EDITION: October - December '07


Vicente Cleries

When we move a plant to a larger pot, we must take into account several things such as, for example, the size of the pot. The pot must be neither as small as to force us to excessively cut the roots, nor as big as to be disproportionate with the size and development of the plant.

We must keep in mind that the plant will be limited by the small space in the pot, therefore, we must provide it with a type of mantel or soil mix that contains mineral and organic fertilizers, truffles and ground bark. We should mix well the substrate and tailor its texture to the need of each plant.

Soils and watering

In most nurseries you can find soils that have been prepared for the individual needs of each plant. However, if we are the ones preparing the mix, we must be careful not exceed ourselves in the quantity of fertilizers given that, in doing so, we would burn the roots of our new plant. We recommend putting less that 3% of the total mix.

Watering is another important factor after the transplant has been done. The first watering must be plentiful; we should water until we see the excess coming out of the bottom hole of the pot. First, however, we must have placed a few gravel rocks around the hole in order to prevent the soil from blocking the exit.

Curiously, in the last week two customers have told me that the leaves on the Ficus Benjamina that they transplanted are falling. This is due to the fact that, after a transplant, the first watering has been superficial and the soil closest to the roots has not been thoroughly soaked. What happens is that the dry soil around the roots, absorbing the little humidity that the plant has in them, provokes a reverse effect. The plant loses its humidity and becomes dehydrated; its leaves fall. These leaves are, of course, not likely to return given that its vessels have dried up and closed themselves. The plant is no longer capable to absorb humidity through its roots and transport it to its leaves.

We should also keep this in mind when we plant a small tree in the ground, furthermore, I would say that even if it starts raining after we have planted the tree we should still make a ditch in the ground and put two buckets of water. I am sure that if you do this you will not find yourselves in the situation that my other customers did.