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Shefflera – Octopus Tree

i have a schefflera that has been in the same pot for 15 years and the roots are coiled up and coming to the surface of the pot..roots probable 5 feet long…will it hurt the plant if i take it out of pot and cut roots to 12 inches and re pot?

Comments for scheffleara

Sep 07, 2019

by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

Many times, you want to put the plant back into the same pot, either because you like the pot, or because it fits in the place you have available.

Cutting off the roots and loosening the root ball, then planting it back in the same pot with fresh soil will give the plant a new lease on life.

However, there are some risks associated with it. It’s important to remove an equivalent amount of top growth to compensate for the removal of roots. Cut the entire plant back, to an outward facing leaf so it can bush out and be more compact, or cut off one or more of the canes at the base.

The plant will be loose in the pot for a while until new roots grow to anchor it, and you don’t want a top heavy plant to fall over.

You may want to make sure it’s got some support until it firms up in the pot. Make sure not to overwater it while it gets established.

You didn’t include a picture, so I can’t advise on that part of the procedure.