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How do I repot, depth?

Posted by sunslight Utah z5-6 (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 24, 05 at 15:46

I inherited two, four-inch pots of Hibiscus "Raspberry Breeze." (patented var. totaly unknown to me.)

These were throw aways, from a store, last Fall.

My job was to try to keep them alive and re-establish in pots, then set out this spring (in the new pot).

I plan to use a 3" inch pot for each plant? too small?

The separating of the plants will be tricky.

It appears that they were either seeds (which is doubtfull since it is a pat. var.), or starts.

Whatever, there are three, separate plants in each Jiffy-7. They never outgrew the Jiffy 7 and have fallen away from each other, lying nearly horizontally.

I can see the stem and a bulbous, woody end that looks a bit like a corm, then roots--all intermingled in the Jiffy-7.

To transplant, I will need to either cut the Jiffy-7 into thirds or wash away the peat and try to separate the roots.
Either way, it is going to be a tremendous shock to the hibiscuses, which are lush green, with one bud.

What do you suggest for separating them? cut or wash and pull?

Next, how deep do I repot them?

If I keep all the "woody" part above ground, there will be only roots to hold the plant in place. This doesn't seem right. And just sitting on top of the soil, hanging on by its roots--will not support the weight.

If I bury bulbous woody part, it may rot. If I bury only 1/2 of it, it still wont be enough base to support the plant (and rot too?).

What is the correct depth?

This is my 1st Hibiscus.
(I grew up in Louisiana, where they grow like weeds--not so, here in Utah. --I also have to get the pH down of the soil--it and the water is sweet.)


--0h, I noticed that there is scale on the stem. A cotton swab dipped in alcohol, touched to the scale, then scraped off should take care of that?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How do I repot, depth?

  • Posted by Rjj1 Ok USDA Zone 7 (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 27, 05 at 15:58


3" is fine. You can always repot after it becomes well established.

I would cut the soil mass right in half with a knife. There is a very good chance there is plenty of roots on each side to support the plants. Ive done this with root bound 2-gallon containers without problems.

I would plant it only as deep as before and remove most of the foliage so they wont be top heavy.

On small plants that technique or squashing with your fingers works just fine for scale.


RE: How do I repot, depth?

Thanks for the help on the hibiscus.

I'll go for the 3" pots to start. I think they are a little big but that should be ok.

I think the only real solution is to cut the soil mass in half.

The problem still is how deep to plant them though.

I realize that they should be planted at the same level, but that won't work too well here.

The plants are almost, if it werent for the sides of the post, horizontal.

It's like a stick stuck in a jiffy 7, turned on its side, with a small portion of it buried.

The actual stem of the plant, all the woody part is open to the air & I can see roots going into the jiffy-7.

Once I put it vertical, do I still keep the entire trunk above ground, with only the roots into soil?

I'm certain it will fall over again, as that is what has happened now.

It looks like the jiffy-y was stuck into a pot, covered with a small amount of soil, but it must have dried out somewhere along the line, then when watered, the jiffy-7 turned on its side and rose to the top of the potting soil.

It is completely exposed.

Can I put the stem deep enough to cover the bulbous part of the base from which the roots grow or is that too deep?



RE: How do I repot, depth?

  • Posted by Rjj1 Ok USDA Zone 7 (My Page) on
    Tue, May 3, 05 at 10:08

"A little big" is a relative thing. I take freshly rooted tip cuttings less than 3" tall and pot them in 1-gallon pots.

Its hard to visualize what you are communicating, but thats probably my thing.

The angle of your planting will change because of the horizontal growth of the stem, but you still want the apex of the plant growing upwards. But you dont want to place the plant too far down in the soil just for support. Only put as far down as needed to cover the roots. A 1/2" would work ok. You can get very creative with small stakes and wire or twine.

I over pot a lot of hibiscus tip cuttings. The wind here can make them lay over in the pot, so I use bonsai training wire on them. The wire is run down into the soil and wrapped lightly around the trunk of the new cutting to keep it from blowing over. Once its established in the pot, the wire is removed.
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