Houseplants · Problems

On Being shocked

So generally speaking many things in life will surprise me in one way or another, but on Tuesday I got a real shock.


I was wondering why the plant pot that held the Albuca Spiralis was all distorted. I didn’t think there was any real issues as such because the plant itself is doing rather well.


I turned the pot over to see if any roots were pushing out, I wasn’t sure if being pot-bound was the issue. Its possible. But as you can see, no, no issues there.

So I cleared out some of the soil and got a shock… And I do mean *shock*.
Look at the size of that bulb! The soil around it was just crushed up, this is what was distorting the pot. The bulb is now a little distorted, probably because it had be restricted in the areas it could grow.
Now it’s worth mentioning that this bulb is only a year old. Not only was the flower spike HUGE, 39″ long when I gave up and cut it down, but obviously I was doing something right because of the size of the bulb.


Not only was the bulb good but the sheer mass of roots was reassuring. A strong bulb with a strong root system.

So because the original pot was obviously far too small for it I went and re-potted it into a larger pot. I went with the general idea of going up an inch at a time. I also took a few seconds to open up the root mass a little. No problems, I just wanted it to sit better.


The only issue I have now is to get it a much nicer pot. I know I said this last time but I was seriously not expecting to have to re-pot it for a few years yet!
Maybe something in a mild blue to offset the green fronds? Suggestions on a postcard, kids!



2 thoughts on “On Being shocked

  1. I just purchased two of these plants a few weeks ago and simply adore them! However, I am concerned that they may be root bound. When I googled my question, your post appeared and gave great info. I’m just unsure how to tell if the bulb is good and what the roots should be doing. I knocked the pot over and the bulb fell out. There is very little soil and a large bulb with a larger mass of roots. Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

    1. Hiya.
      First off… I’m not an expert. All I can do is comment on what my experiences have been.
      The first way to tell if they are root bound is to see if the roots are pushing out of the bottom of the pot or not.

      If you look at the pics in my post, the bulbs should look just like that. About the size and shape of a horse chestnut (or a conker if you are in the UK!) but a little lighter in colour. It should be firm yet slightly squidgy… A bit like an apple?
      The other important thing is that the soil should not smell of much. Albuca don’t like wet feet and so one of the biggest problems I have read about is over watering. Sniff the soil, if should not smell rank like stagnant water sometimes does.
      Also, lots of roots is good! They should be anything from white to slightly yellow or tan in colour and firm to the touch… If they are brown and slimey/soft then there may be issues. Again, probably over watering.
      When watering make sure you allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

      Can you get a photo at all? I’d love to compare!
      Good luck!

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