THE PLANT HELP DESK
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Terrarium therapy offers access to our plant help desk to every workshop attendee. It's a complimentary service to help you understand your plants and resolve any mishaps. Below are just some of the many questions we’ve been asked. We hope that some of them will be helpful to you. Happy planting!

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Q: "I really enjoyed the terrarium therapy session this past Wednesday! Here are the aloe plants I asked about in the chat. They have both recently sprouted a new plant, which I think I can just move to another pot (is that right)? As you can see the main plant for each is outgrowing its space, is there a way for me to maintain a more manageable size for these going forward? Thanks for any help!"

A: "I am so glad you enjoyed our workshop, and thank you for reaching out! What a beautiful Aloe!! Looks like you're doing all the right things! Yes, so the new growths you see there are called "Pups" and the pups can absolutely be separated and repotted! Although it can be messier, I always recommend taking the entire aloe root out of the soil so you can really see what you're doing during the separation. Then you will want to pull it away from as close to the stem of the mother plant as possible! As for the original plant the only way to cut back on the size would be to do some harvesting! To harvest, I recommend removing the very bottom leaves (about 3 or 4 at a time) , snipping the side of the base of the aloe plant very close to the stem and peeling it off the stem. I usually remove the prickly edges and wash and dry. So many uses for aloe! I hope this helps! Any other questions, just let us know. Keep up that green thumb going!

Q: One of the succulents in my pot appears to have a rotting stem at the base. The top looks healthy and it has a few sprouts growing off of it. Is there anything that I can do to save the plant before all of the leaves fall off? I have attached pictures that hopefully help.

A: So sorry to hear about the plant that isn’t doing so well. It looks like it could be experiencing side effects to overwatering. How often are you watering? My best suggestion would be to remove the plant from its place and inspect the roots and surrounding area that it’s planted for moisture and to see if it is damp. If it is I would let that spot dry out completely and place your plant in some very dry fast drying soil in bright sunny spot to try and recover. If the bottom/root system of the plant seems too far gone or very translucent your best best will be to gently remove the healthy leaves at the top of the plant and propagate! Let me know its current state as of today and I will try to assist you the best I can.

Q: I feel like my plant is looking sad. I have only watered once every two weeks. I have it sitting up on a shelf in my kitchen that gets some sunlight. Any advice?

A: Thank you so much for reaching out, I’m sorry that some of your plants are looking a bit sad. I do believe it could use a bit more light from a different angle for those Donkey Tails! You. May also need to increase the watering for the Donkey Tails as well, possibly weekly (5ml) — just for those particular plants. The one on the left side is looking a bit dry. If you have a watering vessel that has a nozzle, that may help you get some water directly to the roots of those particular plants. Try changing its location and rotating the planter every couple days allowing for each side to get a bit more light! I hope this helps, try it out and let me know!

Q: This is a succulent from a workshop last spring. It already survived a kitten attack but the cat got it again. As you can see the roots were torn off as well as some leaves and the others have been nibbled. Can I get this to root again?

A: So sorry to hear this plant has been so fascinating for your kitty! It happens unfortunately! The plant looks like it still has some life to you by the colors. As you said, it doesn’t appear to have a root system any longer; however, it’s possible it could take root or have something underlying. I would pull away the crispy dead leaves and repot and water 5ml once per week in a bright sunny spot to see if you can get it to reroot. I would typically recommend propagation with plants that are damaged but these particular plants are tough to propagate from a single leaf. I would just try to get it groomed up and back in some soil and see how it goes. Best of luck, keep me posted and thank you so much for reaching out.