Another repotting query

cactus_kate(7b Moab, UT)March 21, 2006

Hi, all.

This is my Fockea edulis, which I got in December 2005. I am not really sure if it's in the right size pot for its size. Its caudex is about 2 inches across, and the pot it's in is a 3 1/4 inch pot. I don't know if that's right.

I really don't know very much at all about this plant, except that I have another one that I have had for about 6 years, and it stubbornly refuses to die. It had some sort of damage to its caudex early on, and instead of growing in girth, it has been growing DOWN, forming a giant carrot-like thing under the soil. I don't know what to do with that one, either.

If any of you knowledgeable folks out there have any advice about what size pot this one should be in, and any care tips, PLEASE help! Thank you all so much!


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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Dear Kate,

The Lord said 'You got to raise it up'.

As you know, Fockeas are succulent pachycaul Asclepiads, although their flower is not exciting, when compared with other Ascleps.

The one that you have pictured looks to need repotting soon. Given that the main growing season is almost upon us, I'd suggest that you repot it. Here's some advice:

1) Give it a much larger pot, but don't fill the pot with soil. Give it a good base of irregularly-shaped rocks, pour some soil among the crevices, and give it a layer of soil for the smaller roots. Then place the main root a little higher than it is now (raising the plant) and backfill with a layer of soil. You'll then have a pot of mostly rocks (good drainage) with some soil, and in a year or so the roots will have grown around the roots and you can raise it again, thereby exposing The Funky Root System that we caudiciform fans know and love.

You also know that this one is a viner, so giving it a fence/trellis to grow on will hellp it grow faster.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 11:40AM
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cactus_kate(7b Moab, UT)

Thanks, Jeff!

You always have reliably great information! I am in full-on 'potting mode' today, so I think that will be one of my first re-pots. I am still unsure what to do with my other one, but I just repotted it last spring, and it's in a good-sized pot, so maybe I will just leave it alone. It's done its own thing thus far, and is still alive. Again, thanks!


    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 12:02PM
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cactus_kate(7b Moab, UT)

Okay, I have repotted. It's now in a 6" pot, and looks happier already. I did as I was told, and put some decent-sized rocks in there with the roots. It was definitely packed into that little pot it was in...I could almost hear the sigh of relief when I released it from that pot.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 3:12PM
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robcacti(Hungary EUR)


It really looks happier. I can see tha smiles on his face. Congrat! Nice job!


    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 3:45PM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Oh Kate, what a fabulous job you've done!

I've got the blue ribbon just awaiting for you.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 4:31PM
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cactus_kate(7b Moab, UT)

Okay, okay...

That was all I needed! Thanks, guys! A little advice, and a nice pat on the back when it was all done. I honestly am so glad there are so many knowledgeable people out there to help me out!


    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 12:21AM
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jeffrey_harris(San Diego, CA)

Dear Kate,

To further your knowledge (or at least the rate at which your Fockea grows), I've taken three dowels (at least 36" long), tied them together at one end in a semi-flexible arrangement, and then tepeed (I swear I have never used that word before in my life) the 'open' end (the untied legs) of the arrangement into the pot, giving the young tendrils a place to climb. I was a young tendril once, I'll have you know, and there were few things I liked better than climbing.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 9:46AM
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