For today’s Repotting Diaries, I’m working through some more of my houseplants that need a bit of a transformation. There’s a bit of propagation potting up to do and a couple of pots that need an upgrade. Also, a few plants could do with a chop and I’m going to amalgamate some others together into one, larger planter.
After a winter of living on site in the Chapel renovation project, my plants have really put up with a lot over the last few months. Dust, draughts and even the odd splatter of paint… oops! I really do appreciate their resilience at times like this – it’s another reason I prefer to grow more hardy plant varieties!
I hope this post offers a little moment of calm and some weekend armchair gardening if you will. If you have some plant care that’s on your TO DO list to tackle, I hope this provides a bit of inspiration to get out the trowel and snips too.
If this is the first post in this series that you’ve seen, these posts are intended to be snappier and ‘behind the scenes’ in style; showing a more everyday and 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 and 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’.
Big Tradescantia fluminensis tricolour re-pot
I often have a few small pots of my beloved Tradescantia dotted around the place, and there’s almost always a vessel or two with propagations underway too. Alongside this pink-leaved collection, I have my more mature plant which you can see below. They are one of my favourite plants to grow, which is my defence for having multiple pots…!
I’ve known this one has desperately needed repotting for a while. But with it being winter and my attention being taken up with the reno, I’ve been putting it off. At times like this, a self watering spike can really help to keep things happier for a while I have found! Here are some clear ones I have a couple of, or there’s another option here. When these are pot-bound they can require almost daily watering. So anything you can do to keep your Tradescantia from getting bone dry will help your plant survive.
As the photo above shows, my plant was in desperate need of a pot upgrade! Even when it’s this root bound, I still prefer to go up only one or two pot sizes at a time and do a couple of re-pots throughout the growing season. I just find I can keep my Tradescantia looking fuller this way. Seeing it in a fresh pot was a bit of a relief… I will keep an eye on it over the next few weeks.
Here’s a photo from my Instagram of some Tradescantia fluminensis tricolour I’ve been propagating recently:
Aspidistra Milky Way repotting
My Milky Way Aspidistra has grown into such a characterful plant here at House Plant House. It’s like an explosion of green leaves at first glance! But on closer inspection, you notice that the foliage is splashed with speckles which seriously glow when the light gets behind them.
Anyway, it’s been in this pot for a couple of years now – 3 I think. Towards the end of winter, I noticed that two or three of the oldest leaves were turning a golden hue. Yellowing leaves can be a result of a number of things – I’ve got an article on that here FYI, and can often cause a bit of stress if you aren’t used to them!
Actually, nearly all of my Aspidistra gang have had one or two yellow leaves this winter – it’s common for most houseplants as they mature and I’ve grown these long enough to know that it’s just part of their life cycle. In addition, you will often find yellow leaves can signal that the plant could do with repotting, as was the case here.
Another possibility is that unless you are regularly rotating your plants, the parts that don’t get enough light can yellow too; especially if the plant has a lot of leaves. Compared to my other ‘classic’ Aspidistra elatiors, the Milky Way is much more dense with foliage. Just remember that the location of the yellowing leaf can sometimes alert you to the cause.
Aspidistras are one of those plants that hate frequent repotting so I generally wait until the plant shows me it would like some attention! It was also needing much more frequent watering, which is a tell-tale sign that your houseplants might appreciate a re-pot.
Ceropegia woodii / String of Hearts repotting
After moving, my String of Hearts collection has been half-tangled up on my coat rack, which is now exclusively for my hanging plants! I’ve slowly been working my way through de-tangling duties, but the smaller of the two pots of ceropegia woodii was also growing out of it’s pot, with roots poking through the drainage holes, so I decided to do some repotting as I was arranging them.
When they are in position, I prefer not to move them if I can help it – they can get caught on things so easily! I only went up one pot size and used my houseplant potting mix as the basis of my mix – I just switched out the peat free compost for a cacti and succulent compost, before adding in the other components too. This concoction has worked well for my SoH plants over the years so I like to stick to it!
Next up in this repotting session is one of my ‘regular’ Aspidistra divisions that belonged to my grandparents. I’m quite attentive to these plants as they are very special to me! As with the Milky Way Aspidistra earlier in the post, these plants really don’t enjoy frequent repotting! Saying that, this one has really started to spread out a bit with its roots – you can see in the photo below. The roots were growing out of the drainage hole so I removed the plant, cleaned the roots up, pruned them a little and planted it up. The large sculptural leaves will often grow their own way and at this point I was able to arrange the stems to sit in the planter better.
It’s always a good to consider where your plant is going to be placed when potting up things with larger leaves. To an extent you can adjust the positioning of the plant in the pot which can really help from a plant styling perspective! With larger houseplants like my big Monsteras this is a must!
Big Marble queen pothos / Epipremnum aureum dividing and pruning
A few weeks ago, I shared a photo from my old apartment on Instagram where my Marble Queen Pothos truly went wild – see below! The thing with Pothos plants is that they can start to outgrow their space over a number of years. As well as that, they can have a tendency to look somewhat… bedraggled! Whilst my plant was growing well here on this shelf, when I moved to the cottage, I had nowhere suitable for it.
At this point, I decided to take some cuttings and made this plant as a ‘back up plant’:
Fast forward to the Chapel renovation and my big old plant was still hanging on! I decided I’d make another division and chop and propagate the extra long stems… Some of which were over 3 metres long!
Here are the stems I chopped to the left and to the right are the leaves once I’d cut up the stems. I’ll be doing a mix of water propagation and soil propagation with these cuttings when they callus over. There’s more on that here if you’re interested.
Repotting some Snake plants (dracaena/sansevieria trifasciata laurentii)
My Snake plant gang is one part of my houseplant collection that I sometimes forget about! They are so easy going, I have a few pots dotted around my space and these are plants I’ve had for years. When we moved on site a few months ago, I got to see them all together. It got me thinking that from a design point of view, they could look more impactful as one larger pot. Below are the three I wanted to combine:
Left: before. Right: after! I am so glad I took the plunge in potting these together! I’ve freed up some pots and ended up with a fuller looking plant. It’s not in quite the right planter yet – this was just one I had to hand. I’m looking for a conical shape to balance with the sculptural snake plant shape I think.
Mother of Millions propagation
This plant is one I shared the story of in a recent post about Heirloom Houseplants here. You might know this plant as a Kalanchoe daigremontiana, Mother of Millions, Mexican Hat Plant, Alligator plant, Devil’s Backbone or Bryophyllum daigremontiana. Over the few months we’ve been living in the Chapel, this plant has single-handedly taken over a windowsill!
I love how eccentric it looks, but with Spring here, it means it’s time to work on the windows, so I’m going to have to attempt to move it…! Before this though, I am going to do a spot of propagating to attempt to make myself some more back-up plants. The plant is already growing many, many baby plantlets at the base of the pot. They have dropped off the edges of the leaves straight into the planter and are happily rooting away.
I thought I’d also plant some of these in a little ramekin on the kitchen windowsill in a pot of their own…
In the pot, there’s a layer of cacti and succulent potting mix, combined with perlite, bark and grit. Before planting, I used a pressure sprayer with a fine mist to gently give moisture to the substrate. I sprinkled the plantlets across the top of the pot and placed on the windowsill.
Here they are below:
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed seeing what’s been on my potting bench this week. Over the next few weeks I’ll be working up to repotting some of my larger plants that need it. I love this time of year and I’m looking forward to giving my houseplants some care and attention! There are more posts over on my Instagram and Pinterest too.
Here you’ll find some pins to save or share with someone who might enjoy this Repotting Diaries:
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