Why don't you water a freshly repotted plant?

valeriev(z9 Bay Area CA)July 19, 2012

I see all the time people saying not to water a plant that they just repotted. Why is that?

I have always watered a freshly potted plant, to set the soil. Haven't had any problems. But perhaps I will not do that anymore. :)

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Succulents are a different consideration that houseplants (which I do water in when repotted). We wish to allow any broken roots to heal before adding water (less risk of rotting).

I firm up the mix & the new potting by hitting the pot against the table or potting bench w/ a good, hard whack or 2, which does the trick (settles the mix & pushes out any air pockets).

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 3:16PM
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A reason could be they rinsed the mix or soil that was made before re potting. In this case the soil would already be moist enough for a cacti and or succulent type plant and as well other plants of different type.

A dormant plant doesn't take up as much water as it does when it grows the time of year the plant was reported can be a factor but

Your question is also a common practice of only those you read it from. I too will easily agree not all people who post in forums practice what they preach every time they re-pot a plant. ( Or dont believe everything you hear )

Your question, if it is also an opinion. My point is I dont have to take and follow someones or everyone's advice on how I am to do my plant growing which allows me to sort out the not so good advice from the better advice I may be reading and as well the person who gives the advice. Or
I believe what I see in front of me and when in front of me sometimes only half.

As you said you haven't had any problems in the past with they way you re-pot now and another person said if it works dont fix it ( which some do say) then do what you do but if something should go wrong with your common newly re-potted plant growing practice this would be Murphys' Law in effect..

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 3:53PM
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The reason I personally don't water immediately after repotting is that this makes the roots go seeking for moisture, thus encouraging them to get into the new compost. I always find it's a good thing.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 5:22PM
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valeriev(z9 Bay Area CA)

Great, thanks for all your input. I understand more now.

Like they said "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" so I will continue to do what I do until it doesn't work for me anymore, but again I am grateful for your input. :)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 5:44PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

Unless I've just removed some thick, fleshy roots (in which case the plant really shouldn't be potted until it has healed), I always water freshly potted plants. Fine roots die and regrow all the time without causing rot. It's the big water storing roots you need to be careful with. And wounds to those areas are best left to heal in open air.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 6:22PM
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I see the Babble Train is continuing to run.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 8:11PM
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Val, do as you wish. From experience I can tell you that watering succulents after a repotting will eventually catch up with you.

Here's what I do. I soak the plant the day before repotting. This makes the roots looser in the pot. Many cacti make small fibrous roots that will completely fill the pot. Even the most careful unpotting breaks some of them, and cacti have not evolved any coping mechanism for fungal infections.

I put the plant in the new dry soil, pack it lightly and leave it alone for a month. Broken roots will die, but more importantly, fungus will not establish in dry soil.

Another thing I pay attention to is the growth cycle of the plant. Opuntias are opportunistic, and they'll grow whenever conditions permit. Some Euphorbias are dormant in the heat of summer. Repotting them in July assures their death, but a repotting in October improves their condition. I'm getting ready to put some of them in a greenhouse with some South African succulents to bake until late Sept. No water, and days of 110F keeps them happy. Your plants will find their own cycle as conditions warrant.

Assume that you water it in like you would a begonia. The rot may not be apparent for months. You might even see new growth on the plant, and then one day, mush. You will not connect the dots and ascribe the death of your plant to other things. Then, after you have rotted a dozen plants, you will try not watering and find that losses are almost unknown.

I have had houseplants for 35 years, and been a serious (more than 100 species) succulentophile for about 20. Experience has taught me to wait before watering. Cactus lose roots all the time, true. But broken roots allow fungus to gain a foot hold. If a plant is a plant is a plant, then they would all have the same care. Bromeliads can be repotted under water, cactus can't.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 9:15PM
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