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I’ve Re-Potted My Plant, Why Is It Getting Worse?

Ask The Plant Expert:

I’ve just discovered i had four spiderplants growing closely in the same pot, I’ve subsequently seperated them so their now in two equal sized containers. I’ve been as gentle as I could, but am afraid I’ve damaged the roots, or are they tougher than I think? – Matthew

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

Every plant will go through some shock when transplanted, especially when the roots are disturbed. As long as you were able to keep the majority of the roots intact, your plants should be fine. However, they will be stressed for a few weeks. So, don’t over water them, and don’t fertilize them. Keep your environment as close to the same conditions they were before you separated them.  Then just be patient while they over come the stress.

Hope this information was helpful. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

Help! Christmas Cactus Has Lost It’s Spirit

Ask the Plant Expert:

I have a limp Christmas cactus.  How large a container & what kind of soil mixture should I use?  This is a cutting that is special.  Also, there are bugs on the soil – not the plant – help, please!

I don’t have a photo, but the plant hasn’t bloomed since I planted the cuttings.  The cactus has been in the house and I wonder if I should put it outside since I live in Palm Desert, CA.


Get Your Own Pink Christmas Cactus

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: You do need to re-pot your Christmas cactus. I like to use a potting soil specifically blended for Christmas cactus (for example Fafard Cactus and Succulent potting mix). I would transplant it into a pot that is 1½ times larger than the existing pot.  If you have mealy bugs, try to remove all of them as your transplant the Christmas Cactus.

Christmas cactus can bloom up to two times a year inside. So moving it outside is not necessary. However, you may need to fertilize it or prune it.

Please read Flower Shop Network’s article, The Unique Beauty of Christmas Cactus, it has very valuable information about Christmas cactus.

[Read more…]

Schefflera Shock: How To Help With Repotting Recovery

Ask The Plant Expert: I have a Schefflera that I have had for 35 years and it has gotten very big.  I was finally able to find a pot at least a little bigger than the one that it was in, so I repotted it this summer.  It’s roots were wound around at the bottom of the old pot.  My new pot wasn’t much bigger than the old one, so I rubbed off some of the old soil from it to give it new soil when I repotted it.  I let it rest inside for a few weeks and it seemed fine.  Then I put it outside for a few days this summer to get a good bath from the rain (I usually do that each summer) and since I’ve brought it back in, it has been dropping green leaves and some leaves are turning yellow and dropping off also.  What am I doing wrong?  After 35 years, “Charlotte” has become part of the family…I’d hate to loose her!  Thanks! – Amy

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply:

Amy,Schefflera (Brassia arboricola)

It sounds like the plant is in severe transplant shock. It usually takes a several days for the signs of transplant shock to appear and a couple of weeks for the plant to recover. In your case, the plant went from one situation (re-potting) that caused transplant shock to another (moving it outside) without ample time for the plant to recover form the first.

To help your plant recover,

  • Make sure the new pot allows excess water to drain.
  • Make sure the rootball has been thoroughly saturated and that you water it as you have always done.
  • Let it rest don’t move it for at least a few weeks.
  • Don’t fertilize it. The plant should start to recover during this time.

Once the plant has recovered and is stable, you can go back to your normal fertilizer schedule and other activities. Hope this information was helpful. Please let me know if you need anything else.


To Pot Or Not To Pot New Hydrangeas?

Potted Hydrangea

Ask The Expert: I received 2 new hydrangeas for Mother’s Day, from a nursery, not foil wrapped.  They are both large.  I have one other one that was foil wrapped that I have potted and is now flowering (after 20 months).  I live in San Antonio, TX, which is hot and dry.  I want to know what would be the best option for these new hydrangeas — to plant them or pot them in probably a 15-20 gallon pot each. I would keep them in is partial shade – late afternoon sun, which has been good for my other older hydrangea.  Do you have any suggestions on these new ones and what kind of pots, soil, etc?

Thanks a bunch,

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Pam,

Since you have one hydrangea that is doing well, I would plant the new ones the same way. Hydrangeas typically prefer a well-drained soil with some sun protect in very hot climates. Different varities of hydrangeas can tolerate sun better than others.

For example: the oakleaf hydrangea prefers a shady area where as the PeeGee hydrangea like the sun.

In Texas, it is best to plant your hydrangeas in rich loamy soil with an eastern or northern exposure (some shade protection could be beneficial, but it will still need a fair amount of sunshine). Make sure to mulch your hydrangeas well to help retain the soil moisture.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if I can Help You with anything else.

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.

Bromeliad With Brown Leaves Help?

Ask the Expert: Brown Leaves
I got a Bromeliad ~ 1 month ago for my birthday. It is blooming beautifully. I re-potted it about a week after I got it. Now, the leaves are turning brown / yellow starting with the bottom leaves & working its way up. I am only watering once a week & just keeping the cup full. It is in indirect sunlight. What is the most likely culprit & what can I do to save the plant? It is so pretty, I don’t want to lose it.
Thank you in advance for your time!!! Below are the picture of my bromeliad.



Bromeliad Guzmania

Damage Guzmania Bromeliad Leaf