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Help! Repotted My Red-Margined Dracaena & Now It’s Dying

Ask The Plant Expert:

I re-potted my red-margined dracaena and now it appears to be dying.  The leaves from the bottom are brown and falling off and the entire plant is looking droopy.  Is there anything I can do to revive it?

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Help! My Moonflower Seedlings Are Wilting

Ask The Plant Expert:

It’s only been about a week now since I transplanted 3 seedlings to a hanging basket (2 moonflowers and a morning glory; they had only first set of leaves.) Now they are withering and drooping. The soil in the basket is well drained and was able to make a morning glory thrive last year, until I killed it by just not paying attention to watering. I’m not sure, but need to ask did I do a bad thing when transplanting to have watered with B-1, to prevent transplant shock? What if i did not have it diluted enough? Bad idea all together?

Also, could me moving them around while planting maybe do this? Live in SoCal it’s been pleasantly warm since they have been out. They starting drooping about 3 days after transplant. I have some new seedlings now at a bit further stage in a south facing window inside. I don’t want to repeat this mistake with the new ones. I’m concerned , cause I want to put in that same basket if the ones now have any chance of being saved? Would I have to flush it out well? Is there a better time in growth stage to place out? I’m new to this and disappointed I did something too eager that did this to them. Please help.

Moonflower Seedling Moonflower Seedling

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

Most likely you transplanted the seedlings too early.  At our garden center, we don’t transplant anything until it has an established root system and true leaves, not the very first set of leaves.  The more established the root system before you transplant it, the less likely it will have issues.

If you are trying to place the seedlings in with established plants, that could be a problem since each will have different water requirements.

My recommendation is to let the seedlings form a couple sets of leaves and a good root system before your transplant them.  I would not transplant them in to containers that do not already have established plants in them.  If you must transplant them into a container with established pants make sure your seedling are fully rooted and have some size to them.  Using B1 is fine, just be sure to dilute it properly for the size and age of the plants.

Good Luck and let me know how things turn out.

When Do You Transplant An Umbrella Plant?

Ask the Expert: best time to transplant an umbrella plant it’s starting to get top heavy? Danielle

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: You can transplant Umbrella Plants (Schefflera) basically anytime they have outgrown their pots. However, if you can’t re-pot your plant indoors wait until a warmer season to do it. Schefflera don’t like cold temperatures and transplant shock will be much worse if the plant gets cold.

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Help! I Butchered My Peace Lily

Ask The Expert: I split and transplanted my peace lilly plant.    It didn’t do well so I cut it way back and now it isn’t growing at all.    Will it ever grow back, or should I throw it out?     How do you start new plants if you want to start from some slips? M Moe

Plant Expert Reply:

Have you or a friend ever died your/their hair, decided it wasn’t just right and then cut your/their hair off to correct the bad dye job, only to be further frustrated by the time it takes for the hair to grow back? I ask because at some point in all our lives this scenario has happened.  What is the one thing that could have prevent all the problems? PATIENCE.

Patience is what your peace lily needs. After you split and transplant a peace lily, it will look a little rough. Provided you didn’t plant the peace lily too deep, it will rebound and form new growth in a few weeks.

If you cut all of the peace lily foliage off, the plant will struggle to complete the photosynthesis process which all plants need to survive.  This doesn’t mean that the peace lily won’t survive.  It does mean that the road to health and beauty will be much longer. Again, it will need patience.

As long as the plant has not turned black, mushy or smell, it should form new leaves and recover.  Make sure the roots stay moist but not soggy. The plant will not use as much water as it did when it had leaves.  You can give it a light solution of vitamin b1 or fertilizer to help stimulate growth.  Be careful not to give it too much fertilizer since the plant is already stressed.

The way to propagate peace lilies effectively is by splitting them.  As long as the piece you separate from the mother plant has a good root system and healthy foliage, it can be planted to start a new peace lily.

So give your peace lily a little time.  You may be pleasantly surprised in a couple weeks with new healthy foliage. Good luck and keep me posted.  If your plant doesn’t make it you can always order a peace lily from your local florist.

Transplanting Grape Vines

Ask the Expert: when is the proper time to  transplant grapevine in west tn? Bill

Plant Expert Reply:

Transplanting an established grape can be a little tricky.  They usually don’t like to be moved which is why people taking cutting of their grape instead of moving it.  However, it doesn’t mean that a grape can’t be moved. I recommend waiting until late fall.  When you transplant the grape vine you will need to prune the plant back as well.   Good luck and keep me posted.

Cousin It (Ponytail Palm) Likes Snug Surroundings

Pony Tail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) From Bernecker's Nursery

Pony Tail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata) From Bernecker's Nursery

Ask The Expert: I was just given a elephant plant–large “foot” and long stringy leaves. It is at least 11 years old and never been transplanted. Should I transplant and what size planter!I think I am going to rename it ‘Cousin It’!!!! Bobbi


I assume the plant that you have looks like the one pictured above.  This is a Beaucarnea recurvata (Ponytail palm).  As you can tell from the picture, they like to be crowded in their containers.  So I would only transplant it if it has truly out-grown its container.  When you transplant it you want a container that is only slightly larger than the one that it is in – the plant only needs 2 to 3″ of space between it and the side of the pot.  The key is to keep it at the same level in the pot. In other words don’t bury it. the top of the rootball should still be the top in the new container.

Repotting A Divided Peace Lily

Ask the Expert: how to repot a peace lilly? i have a peace lilly about 11 years old. tryed to repot it and it stop growing. i tried seperating it into two. i think i made a bad mistate. i need help

thanks Thelma


The nice thing about peace lilies is that they are pretty tough. First, anytime you separate a peace lily it goes through a little shock. This shock will keep the plant from growing temporarily. So, if it has only been a week give it time. If it has been longer then we need to look at a few other factors. When you repot a plant it is important to keep the top of the root ball at the same depth as it was originally. If you planted it deep (add soil to the top of the rootball not just at the sides), it will cause problems. In this case you will need to lift the plant up — you will need to take the plant out of the container and shake the extra dirt off the top and place it back in the container filling to close the gap between the plant and the container. At this point the plant needs to be watered in and kept moist but not soggy. If you have been watering because it looks droopy – stop! Water is not the problem transplant shock is and the plant needs rest not more water.

If you are still not sure what is going on, send me a picture of the peace lily and I will try to help.

What Are Early Spring Bloomers For Indiana

Ask the Expert: Pre-flower identification and transplant
Indiana, moved in last Aug. Beginning of flowers coming up, no flowers yet.  Need to identify plant whose leaves look like a Daffodil but twice as big.  Also have crocus, daffodils, tulips growing in areas to be leveled.  Is it okay to transplant them now?   Andrea


Without seeing the bloom it is hard to say.  It could be one of these early blooming spring flowers:

Glory Of the Snow (Chinondoxia sardensis)

Dwarf Iris (Iris danfordiea or Iris reticulata)

Snowdrops (Galanthus sp) ***this is what I think it is***

Star Flower (Ipheion uniflorium)

Striped Squill (Puschkinia scilloides)

It will be hard to tell until we see the bloom.

I normally transplant my existing bulbs after they have bloomed when the foliage starts to die back.  However if you need to moved them now, try to move the whole clump without disturbing the individual bulbs.  You can also move the individual bulbs; just be sure to plant them at the exact depth as they were.  You will need to fertilize them when you move them.  Good luck and keep me posted.  When they bloom upload a photo and we’ll make a definitive identification.

Separating Plants In A Mixed Container

Ask the Expert: when is it a safe time to replant
I was given 2 planters from my moms funeral
both have at least 10-12 house plants a piece in them some are large when is a safe time to repot them to separate containers Susan



When I receive plants from a funeral, I usually wait at least a week before I transplant them. This gives me time to see if any of the plants are in severe transplant shock. Repotting a plant that is in severe transplant shock is a tricky proposition and can cause an increase the severity of the shock. Anytime you repot a plant it will go through a bit of shock, but a slight one. Once you have determined that the plants are only slightly in shock or not in shock at all, repot them. When you plant them make sure you don’t plant them deeper than they were in the original container. Be sure to give them the care that each individual plant requires and don’t fuss over them. They will need a little time to recover from the repotting process.

Transplanting a Palm: Now or After The Move?

Ask the Expert: What should I do??

Hi – I’m not sure the name of my palm in (see photo) it could be a Parlor Palm, Kentia or Sentry Palm? I gathered several small plants that have grown beautifully in front of my kitchen window with a western light sunset in a plastic planter in the same spot since 1999.  I want to transplant it into a clay pot.  I’ll be moving at the end of October. Should I wait until I’m in my new home or transplant it now.  Anything special I should do? This is very sentimental to me.  Thank you for your advice. Patty