Sunday, October 23, 2016

Transplanting in general (7 pics)

I've been doing some transplanting. And there is more to be done because I really want to sow again very soon, all the seed rests that are probably not viable anymore, some of my own seeds (Avonia!), and some conophytum seeds I bought this year.

So this is how it goes. 

Step 1. Squeeze the container from all sides. This is why we use plastic and not clay ;)

Step 2. Pull out the plants. If they don't come out easily, stop pulling and squeeze the pot again.

Step 3. Now fill a pot with fresh dry pumice, up to the top.

Step 3.1. Examine your plants for bugs and remove all old soil from the roots. It's ok to pull off some roots as long as the main root is intact. Don't be squeamish. I usually rip off some of the main root as well if it's too long. If you are transplanting from dry soil into dry soil the plants won't mind (roots inactive).

Step 4. Use a stick to plant the seedlings into the container by dragging them down by the root (in case of adult plants you will need to wiggle the stick to let the pumice stones collapse around the plant and drag it down on their own). You can arrange them to your liking and put really a lot of plants all in one pot this way, saving precious space.

All done.

PS: I actually thought I could put a couple more trays on the windowsill but it looks like it's occupied now :D


  1. Thanks for sharing these instructions. How often is it needed to transplant Lithops and why is it necessary?

    1. Thanks for visiting!

      There are several reasons to transplant lithops.

      For adult plants that grow in very poor soil like pumice and are never fertilized, it is recommended to transplant into fresh substrate every 3 years. This is also the time when the piece of paper towel on the bottom of the pot completely dissolves and stones start coming out the drain. You'll have to transplant whether you want it or not ;)
      The other reason to transplant adult plants is when they stop thriving and you want to check the roots for bugs, for example. This can happen anytime. You will have to transplant even if their soil is wet but make sure to dry the plants and put them into dry substrate later.

      For seedlings and plants that have not gotten to their full size yet, you mostly transplant when the pot is too small for them and they started squeezing each other. Plus, of cause if you suspect bugs.

      The seedlings from my above post had bugs. The tiny-fly-type that doesn't do damage but is disgusting nevertheless.

  2. Excellent presentation of a simple but very effective transplanting technique. Obviously, there are advantages to growing in a pure pumice potting mix. I will have to try a pure pumice medium again, but in the two cases I tried I just don't seem to water often enough, especially when the plants are outside. I may try it again for plants growing under the lights. I now how plants growing under the relatively new T5 fluorescent lights and under the newer LED (light emitting diodes) lights. The T5's give out much more light than the older types of fluorescents and the plants seem to be doing well. I haven't used the LED lights long enough to judge them. However, I do like the comfort of working with plants in the basement rather than out in the hot sun of the yard. I'll try a get a few pictures of my light set up in the new house.

    You lithops seedlings look great. Obviously you can grow nice looking lithops under your window conditions. The drawback is apparently slower growth, overall smaller size, and a somewhat reduction in flowering. Those are not necessarily bad things when you are working with a limited space, especially when a cute furry creature is taking up some of that space. Pet her for me please. Thanks. I am going to mention your transplanting blog article in our next newsletter and add a link to your blog if that is ok with you. I always look forward to and enjoy your blogs on our favorite plants. Be happy. Bob

    1. You are too generous Bob. Thank you for commenting as always!

      I'm really curious about your basement setup with artificial light. I have no experience with it. I also have no experience of working with plants in the "yard". Having a "yard" is like science fiction XD

      Yes, I can imagine that for plants outside and in a sunnier climate pumice might dry too quickly. Let me know how it goes with indoor plants and seedlings. Under windowsill conditions the fact that pumice dries quickly is actually a good thing as we tend to overwater. It reduces the risk of that.

      Of course. I'd be honored to be mentioned in the newsletter! Thank you :)
      "slower growth, overall smaller size, and a somewhat reduction in flowering" describes my windowsill plants perfectly. But at least the shape is decent. That's the balance of things.

      The furry creature is always trying to participate in everything. As soon as I'm at the windowsill she is there to check what I'm doing, which means touching and sniffing at all plants and pots and substrate and tools. Sometimes she does dig up plants but curiously without damaging them. So far no losses due to that, I'm pleased to report.