As I was reviewing yesterday [which was a BITCH, and not in a good way] I was comparing it to LAST Friday. It came up in the “Lose” column.
Last Friday was spent cutting away a plastic, 20 gallon container from a Blue Agave plant that was out growing said container. I knew it was outgrowing the container b/c a little sprout was visible from one of the drain holes at the bottom. Another sprout was visible just poking it's head up on the side of the container...I don't mean through the dirt. I mean between the SIDE of the container and the compacted dirt of the main plant.
Or that's what I discovered as I cut away the container. I had purchased this plant sometime last Fall, I just can't recall when, exactly. In the intervening months... it lived under the carport until one night when we were going to have a HARD freeze. The Dearly Beloved brought it inside at my request and it's lived at the end of the buffet near the back door since then.
It gets lots of morning sun through the door and in the afternoon it gets some indirect sun from the kitchen window. Not a bad spot for a succulent. It has an Aloe Vera, two Bromeliads and a Sanseveria for company. And our car keys and the Dearly Beloved's hat or cap. And the dawg's biscuit canister. And a basket that really needs to be moved because all it does is catch junk we're too busy to find a place for. And some paper napkins. It's a big buffet.
Anyhoo, the more of the plastic I cut away, the more horrified and delighted I was. Horrified because it was root-bound in a B-A-D way. Delighted because there were THREE new sprouts growing in among all those twisted, tangled, wound around roots. Horrified, because I had to figure out a way to get those sprouts OUT of the tangled, twisted, wound around roots without doing too much damage to the roots, and minimal, and I do mean minimal damage to the sprouts.
So I sat there and looked and then I stood up and lit a cigarette and stretched and looked and walked all around and looked some more. And I walked around the table and the carport and ruffled the dawgs' fur and I kept looking at it from all these different angles. And then I'd go back to it and tilt it this way and that. And look at it some more.
Then I had an Epiphany: ROOT BATH!
I drug one of the old ice chests over. I set the plant on the edge and I turned the hose on. Once the cooler was full, I eased the plant down into the water and let it sit there. I was hoping some of the dirt and the tight roots would loosen up after soaking for a bit.
So much for my hopes! After 30 minutes about 5 roots were hanging free and no dirt had escaped from the basket of roots. So I grabbed a pot and started washing the root ball. Still not getting the result I was looking for. But I could see the dirt loosening up inside its root prison.
Tune in tomorrow for the rest of this exciting saga...
Does the Dirt get free?
Do the sprouts make it free from the roots binding them in weird positions?
Are enough root systems save to support the “mother” plant?
All questions will be answered tomorrow!