Author Topic: Cutting back plants  (Read 3828 times)

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Cutting back plants
« on: March 15, 2011, 03:42:52 PM »
Sometimes we run out of room indoors for all our plants, and sometimes our plants have outgrown their homes in their pots. Sometimes we get some awkward growth on our plants and we need to re-shape them up.
Here I have a Salvia guaranitica 'Omaha' plant that lost most of its lower leaves and is growing kind of awkwardly, and so I am going to cut it back and re-pot it and let it grow out again in time for the spring.

I am going to propagate it at the same time, following my general Herb Cuttings Guide.

I cut the top off, and proceeded to cut it up into 5 rootable sections.
Now I will trim the root ball. If the plant is root bound, the first thing I usually do with the root ball is slice off the bottom half inch to inch of the root ball. The majority of the roots will have built up at the bottom of the pot, and they just need to be cut out. Now this particular plant wasn't root bound in this pot, so I just had to trim it back normally. I start out and cut the edges off the root ball, with square pots at least, and then i just sort of spin it around and loosely take soil off it and trim the roots back to get an even rootball. You don't want to damage it too much, but now that this plant is just a stem, it doesn't need hardly any roots so i will take this opportunity to cut it back a lot to replace as much of the media around the root ball as I can. I also cut a few more nodes back on the stem.

Then it goes into its new home, a smaller pot. One mistake many people make is putting plants in too large or pots. You want to find one that is just large enough for the rootball, but that still gives it some extra space to grow into the new media you will be repotting it with. You will want to keep it moist, but at this point since its just a stem, and with no leaf, the plant will hardly be transpiring and will be easy to overwater, so you have to pay careful attention to the soil moisture content

I will put it pretty much under normal light at this point, and it should begin to grow out real well.
"Once you establish yourself, they got to accept ya!"