Saturday, August 27, 2011


I've put off repotting too long! Today it will be probably over 105 degrees again, but it's not good to put off repotting, I try to do it as needed, regardless of the weather.
Today we will repot two plants that are potbound and need to move up to a bigger pot. Currently they are in 3" pots and are falling over! Both of these plants have nice upright growth at this time, so they are good candidates for being staked or tied up. I'm going to put them into 6" clay pots and stake them up.

"Jungle Night" on the left, "Arturo" on the right

You can pot up all your epis in hanging baskets and they will love it, but sometimes you run out of room for hanging  plants (:~0)  so you may need to consider keeping some plants in pots and staking them upright. That way you can just stand them on a table. For me, clay pots are good to use for staked plants because they are heavy and don't tend to tip over easily, but you can use plastic pots if you prefer. Plastic doesn't break when it falls over and retains more moisture. You will need to water clay pots more often than plastic pots because they dry out more frequently. 
First, gather your supplies:

  In addition to your pot, you will need some sort of stake. I found these bamboo U-loops at the 99 cent store, but you can also use tomato cages. You'll also need jute, twine or some sort of floral plastic tying material. I found the green plastic tape at Sunshine Growers' Nursery.  
You will need a bag of your favorite potting soil. I use this mix straight from the bag. You can also use any potting mix designed for terrestrial orchids, or any good quality commercial potting soil to which you must add perlite or ground bark for better drainage.

Gently knock the plant out of its pot, being careful not to disturb the root ball. I find it is easier to remove the root ball intact if you water the plant first. Once I tried to remove a plant with a dry root ball, and broke off almost all the roots! OH NO! That set the plant growth back quite a bit, but oh, well, they will survive. These are hardy plants! 

"Jungle Night"


Next place a pebble over the drainage hole or holes in your pot, then put a bit of potting mix into the bottom of the pot. Set the plant into the pot.
You may need an assistant to hold the plant upright, or you will need to temporarily prop it up with whatever you can find:

"Jungle Night"
Fill in around the rootball with your nice fresh potting soil, and tamp down gently but firmly. You want to pack it so the plant stays upright, but not so  tightly that the soil won't drain easily when watered.
Next, apply your stakes or cage. Don't wait until later, do it now! Once the plant starts to get a lot of new growth it is very difficult to stake it. Also, if you stake a plant that is already established, you will probably do damage to the roots. Now is the best time, so stake it now! Don't forget to tag your plant so you will remember its name a year from now.


"Jungle Night"

Last but not least, gently add ties to hold up the branches. Water your newly repotted plant and place it in a shady location. As new branches grow, tie them up. That's it! You now have a plant that won't take up a lot of valuable hanging space, and will be easy to display and move if necessary. You may not think about this with your hanging plants, but remember NOT to keep your potted plants on the ground. Snails and earthworms will quickly find them and do a lot of damage! Keep your plants up on a shelf or a table.

"Jungle Night"


Some plants just are naturally determined to hang and the branches don't start out growing up, they just hang down from the get-go! Those I put into hanging planters. Plastic is generally recommended but you can also use the coconut fiber hanging planters like this one.

Princess Kelly S.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Unfortunately, the plant is virused as evidenced by the variegation in the bloom. Still rather pretty, but I am keeping it far, far away from my other plants.     :(

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cereus Peruvianus

It's in full bloom now.. These begin to open in the late evening, and by morning the blooms will be dead, it's very difficult to catch them at the right moment.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011