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Transplanting from Soil to Highlife Hydroculture

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Wash the LECA. Rinse the LECA pebbles until the water runs off clear.

Water soil plant to soften the soil around the roots.

 

Squeeze the sides of the soil pot or use a knife to loosen soil and remove the plant from its pot.
  • Gently remove all loose soil without damaging the roots.

 

Soak the root ball in lukewarm water overnight to loosen the soil. Carefully tease apart the root ball. You can skip this step if the soil easily comes away from the roots.
Free the roots of soil. Wash the rest of the soil away from the roots under a gentle stream of lukewarm water, ideally under a tap or using a shower hose. Try to be gentle with the plant roots.
  • Ensure that absolutely all soil and other dead organic matter is removed from the roots to prevent rot and retaining excess moisture.
  • Under no circumstances should you rip the soil away - you might easily damage the roots and then later they will rot!
Cut back the roots. Trim away any dead or rotting roots with a sharp knife or a pair of scissors.
  • Prune back healthy roots so that they come no more than two thirds of the way down the culture pot.
  • You must be bold: if the roots are not cut back enough, there is a high risk of eventual root -root that will kill off the entire plant. The roots the plant needed while it was growing in soil are practically useless in its new hydroculture pot.
  • It must grow succulent new hydroculture roots that are suitable to grow in LECA. Cutting back the roots before potting also encourages this new growth.
  • Keep roots moist after washing and cutting them.
Fill culture pot one third with LECA pebbles and rinse under tap until the water runs clean.
Put the plant into the culture pot. With the culture pot one third full of LECA pebbles, place the plant in the desired position and and make sure that the roots are well fanned out and not tangled into a ball.
  • Then gently fill the culture pot to the top with LECA pebbles. The plant should be as deep in its new pot as it was in soil.
After re-potting, install the corresponding water indicator in the culture pot. Place culture pot and water indicator into the outer pot.
The first watering. Water with straight, lukewarm  tap water without nutrient until the water-indicator reads optimum (half way). Do not fertilise until the next watering.
Evaporation Protection. For the first few weeks after repotting, spray the plant with water two to three times per day. Even better is to enclose the plant in a transparent plastic bag to keep the atmosphere warm and humid for eight to 12 weeks, until the old roots are replaced with new succulent hydroculture roots. You must remove the cover from time to time to prevent rot setting in. Protecting against evaporation lessens the risk of plant loss and is especially recommended for soft leaved plants. With young, healthy robust leaved plants you will probably not need a cover at all.
It is completely normal  for plants to lose a few leaves after being transplanted. As soon as the plant has become used to its new environment, it will start to grow again. You can recognise this by the presence of new leaves and the fact that the plant wi8ll no ,longer wither as soon as the plastic bag is removed.
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