Repotting 101

It was time to repot one of my plants – Cryptocoryne ideii (A09), so I thought, maybe it would be a good idea to document the process.

Here’s the pot that is in desperate need of repotting.
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First, lets gather the materials needed for the new pots…I use 3″ Hydroponic net pots with CocoTek liners as my standard pot.
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The ‘soil’ is an every changing mix undergoing constant experimentation. These days, the standard mix is using the following three commercial products.

ADA Aquasoil ‘Amazonia’
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ADA Aquasoil ‘Malaya’
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API First Later Pure Laterite
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This is mixed in a ratio of 2:2:1 Amazonia:Malaya:Laterite
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Now that the materials have been collected, its time to unpot the plant. The good thing about the CocoTek liner is that it’s biodegradable. In about 9-12 months, the material is soft enough to tear open by hand – a sissor or straight blade can help as well. Be careful not to damage the roots.
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A little trick I use sometimes is to rinse the pot out in a bucket of water (room temperature). That washes all the soil out of the pot and leaves the root mass undamaged. Then its just a matter of coaxing the roots out of the liner. Each plant is untangled carefully and laid out. Roots are also trimmed back to jsut a couple of inches. Small plantlets can remain ‘connected’ to the mother plants, but any plantlet with more than 3 leaves should be seperated out.
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Next, the new pot is filled a little less than half way with the soil mix.
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The plant is placed in the center, with the roots splayed out somewhat.
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Additional soil is filled in around the plant. Be careful not to bury the plant too deep or leave it up too high. A little trick I use is to bury the plant just a teeny bit too deep – and once the soil is filled in, I gently tug the plant out to the right height. The crown (point where all the leaves meet) should be right at the soil level.
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Water the plant gently, with water again at room temperature. Some folks like to sit the pot down in a bucket and fill in water around the pot allowing the water to soak in. Its a good idea, especially if your potting mix has peat in it, which, in its dry granulated state, often doesn absorb water right away. Don’t forget the label!
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From the one pot above there were enough plants to create 5 to 6 new pots. Looks like I’ve got some plants to share!