Too late to repot?

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Too late to repot?

Post  mskelbel on Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:51 pm

My husband and I found a beautiful Japanese Holly locally for a very good price. It's relatively small, about a ft tall and I really liked the trunk. Unfortunately, when we bought it I wasn't feeling well so we purchased it and left before I really looked it over well. I see now that it is extremely root bound. There are some roots growing out of the bottom of the grow pot and are very tangled. It doesn't absorb water very well at all. Is there anything I can do to it now? I am wanting to repot it but I'm afraid I'll hurt it.

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Re: Too late to repot?

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:02 pm

If you don't cut or damage the roots during the repotting process then you should be OK. Don't use scissors on the roots and be EXTREMELY careful with the root hook or chopstick or whatever you intend to use to remove the old soil as well as when potting in the new soil. Keep it in shade afterwards for a month.

Do you have a picture?

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Pictures

Post  mskelbel on Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:28 pm

Sam Ogranaja wrote:Do you have a picture?

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Re: Too late to repot?

Post  mskelbel on Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:34 pm



And no, the root stimulator in the background wasn't used on this plant. Razz

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Re: Too late to repot?

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:14 am

I think that'll be a little tough to repot safely. Maybe others with more experience can chime in.

The bottom is wet but the middle and top is dry. When was this watered last? Was it watered with a hose or soaked?

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Watering

Post  mskelbel on Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:36 am

I had just soaked it a bit to get the roots from the outside of the bottom of the pot to untangle without damage. When I water it, most of the water will run down the sides of the pot and out. It seems like very little will actually be absorbed into the middle. I water it every day but today after these pictures, I soaked it more to see if it helps to get to the center. I've read a lot today about root bound plants and one book stated that if you can't repot it, then drill some holes down into the roots to allow air and also water to be able to reach more roots. It's pretty hot and windy here in Kansas and I worry about it getting too dry. Right now, it's 95 outside.

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Re: Too late to repot?

Post  0soyoung on Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:49 am

I repot all kinds of waxy leafed plants (e.g., pines, firs, quince, azaleas, cork oaks, roses) in August - you can too.

But if that scares the beegeezus out of you, loosen all the roots on the outside of the present root ball and cut them back to the soil surface(s). Then plant it in a slightly larger pot with a mix of small bark chips and some top/potting soil in the extra space. This will get you though to next spring or even the spring of 2017 before you must repot it (or do this 'slip up' again).

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Re: Too late to repot?

Post  Zach Smith on Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:37 pm

mskelbel wrote:My husband and I found a beautiful Japanese Holly locally for a very good price. It's relatively small, about a ft tall and I really liked the trunk. Unfortunately, when we bought it I wasn't feeling well so we purchased it and left before I really looked it over well. I see now that it is extremely root bound. There are some roots growing out of the bottom of the grow pot and are very tangled. It doesn't absorb water very well at all. Is there anything I can do to it now? I am wanting to repot it but I'm afraid I'll hurt it.
You have a couple of options. Hollies actually grow very well during summer, so if you do choose to take off some of the root mass the tree will likely not be harmed. But the safest thing to do is simply put it in a larger grow pot for this year, surround with extra soil and wait till next spring to cut the roots back hard.

Good luck!

Zach

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Re: Too late to repot?

Post  M. Frary on Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:32 pm

Just slip pot it up to a larger bucket like Zach says. Some good soil in the bottom and backfill around the edges. You may even get a little trunk thickening.

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Repotted

Post  mskelbel on Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:35 pm

I've repotted in a bigger pot for now. It seems to be doing well and I've even seen new leaves. Smile Looking forward to spring for repotting and shaping.

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Re: Too late to repot?

Post  M. Frary on Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:40 am

Next spring I would just saw half of the bottom of the root ball off. Then comb it out and put that baby in some nice free draining soil.

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Re: Too late to repot?

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