How to re-pot aquatic plants

Gardening Australia - - CONTENTS -

Pot­ted aquatic plants be­come crowded, shabby and root-bound over time, and spring is a good time to lift them out of the water, di­vide and re-pot them, ready for the grow­ing sea­son. PHIL DUD­MAN shows you how

Lift the pot out care­fully and place it on a bench where you can com­fort­ably work with it.

Use a sharp knife to cut away roots at the base of the pot. This makes it eas­ier to get the plant out. While still on its side, ap­ply some heavy down­ward pres­sure on the pot to help loosen up the mass of roots. Then po­si­tion your feet firmly and drag out the root ball.

Cut through the root ball to cre­ate di­vi­sions. Trim roots by one-third, then loosen re­main­ing ones. Trim off dead, dis­eased and un­tidy fo­liage, too. Don’t use pot­ting mix. A loam or clay gar­den soil is the best medium. Po­si­tion your divi­sion in the pot, then par­tially back­fill, to two-thirds full.

You can buy spe­cial slow-re­lease tablets for aquatic plants, or make fer­tiliser pack­ages us­ing news­pa­per

and pel­letised chicken ma­nure. Both th­ese op­tions pro­vide a slow re­lease of nu­tri­ents with min­i­mal al­gal bloom. Place your tablet or fer­tiliser pack­age in the pot, then com­plete the back­fill. Water the mix well, as this helps to stop par­ti­cles es­cap­ing when the pot is re­turned to the water. Re­po­si­tion the pot, low­er­ing it gen­tly into the water. New growth should ap­pear as the weather warms.

“Trim roots by one-third,

then loosen re­main­ing ones”

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