May 302013
 

 One of my weekly goals last month was to divide my aloe plants and dead head my other house plants.  Here is what they looked like before, they were starting to take over this area.

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This plant was looking wimpy.  Some leaves had died and not fallen off, while others had been torn and battered by little hands.

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I had picked up a box of pots from a store that was going out of business.  It was a discount store to begin with, so these were very affordable.

box of potsI started on one of the house plants as it was in front of all the aloes.  This vining plant had leaves and sections of vine that were either dead or looked dead.  I had almost given it up as un-salvageable.  Glad I didn’t follow through with just throwing it away.

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First, I pulled off all the dead leaves.  This allowed me to see which sections of vine were dead.  Those sections were cut off, as were the parts where a large section of vine had no leaves.

Ah, looking much better.

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I did a trial run of getting roots to grow from sections of cuttings.  So far no luck, but two of the three jars are still sitting in a sunny location to see if the stems will grow roots.

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The aloe plants came next.  I placed all the current plants on the table. Some were so full and large they were not able to stay standing up without something to lean on.
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Little hands wanted to “help”.  I gave scissors and allowed them to cut up leaves and stems I had removed.

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Here is a closer view of the aloe plant pots.

DSCN7325Here is a plant that was in a different window.  It was in such a place that I often forgot to water it.  The aloe plant was still alive though you can see how different the color is.  I find that aloes plants this dehydrated can still be brought back to a nice green color with regular watering.

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Here is the root ball of one of the aloe plants when pulled out of the existing pot.

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I loosened up some of the soil around the roots…

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Once I had them all removed from the pots, I sorted them.  Plants that were not growing straight, missing parts, or too small were discarded.

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The remaining plants were sorted by size …

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This plant was easily removed from the parent plant by pulling it away.  The roots of the aloe plants are not extensive, which is what made it so easy to separate them.  Even this section will grow and reproduce.  Aloe plants reproduce, or create new plants, via root sprouts.  I found root sprouts in the bottom of some of the pots, starting to grow off the roots there.  It has been just over a month and some of the newly potted aloe plants already have sprouts sticking up out of the soil.

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Most of the newly potted aloe plants are being sold on the produce stand.  Another great example of using what you have to make a few extra dollars.  This helps offset just a bit of the cost of gardening.

Also, aloe plants, if left to grow long enough, will flower.  Unfortunately, I missed getting a picture when mine did so this last winter.  It really was a lovely delicate looking flower, one I hope to see again this year.

The ficus tree was saved till last as it was the largest of all the plants and took the most time.

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(Above) Since I was working on our dining room table, I put the tree up there too.  It made a convenient height and was close to where the plants had been and were going.  I had a bad of potting mix and a pitcher of water.  You can see the pile of discarded aloe plants towards the bottom of the picture.

(Below) The new pot for the ficus tree allowed the roots to spread out.  Previously they had been starting to circle the root ball.  The tree looks much healthier now and is able to sustain itself between watering.

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This was one project I put off for a while, to the detriment of my house plants.  Once I decided to do it, it took me a few hours one afternoon.  And that counted stopping to explain things to little minds.

Is there a ‘quick’ project you have been putting off?  Go do it today, then come back and let me know if it took as long as you had thought.

 

  One Response to “Potting Aloe and House Plants”

  1. […] I made my way into the shed, discarding broken pots, discarding pots I thought I would eventually use but found myself 3 year later staring at them, discarding cans of stain left over from the […]

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