How many of you have bought plants that have pebbles glued on top of the soil? It’s kind of annoying, to say the least. Why do plant companies put glued rocks on top of the plants, anyway? It is done for ease of shipping so the soil stays put, and the plant stays upright. To add insult to injury, the containers don’t always have a drainage hole so there isn’t any water leakage during shipping. I recently bought a Pachira or money tree as it was 1/2 off -I couldn’t pass it up even though it had the glued rocks and no drainage hole. I knew I could fix it.
The question is how would you know your plant needs water? You certainly can’t stick your finger in the soil to check for the plant’s water needs. Or how would you know if it has too much? You can’t look inside the pot and there won’t be any water running out the drainage hole, as there isn’t one.
Solving the Problem
So, where to begin? First, I chiseled the plant out of its pot. Using a knife I carefully pried the pot away from the glued rocks so I could get the plant out. As you can see above, the stones are still intact on top of the root ball and around the stem. This was a plastic pot contained in a cachepot. If the plant is potted directly into a ceramic pot, be extremely careful when trying to pry it out as the pot could easily break. (I speak from experience.)
Second, I pulled the glued stones from around the stem. This involved a bit of strength and I was as careful as I could be, but as you can see in the above picture some of the bark of the Pachira tree came away from the stem with the glue.