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  general question
From: "MJ Hatfield" <mjhatfield at oneota.org> on 2004.11.22 at 00:19:35(12402)
A year ago last summer I had an Alocasia hybrid that if it
were growing straight would have been about 7’ tall. However it had
flopped over with the stalk in a big S shape. The plant was therefore about 4’
tall and 5’ wide. It became too unwieldy to handle so I cut off the top
leaving about 4” of stalk assuming it would grow from the good roots. But
I couldn’t throw away the cut off top portion so I stuck it in a 5 gallon
pot with sphagnum around it. It’s been growing since then and now has 5
leaves on it. But it is time to give it some soil. How do you suggest I do
this? I’m sure there are roots all thru the moss and to try to separate
the roots from the moss would certainly cause much damage to the roots.
However, I can’t just add soil to the pot.

Before I dump it out and try to remedy the situation I
thought I would ask you, the experts.


MJ Hatfield

From: "Derek Burch" <derek at horticulturist.com> on 2004.11.23 at 03:02:18(12405)
If it is doing well, why do you think that it is 'time to give it some
soil'? I get this sort of question all the time from people who are dying to
repot a houseplant, and I always try to slow them down in their mad needs to
control the situation. Always let the plant tell you what it needs, and if
it is happy in sphagnum, let it be. Actually sphagnum is an ideal growing
medium for everything - many years ago when I worked at Montreal Botanical
Garden, there was a man in the office who loved to grow cacti in glass
bottle with no drainage and sphagnum as the medium. His point, of course was
that it was the watering regime that mattered, not the substrate, but my
point is that anyone can grow almost anything in almost any medium, and that
the plants will tell you how they are doing if you just slow down and listen
to them. God, I am getting old! Sorry you youngsters. I do carry on. Derek

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