Why Do Plant Companies Put Glued Rocks on Top of Plants?

by | Mar 29, 2023 | 0 comments

How many of you have bought plants that have glued rocks on your plants? It’s kind of annoying, to say the least. Why do companies put glued rocks on top of the plants? 

They say 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. This prevents 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 glued rocks on the plant and no drainage hole, but I knew I could fix it.

Watering Questions

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. It is hard to stick your finger through glued rocks on plants.

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. 

These are both problems that I addressed.

Solving the Problem of Glued Rocks

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 directly potted into a ceramic pot, be careful when trying to pry it out as the pot could break. (I speak from experience.)

Second, I pulled the glued rocks from around the stem. This involved a bit of strength and I was as careful as I could be. As you can see in the above picture some of the bark of the Pachira tree came away from the stem with the glue.

More Problems Under the Glued Rocks

After removing the glued rocks from the plant, I realized how much soil was up around the stems.  After removing the superfluous soil, I then found a tie around the stems.

When they braid the stems of the tiny plants together, they need to tie them so they grow that way. I understand that may be necessary, but as you can see in the pictures below, the tie was cutting into the stem. I’m not sure how long it would have been before this tie girdled the tree and killed it.

Would we think the plant died of natural causes, or think we had done something wrong? Yes. When all along, it was being slowly strangled.

Had I not removed the glued rocks and the soil that was too high, I would never have known the tie was there, strangling my plant. After I removed the rocks and soil and cut the tie, I think I heard the plant give a sigh of relief. 

As you can see in the pictures above, this plant already has damage from the too-tight twist tie, but I got it off in time. It will be fine.

If I hadn’t removed it though, it would have eventually girdled the plant. What does that mean? It would have cut off the water supply so it couldn’t get up into the plant. No water means a dead plant.

Drainage Hole in the Pot

Lastly, I drilled a hole in the cachepot it came in, added new soil, and replanted it directly into the pot. I know it is going to be a much healthier plant!

If you see a plant with glued rocks and want it, it isn’t a terrible job to get the glued rocks off. Then you can re-pot the plant as long as you are careful. You may be saving the plant’s life!

Tell me about your experience with glued rocks on your plants in the comments.

Have a great week, plant friends!


The links in this blog post contain affiliate links. If you buy a product through the link, I receive a few cents. Thank you.

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