Houseplant Problems Often Start Because They are Planted Incorrectly From the Beginning.

by | Sep 8, 2017 | 0 comments

Did you know some houseplant problems begin because they start out planted incorrectly? I was going to call this post, “Planting it Right”, but I try not to think my way is always the only way, as it isn’t. So, I will say, let’s “Plant it Better”.

Houseplant problems at Ikea

I went to Ikea the other day and disappointment was the word of the day. The plants were pitiful.

Now, in their defense, the many times I’ve been there, they’ve always been healthy and looking good. I don’t know why they looked so bad. They have houseplant problems.

Yet, I still found a plant to buy…..don’t tell my hubby…. Of course, I also saw this future blog post, so I needed it. He wouldn’t see it that way.

Sansevieria (dracaena)

If you follow me, you know I love sansevierias (now dracaena), and this one spoke to me. Yet is a houseplant problem waiting to happen.

Plant with a houseplant problem -planted too deep
Snake plant newly purchased, but it has too much potting medium

Houseplant Problems- Too Much Potting Medium

The plant above is the one I bought. The houseplant problem here is the plant is too deep. Or I should say, too much potting medium is on the top of the plant. This is one of the houseplant problems I often see. Plants planted too deep in the pot.

As you can see in the pictures above the potting medium is too high on the plant stems. It may not be obvious to the new plant parent. The medium should begin on this plant where the leaves begin to flare out at the bottom. That means where the roots begin to grow from the bottom of the plant.

The medium was way above that line. If it is left that way, a houseplant problem will arise. The problem is the leaves will rot and the plant will collapse.

Extra potting medium

So, I removed the extra medium. In the pictures below, you can see the stems after I have removed approximately 1″ of the medium. The middle parent plant is what I take my cue from, to determine where the potting medium should be. I can tell that the leaves are covered with medium and shouldn’t be.

After removing the extra potting medium, you can tell where the level of the medium was. The bleached stems are from not having any light reaching the plant stems.

Houseplant Problems-Choosing a container

When choosing a new container for the plant, I found one that is approximately the same size as the pot it came out of.

Though it has babies and is expanding, it is September. I wouldn’t up-pot anything too much unless it was completely rootbound and busting out of its pot. The days are getting shorter and the plant’s growing activity is slower as the light levels are lower.

So I found a low silhouette container, known as an azalea pot or bulb bowl. Succulents don’t need deep pots; shallow and wide is the way to go. The babies have room to grow outwards. If it is busting out of the pot in the spring when the plant is actively growing, I will up-pot it then.

The bleached stems will turn green with time as the light falls on them. This plant will be much happier in the long run. I also used a new potting medium to re-pot it. The medium they used seemed as if it would stay a bit too wet for this plant.

houseplant problem solved
You can see the new decorative pot is a similar size to the original one

Now it has some room to grow, but not too much at this time of year. Too much potting medium around the roots can cause root rot and plant collapse. It should grow well and continue to expand.

How many of you have found plants like this that you felt were planted too deep? If you didn’t re-pot the plant, did it die? Please let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week, plant friends!


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