so my questions are pretty general i guess, but about specific plants, i just recently decided to start growing house plants i went out and bought a pothos, an aloe vera, a hedera ivy, and last but not least a ginseng ficus bonsai... i am pretty sure they all need re-potting, except the aloe, i already did that one, although i am unsure i did it correctly.. my question is what are the basic rules of repotting, do i treat all the plants alike, and do you have any advice about the basic upkeep of any or all of them?? any help at all will be greatly appreciated! i really love my plants and i would love to keep them healthy and happy... thanks in advance!! Rayne
Welcome to the green world, Rayne. This is so much fun you are never going to stop.
The biggest plant you have is your Bonsai plant. Bonsai is a whole new ballgame. It involves pruning roots, trimming growth, shaping the plant, doing a lot of things you would never have to think about for anything else. It's so different, in fact, that I would have to defer any questions about it to a Bonsai expert, because that's how little I understand it. I know just enough to know I am NO EXPERT at Bonsai. Given all the things I have to learn here, Bonsai is probably not on my 10 year plan.
You have acquired some very cooperative, undemanding plants that are perfect for a beginner.
Biggest error beginners (and other people) make: Overwatering. And if you get that wrong, you can kill a plant.
So let's make sure you understand the watering technique. When you water, use room temperature or lukewarm water and DRENCH your plants. They should be SOAKED. You can even soak the pot itself for 15 minutes to an hour to make sure all the soil is completely wet.
Then, DRAIN. Drain until nothing is dripping. Then let the pot sit and wait for it to dry out. A few days later, check it. If the soil is dry again, it's time to water.
What most people do is water a little, every day. That is the absolutely worst thing you can do. The roots can't develop because the water is all at the surface of the pot, then it evaporates, the underground roots are getting drier and drier. Next thing you know, the plant is wilting. The person thinks they did not water enough, so now they water twice a day, and they're drenching the soil, and they're soaking the pot, and the plant is getting weaker and weaker, maybe it's flopped over by now, so they NEVER let it dry out. The roots are rotting under all that water. There is no air down there, and anaerobic bacteria are decomposing the roots. And now the plant has NO chance in H%!# of ever surviving. End of story. End of plant.
So don't make that mistake!
Water LOTS and then STOP! Leave the plant alone.
You can kill your plants with kindness. Especially since you have now repotted them and it will take even longer for them to dry out.
Oh... take it easy with the fertilizer. Organic is better, chemical is completely unnecessary but it is for some people fun to fertilize.
Make sure your plants get enough light, but don't burn the leaves.
If you see any brown spots on the leaves, let me know and we will discuss them. They are a symptom of something involving care.
Any questions, let me know. Thanks for writing.