Green
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Soil and repotting question

I just repotted my new juniper, and my ficus last friday. I bought a soil from a nursery in town. It seemed like it would be free flowing and good for the trees. It has tree bark, peat, and rocks in it and there is no actual dirt or potting soil. I thought that would be okay but it is now wednesday and the soil is still very wet from the watering last friday and I have not watered it since. Will this cause any potential problems like root rot? Do I need to get a different soil and repot again?

I also pruned the roots on the juniper so I don't want to damage it by having it sit in wet soil for too long consecutively. Everything still looks healthy and hardy.

Oh, and I do have drain holes by the way. I did the way I read and completely drenched the soil after repotting(watered twice). Once for the soil and the pot, and once for the tree.

The Helpful Gardener
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Don't forget that right after a pruning and root whacking a plant is a little stressed out and is not going to be uptaking water or nutrients the same as when it was rootbound. They can shut down a little or even a lot...

Mycorrhizae are soil fungii that set up symbiotic associations with plants, deriving nutrition from sugary root exudates that the plant exchanges for water or nutrients it needs. These associations are particularly important in evergreens like junipers, so I always make sure to mix a cup or two of old soil to my new soil to reestablish the soil biology the plant had developed. Without these, the sulking period after a repotting can be extended, with sometime fatal results...luckily you can purchase mycorrhizae nowadays; you would want an ecto-mycorrhizal type for the trees; endo-mycorrhizae are more suited to herbacious plants (and this is a generality, shot through with exceptions). These can make a big difference in an ailing tree...

Growing things is all bout the soil, the moisture, and the biology. Get those right and everything else just works...

HG
Scott Reil

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I do still have the old soil, so should I repot it with some of the old soil?

The Helpful Gardener
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Top dressing with the old soil should innoculate the new with watering; more root disturbance is counterproductive right now. But topdress...

HG
Scott Reil

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I watered my trees more than a week ago and have a chopstick in the soil. The soil is still very moist. I haven't rewatered it because I am waiting for the soil to dry out more. Is it okay for the roots if new soil retains water/moisture for so long? If not what can I do?

The Helpful Gardener
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Give the roots some time to establish first. Water conduction through soil is very reliant on root structure, and any other disturbance now is counterproductive...monitor soil moisture and wait. In the meantime you should put aside the old soil you will use for topdressing and keep IT alive; water it and wait...

HG
Scott Reil

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Gnome
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Location: Western PA USDA Zone 6A

Green,
I watered my trees more than a week ago and have a chopstick in the soil. The soil is still very moist. I haven't rewatered it because I am waiting for the soil to dry out more. Is it okay for the roots if new soil retains water/moisture for so long? If not what can I do?
Various factors determine the frequency of watering. As Scott implied, after a re-potting the plant is not well established so less water loss through transpiration. Since it is spring and your tree is outside (it is isn't it?) cooler temperatures and higher humidity mean less water loss through evaporation.

Your watering pattern will change as the plant becomes established an the weather warms. I agree that another disturbance now is not prudent.

Norm

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Gnome wrote:Green,
I watered my trees more than a week ago and have a chopstick in the soil. The soil is still very moist. I haven't rewatered it because I am waiting for the soil to dry out more. Is it okay for the roots if new soil retains water/moisture for so long? If not what can I do?
Various factors determine the frequency of watering. As Scott implied, after a re-potting the plant is not well established so less water loss through transpiration. Since it is spring and your tree is outside (it is isn't it?) cooler temperatures and higher humidity mean less water loss through evaporation.

Your watering pattern will change as the plant becomes established an the weather warms. I agree that another disturbance now is not prudent.

Norm

Green
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I just put my juniper outside today. The temperatures are just above freezing at night. And they may go below freezing a few more times. Is it okay for my tree to be outside especially since I just watered it again?

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Gnome
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Green,

Junipers are very hardy and I leave mine outside all winter long, below zero more than once. But I have already re-potted mine and since then have kept it above freezing. It may be unnecessary but I prefer to err on the side of caution. I just brought mine in to an unheated garage a few minutes ago.

Norm



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