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Show us your rescue plants!!!

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Comments (9)

  • PRO
    tapla
    Sorry about the sideways image. The plant was brought to me by a builder who's a customer of ours. It's his daughter's plant ..... if she ever comes to get it. It had many dead branches - see where they were removed, 2 live branches, 3 leaves on one, 2 on the other. It was too weak to do a full repot, so I made a few cuts in the congested root mass & potted up.
    It had a large wound/dead area, ^^^ so I decided to turn it into a feature and increased its size.
    A year later after growing wild (unpruned), ^^^ it had recovered and was very healthy, so I repotted into a smaller pot, removed the top branch, pulled the other branch down, then allowed it to recover a bit before I cut the foliage back hard and wired it for the first time. You can see some scars on the top third of the main trunk that were from some steel wire someone had wrapped around it for some unknown reason. It occurred at the nursery in China, I'm sure.

    Defoliating a healthy tree usually forces a profusion of back-budding in most species, this one (F retusa) is no exception. I don't have a recent image of it, but it's in the basement now, over-wintering under lights. I'll prune it, wire, and repot this spring/summer and get it back to her by way of dad, but I'm sure this another bonsai I'll be seeing again and again.

    After some additional carving work to enhance the feature.

    Al

  • PRO
    tapla
    This is a forest planting of Ficus benjamina 'Variegata'. It was given to me in fall of '16 by a lovely old friend who had become ill and unable to care for the planting. All the lower branches on the larger plants had died, and there were only a few leaves left on each tree at branch ends due to severe root compaction. I potted it up instead of repotting because it's hold on viability was tenuous, same as the tree in my post above. By summer of '17, it had recovered to the point I could repot. I did that, and in fall of '17 I started a bunch of cuttings. In summer of '18, I repotted again, only so I could properly position the cuttings, easily identifiable due to the thin trunks and short stature. By end of summer this year, the young trees from cuttings will be tall enough that I can start pruning/ pinching/ integrating them into the composition. The eventual shape will be a triangle with the ht sloping down and to the right. You can see I'm already working toward that by how the taller trees are pruned. The young trees on the left side will grow to almost the ht of the tallest tree, but not quite, forming the 3rd side of the triangle. The small trees are already quite a bit taller than they appear in the image. I'll also be working to eventually get the planting in a 1 - 1.5" deep pot. The one it's in now is much too deep.

  • tropicofcancer (6b SW-PA)

    I have rescued many plants - most of them originated from our neighbors on our street. Around October or so many people will discard their plants for garbage pickup. A few I kept for myself but most I ended up giving it to someone else next season (after rescuing them, reviving and taking care for the winter of course). Searching through my pictures from last year I came across this coleus that I kept and still nurturing.


    When I found, the plant it was lying on the sidewalk out of its pot. That was in 2017 and the pic is from 2018. It has been pruned many times in between. Coleus, I found out, are pretty darn resilient. Immense variety of leaf color, color variations and shapes. So last season I acquired a couple of more varieties to experiment with.

  • Mike the Fiddle Leaf Fig Guy
    you are so inspiring al! my rescue plant is this variegated rubber plant. i got it for 1$! the stems are all so soft and bent to the ground when I got it. I stake them all up. i think they still are unable to stand on their own but the leaves are starting to perk up. i also had 2 new leaves since I got them. the leaves however were damaged since the buds were damaged originally. i hope they continue to perk up.
  • tropicofcancer (6b SW-PA)

    Looking good Mike.

  • PRO
    tapla

    Strong work, Mike!

    Al

  • Esther-B, Zone 7b

    Here is the mystery succulent I rescued, later identified as Devil's Backbone. My local nursery let me have it for $2, as it was very "iffy" when I bought it. It was just sitting there alone on the shelf of the greenhouse, looking forlorn. I couldn't leave it there like that.

    And here it is today. I still hope to get it in better condition, as it's dropped a lot of lower leaves on one stem. Not sure why.

  • PRO
    tapla
    On a work table in my driveway ^^^ - from a lady at church who thought she was doing me a favor. ;-)
    Cut back to a manageable size ^^^
    Ready to repot
    Off with 3/4 of the root mass ^^^
    Bare-rooted - root work almost done. ^^^ All that's left is to remove circling roots.
    Repotted in Gritty Mix ^^^
    Sorry the image is blurry. Tree on grow bench ^^^, back-budding profusely.
    This pretty lady lives in NY or Boston (I forget which). While she was out of the country, her fiance killed her plant and called me after seeing a post of mine that featured the same series of photos I posted above - desperate to know how to bring it back to life. After explaining there's only one degree of 'dead', I offered him the plant in the pictures above. The guy from church didn't want it back, and I sure didn't want it, so I sent it to him/her. She emailed the image after the tree was settled into their home or apartment.

    Al

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