A weekend job - Upsizing Aloes to Bigger Pots
About 10 months ago I pulled off several larger pups from an Aloe vaombe while doing some cleanup. I don't have pictures from that day but I took a few this morning when I decided to upgrade them to larger pots.
Below are a few pictures to show where they ended up (before replanting). The larger plant has roots growing out the bottom of the pot where they were apparently happy crawling through a layer of doug fir mini mulch.
|Aloe vaombe - 7 gal|
|Aloe vaombe - 5 gal|
I've already trimmed off the old, dried leaves to make handling easier during replanting.
|Loosening the soil|
The roots seem to grow quickly to the interior edges of these pots and form a bond - but applying pressure is usually enough to loosen them. Depending on how big the pot is I generally accomplish this by squishing the pot against something sturdy. The easiest method is to gently use my whole body weight when pushing. It also doesn't hurt to bang the bottom of the pot a few times w/my fist.
|Let gravity do the work|
Be careful not to damage the top of the plant when holding it upside down.
|Hopefully it just slides out!|
One thing to keep in mind at this point - don't worry about setting the pot on the ground nicely. The precariously held plant is the priority - the pot can just fall to the ground and be fine.
|Say "Aloe" to your new home my little friend!|
Of course not every plant is so easy to handle but I generally use a similar technique (your mileage may vary).
|Agave bracteosa 'Mateo'|
I no longer try to be very careful with the roots of larger Aloes or Agave. When the plant is on the way to becoming root bound I untangle them a bit and tear off longer strands. From my short experience the root systems of these plants appear to grow aggressively and I've no doubt I could safely remove most of whats shown above.
|Aloe vaombe in their new 15 gal homes|
Here these plants will sit until I figure out a plan. Unfortunately they have not fared well in my yard because of ants and aphids which is a shame as they really are one of my favorites. I'm guessing they have 12-18 months of new growing room although I've seen other Aloes explode in growth right after replanting. Who knows - I may be back at it sooner rather than later.
What are your favorite replanting techniques?