I have a bad case of Spathiphyllum abuse... I knew it was due for repotting, but I didn't think it was that bad.

I need advice as to what to do with the roots. Should I just try to separate them a bit, or do I have to cut? Or maybe just do repot as is?

It's doing good in general. It started to have dried leaf ends, so I'm trying to make it happy again. When I look at the bottom, there is zero soil. Only packed roots.

I'd rather play safe with this guy...

Picture of the victim

  • 2
    That's a very generic question/answer. I don't know if all plants react the same to root pruning. Maybe there are precautions to take in some cases, no? If that's really all there is to it, I'll mark as duplicate. Lets just wait a bit for other advices, if any.
    – Joanis
    May 8 '15 at 20:15
  • Spaths are pretty generic plants :) The advice in the other question applies. If you want to do more than just repot it you can divide it since it's an herbaceous perennial. May 8 '15 at 22:47

I've done this with members of the aroid family of which spaths are members.

  • soak the rootball before repotting to the leaves have a good supply of water
  • take sharp knife and cut the bottom one quarter of the roots off
  • using the same sharp knife make a series of vertical cuts around the root ball and remove and loose roots
  • repot in a pot of one size larger with a tropical plant potting mix
  • water in the newly repotted plant
  • provide bright diffuse light until it's settled in (~one to two weeks)
  • do not fertilize at this time.

Alternatively to the other answer, Spathiphyllum can be divided - this is where a sharp bread knife comes in handy. I'd cut the rootball in half and pot up both sections separately, keeping it well watered till it recovers. If you don't want two plants, pot them both anyway and bin one if it's not growing as well as the other.

  • Yes, division is an option but root pruning is also in order. Then you need two smaller pots.
    – kevinskio
    May 9 '15 at 12:33
  • @kevinsky true, though to be honest, whenever I've cut them in half, a lot of the bottom roots fall off anyway, though I'll admit to 'helping' some of them off, specially the bigger chunkier ones.
    – Bamboo
    May 9 '15 at 12:44

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