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Mardi Gras Showers-Easter Flowers

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Bill Finch of Mobile Botanical Gardens says "Mardi Gras showers bring Easter Flowers." And this is a great time for replanting and repotting.

We often think of smaller flowering plants for potting, but Bill says trees like limes and blood oranges do great in pots…with the right care. About every one to two years, the soil in large pots breaks down to the point that the plants just don't like it anymore.

First, to get the plant out of a large plastic pot, whack the pot on the side with a shovel. (Obviously a ceramic pot would need less whacking and more finagling.) Once the plant is loose, lift it out and pull away old soil from the outside with a trowel or-like Bill-with your hands. If the plant is root-bound, clip off some of the outer roots.

If you follow this program, you know that Bill is all about creating your own organic soils…but in this case, he says it's probably better to use store-bought potting soil. Get the coarsest mixture you can and add a little extra perlite. You don't need extra nitrogen and stay away from soils that say they'll feed your plant for a year. Put soil in the bottom, reinsert the plant, then fill around the edges. Finally water it in.

Learn more at mobilebotanicalgardens.org.

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