Snake Plant--Accident/Roots Question

rachelthepoet(7)November 20, 2012

Hello, everyone! I first posted about my new snake plant a month ago over in the houseplant forum--

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg1010495718178.html

This weekend, I was dusting/cleaning around my plant area and I accidentally bumped (and by bumped I mean lightly bumped with my hand) my snake plant. It almost completely came out of the pot. I repositioned it, but this really surprised me/shocked me. I know that my soil is loose and that snake plants are traditionally slow growing, but I would think that in almost a month's time, any plant would've spread out its roots at least a little bit so it wasn't THIS wobbly.

Since the weekend, my snake plant has continued to lean, even as I've tried to adjust it and straighten it out. Here's a pic of how it looked this morning. (Cameo by Bogie the cat in the background! Sorry the background is a little dark--still dark and cloudy here!). Also, on the right side of the picture, I'm not sure you can see it, but there looks like a stringy dried up root is actually coming out of the top on that side.

Is there something wrong with the roots? Did I seriously traumatize my snake plant by bumping it?

I've been watering about every three weeks. It is in medium to low light now that the days are getting a little darker. I can't think of any other info. that I need to let you know right now. THANKS!

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plantomaniac08(8)

I'm thinking that because it's leaning, there isn't alot of a root system yet (it takes sometime before it fully anchors into the pot) and when you bumped it, it disrupted what little bit it of roots that it had. I could be mistaken, but I'm not sure if the roots are doing a whole lot of growing this time of year so that may be why it's taking a bit longer to "anchor" itself.

How big is the root system compared to the Sans? I'm just asking because the pot does look a little big. If you're really worried about it, you could try sticking some rocks on top of the soil to weigh it down until it roots. I'm currently doing that with an Aloe that I have, I knocked all the peaty soil off it's roots and now it's real top heavy.

Planto

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:38AM
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rachelthepoet(7)

Planto:

Thanks for your quick response!

Some other people were concerned about the size of my pot earlier. I haven't been too worried about it since the snake plant has three pups and I haven't been overwatering. The root system was pretty healthy and a reasonable size when I got it.

Good to know about the season---I am absolutely going to try your rock idea to weigh it down until it can recover/straighten itself out!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:23AM
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Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

I also agree with Planto. A few nice placed stones would do the trick. Also it will fill up that pot in about a year. It looks like a nice plant and good pups coming out.
I don't think you have anything to worry about.
Stush

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:41PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

rachel,
Glad to know I could be of help! Sans are notoriously top heavy when you remove most/all of the soil from the rootball so rocks become your best friend hehe.

I have a Sans that had a handful of roots when I first got it. It's been a couple months now and although it's almost 100% anchored in the pot, it still gives a little bit when I push on it with some force (it's going on two or three months now?). So, it'll be sometime before you can remove the rocks. Until then, they sort of do add some decoration!

Planto

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 1:27PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

your likely to do more damage in your attempts to straighten it up, bumping it wasnt a big deal, bit IF you are mashing the plant around to straighten it you might be breaking or creasing roots, not that you are, or that that will hurt it badly, but id would just unput it and repot it quickly, they dont grow fast especially in low light regardless the time of year.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:45AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Cute little pups! Great looking Sans!

Knocking this around won't kill it, only too much water. I would try to prop it upright too, but remove whatever you use as soon as you think it's sturdy again. Like rocks on the soil, might prevent a pup from rising. I can see the root, don't think it's a problem, it will either shrivel up or dig back into the soil. As much light as you have.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 9:04AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Rachel, the plant is fine, & looking good. I think I was one of the folks concerned about the size of the pot, but that was before these pups appeared, the size is perfect for it now (IMO).

These are strong, sturdy plants, bumping it is no problem at all. In nature they get knocked around & are fine. Even in some landscaping situations, I've seen them get pretty beat up & they recover just fine.

I'd agree w/ the suggestion to use rocks to secure it in place after you straighten it to vertical. Once you do, bang it hard against the table once or twice to help settle it into position. You may have to readjust the rocks, but that's fine; this will not hurt the plant at all (I've done this at least several times myself).

Yes, Sans. can be slow growing, & one month is nothing in terms of time for it to settle its roots. I would not hurry to remove the rocks securing it in place.

That bit of root looks viable from here (not dried up). If dried up, they get brittle & should be trimmed off, this one doesn't look dried put to me, either push it back under the mix or ignore it (no harm either way).

Hi Purple, your caution about this is unnecessary; the rocks will not prevent a pup from coming up if it's ready to do so it will find a way, anyway, to come up (likely go around the rock). Sans. are known to break out of their pots sometimes either from roots spreading or pups trying to move on.

This is looking really good actually, just needs time & patience, so pls. try not to worry, it's just fine.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 4:07PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Hey PG. You're right, if I'm gonna bring something up, I should say it correctly. A rock wouldn't prevent a pup from rising, bad choice of words without adding "straight up." A rock could cause a pup to have to go sideways around the rock, a possible aesthetic issue, not health. One of the ones I repotted just this spring is pushing its' pot out of round. They are powerful plants indeed.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 8:36AM
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rachelthepoet(7)

Thanks , everyone for chiming in with support! I used seashells to prop it up and it has been "lean-free" ever since

I had been planning on taking a new pic for you all, but
... today there was another accident. DH somehow managed to knock the pot on the floor, the saucer broke in half and my sans and dirt went everywhere! I was worried that pups would be detached, but they seemed to be okay, but I had to completely replant the sans ( in the same pot, since I figured I cAn deal with a broken saucer for now.) I replaced the seashells for support just in case. And I guess ill be looking for a new place around the house for this plant. Between my bumping and DH knocking, this must not be a safe plant spot! :(

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 10:36PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Sans are frustratingly top heavy! The smallest one I have has been knocked over twice since coming inside just a couple days ago. I'm also thinking it needs a different spot. You're in good company regarding picking them up off of the floor! Maybe they're just really smart and are looking for mother earth down there.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 11:51AM
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rachelthepoet(7)

Thanks! It makes me feel better that I'm not alone!

I was finally able to make some time and do some plant rearranging. I found my sans a nice window spot--prime plant real estate, if I may say so! Hopefully a little extra sun will help in its recovery. (And keep it out of the way so we can avoid any more accidents!)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 12:33PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

My Sans (and probably some of my houseplants in general) have learned some curse words from me. I'm a clumsy person (Forget DH) so I usually knock someone over right after repotting.

Planto

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:19PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I'm not a clumsy person & recently had to bite my lip when the FEMA bldg inspector (inspecting my apartment for disaster relief claim) knocked over one of my Hoyas. Arggggggghh!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 3:40PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

OOh, bummer! I hope he/she had the manners to at least feign mortification. How's it looking?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:43AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Well he apologized, & I righted the plant, I'm lucky it was a small one. It did break a leaf but hey, that'll grow back. It looks OK & when I went to trim the remaining broken bit of petiole, I spotted a bit of new growth on the plant, so yippeee!!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 2:35PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Awww that's good to hear.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:37AM
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