate some healthy stems to re-plant back into the top of this pot. It looked so bountiful when it was smaller so I’d like to recreate that again if possible! I’ve had this plant for years + I know that ideally, the top of the planter needs more light for it to thrive like it did in my old apartment. But it’s now better than before with some more room to grow so that’s a good start!
In these posts, I always like to show the real side of keeping a sizeable plant collection which basically means that not all of them look great all the time. This was purely an issue of neglect on my part because (long story) this plant ended up in a box for a week or so + I was convinced it wasn’t going to make it. It looked so nice a few months ago but with the low indoor temperatures here, it really struggled this winter + exacerbated by the box incident, is looking a bit of a sorry state! BUT, I’m not giving up hope + have cleaned it up, inspected the roots + re-potted it in fresh potting mix + given it a clean + thorough watering. We shall see!
This is a Rhipsalis that often has a variety of names (as there are a few varieties that look pretty similar) but I know it as a coral cactus/rice cactus! It was a plant that I didn’t really pay much attention to when I got it as a teeny-tiny pot about 5 years ago, but it really enjoyed life on my desk in my previous apartment + flourished! For the last year, it’s been living on a cold north-west windowsill + has continued to grow well so I wanted to check how the roots were doing. All was well + the plant didn’t need repotting so I top dressed it instead + I think it’ll be happy for a few months before needing a larger home!
Chlorophytum / Spider plant
This Spider plant started off with me as a 5cm pot around 4 years ago + it might not be the most popular type of houseplant, but to me it’s a classic! This cultivar, the ‘variegatum’ (with creamy edges + darker green leaves) is less common here in my area that the more typical chlorophytum comosum ‘vittatum’ (green leaves with a broad cream central stripe) + I also have a plain green ‘lemon’ variety too. My spider plant here has settled in quite well in the cottage but over a few weeks I noticed it was looking positively grey (below left)! This was a surefire sign that my plant needed repotting (it can also signal it’s dried out) as when I looked in the pot, the roots had grown out of the drainage holes. If you are new to houseplants + haven’t experienced this before, it might look quite alarming! But the photo below right shows it 48 hours later — back to its usual shade of green.
These are resilient houseplants + this one has just started throwing out some plantlets on runners, which I decided to keep intact — I always love how these plants look with baby plants cascading underneath! If you have a little plant, this can take a few years, though keeping it pot-bound can help to encourage them. So I went up a little larger with a planter + found a new hanger to use to hang it on the curtain pole as it seems really happy here!
So there we go! It feels great to give my plants some care + attention again + I hope you enjoyed spending some time with me on my potting bench today — there will be some related posts over on instagram over the next few days too. I am continuing to work through my repotting list + in the next instalment, I think I will tackle some of my larger plants, before taking on my Monstera gang! If you enjoyed this post, you might also like ‘Getting your houseplants ready for Spring’ if you missed it.
I hope you have enjoyed having a closer look at my plant collection, including some plants that I don’t always share on instagram. Here are some related pins to share or save with someone who might enjoy it: