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Subject: looking for olive tree cuttings Replies: 8
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 689
 
You never know till you give it a try! I hope it works out for you.

Subject: Cherry Time! Replies: 9
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 870
 
I'll stick with netting, but will be curious to hear if the KoolAid worked. Please keep us posted!

Subject: Pics om my fig in the ground Replies: 5
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 710
 
I enjoyed looking at the photographs and reading your explanations. Thanks for sharing them.

Subject: i think i see little figs coming out. Replies: 5
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 662
 
I'm glad it's working for you. I don't remember who first suggested it, but I read about it on the forum and gave it a try, with good results. Four of my potted figs are in water trays pretty much all the time: two are recently-rooted cuttings, and the others are up around the 3-gallon size.

I'm only doing it with pots that are tall enough that the upper soil doesn't get saturated, and all appear to be thriving. But, since many people seem to have problems when the soil is wet, be cautious with this approach. I think it helps that I'm in an area that is hot and dry, and it also probably makes a difference that these figs are all getting full sun much of the day (the bigger two don't get any shade at all, except first thing in the morning).

Attached Images
jpeg wet_toes_1.jpg (95.90 KB, 26 views)
jpeg wet_toes_2.jpg (83.14 KB, 21 views)


Subject: Will last year's figs ripen? Replies: 8
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 887
 
I can't say whether they will ripen or not, but if it were my tree I would certainly leave them on and find out!

Subject: Cherry Time! Replies: 9
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 870
 
I'm envious! I would love to be able to grow cherries. I've heard Dave Wilson Nursery in CA has developed a few very low-chill cherries. Are any of you fig lovers growing them?

Subject: Green Greek Fig pics Replies: 14
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 3,599
 
Nice job!

Subject: Cactus pears Replies: 108
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 8,116
 
Yes, Bill, that's gorgeous! I wonder if a Clematis could handle the north side of my house in Tucson? Probably a bit of a stretch.

The cow's tongue is a green prickly pear, but I didn't include a photo. The purple one is a Santa Rita, and they get enough stress naturally to have good color. The new pads come in more-or-less green, but it's not long before the realities of life in the desert start changing them to purple. The intensity of the purple just fluctuates with the season.

Subject: Ready to put fig pots in ground Replies: 30
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,391
 
PTAggie--Looks like a great idea! Thanks for posting it, and welcome to the forum!

Subject: i think i see little figs coming out. Replies: 5
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 662
 
Try setting the pots in a shallow (1 or 1.5 inches deep) tray of water for a couple of days and see if that improves the drooping. If it works, I'd make sure there's water in the tray during the late morning and afternoon, and then empty it in the evening. If you don't see any problems, then I'd just leave them in the trays with "wet toes," 24-7 during the hot season.

Subject: Cactus pears Replies: 108
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 8,116
 
Caneyscud, from what I've read on the forum, I'm sure your squirrels are much worse than our bunnies. Cottontails are pretty easy to deal with--just remember to shut the gate and you're okay.

The torch cactus does have spines--pretty long ones--but they don't tend to detach and stay stuck in you. With his claws and those thick, furry soles, I doubt the rabbit had anything to worry about.

Bill, the only Opuntias I've had problems with them getting out of control are the bunny ears and a prickly pear called cow's tongue. Some, like this Santa Rita prickly pear I'd love to have them spread a little more. I probably shouldn't have planted it under a tree--maybe I'll stick a pad out in the sun. They develop that nice purple color in cold weather or when they're drought-stressed.

Attached Images
jpeg Santa_Rita.jpg (105.38 KB, 28 views)


Subject: Epiphylum Replies: 3
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 592
 
Probably 10 years ago I had a nice bunch of Epiphyllum (white flowered) growing outdoors in a pot hanging from a tree branch to provide filtered light. I'm sketchy on what eventually happened to it--I think I must have left it out all winter and it froze to death. They're great plants though--very easy to grow, and the blooms are spectacular. I'm not sure about the other varieties, but mine was night-blooming, so I'd see the flowers in the morning just before they started to wilt. That red one looks like it will be amazing!

Subject: Cactus pears Replies: 108
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 8,116
 
Bill--it's just a cottontail rabbit--one of many that hang around the yard. It looks lanky (like a hare) because it's stretched out on "tip-toe".

Speaking of "bunnies" and hard-to-kill cacti, I'm trying to eradicate an invasive, non-native Opuntia called "bunny ears" that has taken over parts of the yard. I uprooted several of them in February and left them, roots on the surface, to dry out in the sun. I just went out to check it, and sure enough, it's still doing just fine. If I don't do something to kill it, it will send new roots into the ground when the summer rains hit.

If you leave a single pad flat on the ground (the one in the photos was dropped there in February as well) it will curl up like a dish in the sun, which gives it good soil contact on the bottom. When it rains, the "dish" traps water, absorbs it, sends out new roots from the bottom, and starts shooting out new pads from the edges. (I flipped this one over to show the healthy green of the underside.)

A former co-worker said he left a pile of them on a concrete slab in the sun for over a year, and they just wouldn't die--they formed new pads, bloomed, and produced fruit till he gave up and put them in the trash can.

Attached Images
jpeg bunny_ear_invasion.jpg (133.32 KB, 27 views)
jpeg bunny_ear_survivor.jpg (102.97 KB, 31 views)
jpeg bunny_ear_pad_(top).jpg (121.30 KB, 25 views)
jpeg bunny_ear_pad_(underside).jpg (120.94 KB, 27 views)


Subject: mushroom ID? Replies: 24
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,624
 
Thanks for the ID help!

And Dominick, no harm done. Maybe you should have left your post, if only to illustrate that it can be tricky business for those of us who aren't experts.

So, Fungus Fanatics--what's the verdict? Are these little guys beneficial, or at least neutral, for my trees?

Brent--I actually see them once in a while after rains and sometimes, as with these, after irrigating. I'd be nervous about trying a kit in the great outdoors for fear I'd get some dreadful wild strain creeping in amongst the edibles. If I ever decide to try growing them it will be in a more controlled environment.

Subject: Cactus pears Replies: 108
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 8,116
 
I guess some cactus flowers can be tasty too. I spotted this little raider through my kitchen window this morning, gobbling spent blooms on my hybrid torch cactus.

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jpeg going....jpg (106.86 KB, 60 views)
jpeg gone!.jpg (100.43 KB, 61 views)


Subject: mushroom ID? Replies: 24
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,624
 
These are popping up all over in my mulch. I assume they are beneficial, decomposing the wood chips, but thought I'd double-check with you mushroom experts.

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jpeg mushrooms_1.jpg (110.06 KB, 40 views)
jpeg musrooms_2.jpg (90.19 KB, 32 views)


Subject: MY Violette De Bordeaux FIG Replies: 12
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,843
 
Your fig looks very healthy!

Subject: Seeking Paradise Replies: 18
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,090
 
Growing good loquats from seed is unpredictable--you might get lucky, and you might not. Several years ago, a fellow fruit grower ate some great loquats at a restaurant in Spain, so he pocketed the seeds and brought them home to plant. He gave seedlings to anyone willing to keep them till they were mature enough to fruit, so I took one and planted it in the yard. I don't know how the others turned out, but the fruit on mine isn't very good, and it seems prone to what is probably fireblight. I keep thinking I should replace it with a named variety, such as 'Champagne,' but haven't gotten around to it.

Subject: Seeking Paradise Replies: 18
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,090
 
Well said, John. I love every minute I get to spend among my trees. I love seeing the sun shine through those tender new leaves early in the morning. It's a little oasis of balm for the soul.

Subject: pots on brick? Replies: 3
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 688
 
I believe the reason may be that black is typically more resistant to degradation from the sun's ultraviolet rays. White pots would likely become brittle in a couple of years, but the black pots seem to last forever.

Subject: how much direct sun does fig tree need? Replies: 12
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 28,180
 
Good point, Brent--we use a swamp cooler to cool the house, and when the humidity rises at the onset of our monsoon season, the cooling stops!

Jason--it's interesting that your figs are doing better in terra cotta. I wonder if the permeability of the clay would help with gas exchange (for oxygenation and getting rid of C02) and if that would be an advantage? I always drill my small plastic pots full of holes for that reason, and it seems like it might be helping. I've got some good-sized terra cotta pots lying around; maybe I'll bump a couple of one-gallon figs up into the clay pots and see how they do.

Subject: how much direct sun does fig tree need? Replies: 12
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 28,180
 
Jason--that leaching of water is part of the reason terra cotta stays cooler. The evaporation drops the pot temperature quite a lot, and if you set it in a shallow tray of water, that will keep the soil moist enough to keep the roots happy.

Subject: pots on brick? Replies: 3
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 688
 
I expect they would be fine, but if you're worried about the roots getting too hot there are a couple of things you might consider. You can put something around the pot to protect it from direct sun. I'll sometimes nest large black pots inside white 5 gallon buckets with drainage holes in the sides, about an inch and a half up from the bottom. I've also wrapped white cloth around pots to shade them, or opened the bottom of a corrugated cardboard box (which makes pretty good insulation) so I can bend it to fit around a pot (see photo--not pretty, but it works). For smaller pots I'll sometimes just put them inside a paper bag to keep sun off the sides. The other thing I've found very helpful is keeping pots in a shallow tray of water (as in the photo) so they can always draw up enough to keep the leaves cool through transpiration. If you do that, it would probably be wise to empty the water at night so the soil around the roots can dry out a bit, but mine stay wet pretty much all the time with no problems.

Attached Images
jpeg figs_in_containers.jpg (122.58 KB, 50 views)


Subject: Ready to put fig pots in ground Replies: 30
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,391
 
Nothing wrong with first-time mothers! I'm sure your "babies" will appreciate the effort. I only learned last year about partially buying pots (from people on this forum) and it worked great for me--as I'm sure it will for you.

Subject: Ready to put fig pots in ground Replies: 30
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,391
 
If it were me, I would do as others have suggested and drill holes very near the bottom on all four sides. I also wouldn't sink the bottoms of the pots more than 2-3 inches below the surrounding soil surface, or it will be harder to cut the roots and get the pots back out of the ground for winter (plus, as you mentioned, the best soil is near the surface, and it's also better-drained). If you're worried about overheating, just pile mulch or decorative bark around the exposed pots and they'll stay cool enough. Since you already have holes in the bottoms of the pots, you can cut a piece of plastic sheeting slightly larger than the bottom of each pot to put underneath it. Roots will still grow out of the bottom holes, but they'll have to travel sideways to get past the edge of the plastic before they can go down, so you'll be able to cut them at the same time you're cutting the roots that grow out of the side holes. Good luck!

Subject: Not recommending this, but... Replies: 20
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,902
 
This White Hybrid Unknown cutting is still doing fine in full sun. A barely-rooted LSU purple cutting is also getting the same treatment, and seems able to handle it okay. It stood with 3/4 of its length submerged in a jar of rainwater till these initials formed, and then I planted it in a 2-liter bottle of organic "duff" raked up in the yard. As soon as a shoot started to form, it went into full sun. I'm sure there are many exceptions, but to me it appears they can handle most any amount of sun if 1) they've started rooting before any leaves form, 2) the first leaves unfold in full sun, 3) the bottom of the pot is in a shallow saucer of water, so they can always draw up enough to cool the leaves through transpiration, 4) the clear pot is shaded, and 5) the surrounding air temperature doesn't get too hot.

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jpeg Georgiafig_white_hybrid_unknown_progress.jpg (102.32 KB, 43 views)
jpeg LSU_purple_23_apr_2011.jpg (136.53 KB, 50 views)
jpeg LSU_Purple.jpg (109.30 KB, 43 views)


Subject: bird netting enclosure Replies: 45
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 4,745
 
It's SO NICE to go out and see fruit ripening with no bird bites! I love it! There are lots of persimmons and peaches, but far fewer apricots, apples, and plums. I don't know if it's lack of bees, wrong pollinator trees, poor soil, inadequate pruning, or what, but at least the fruit that does set gets a chance to develop, and now I can focus on figuring out how to improve yields instead of battling birds, javelinas & coyotes.

The cage is also home to ten little in-ground figs with room for about six more. The few veggies planted here and there have been growing nicely as well, now that the quail can no longer nip them off as soon as the first tender shoots break the surface.

The black plastic around the perimeter is to keep out smaller birds that can squeeze through larger wire (1 1/2" stucco mesh) that was used in some sections. If I had done it right, with a 3' high perimeter fence of half-inch galvanized welded wire, the plastic wouldn't have been necessary, but hey--live and learn.

Attached Images
jpeg anti-aviary,_finished.jpg (93.63 KB, 70 views)
jpeg Desertgold_Peach.jpg (76.94 KB, 49 views)
jpeg Katy_Apricot.jpg (77.73 KB, 50 views)


Subject: Double embryos Replies: 18
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,014
 
My Brown Turkey (Improved Brown Turkey) only gets a few doubles here and there; I also noticed that my tiny in-ground Excel has one double right on top, but the rest of its figs are singles. However, on what I believe is a Kadota, taken as a green-wood cutting from a neighbor's tree in August of 2009, doubles seem to be the norm. The photo shows fruit on an airlayer I just started a few days ago, but the rest of the tree is also mostly doubles, and I took a look at the mother tree this morning and it's mostly doubles as well. When my UCD Kadota gets big enough, I'll compare the two to verify that my neighbor's tree is truly a Kadota, but for now, that's my best guess.

Attached Images
jpeg Kadota_(probably)_doubles.jpg (72.97 KB, 24 views)
jpeg excel_double.jpg (93.04 KB, 23 views)
jpeg BT_doubles.jpg (78.93 KB, 21 views)


Subject: my figs Replies: 21
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,227
 
6不寻常的美丽。难道你长大这从一个切割(接穗)图你有这种植物果实,从照片

[The leaves of number 6 are unusual and beautiful. Did you grow this fig from a cutting (scion)? Do you have a photograph of fruit from this plant?]

Subject: Double embryos Replies: 18
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,014
 
What is a double embryo--two figs arising from the same node?

Subject: Anybody growing Ischia Green? Replies: 93
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 15,526
 
Ruben--Wow; that's a delicious-looking fig! I think you and Herman have convinced me to stick one in the ground and see how it does in Tucson.

Subject: Anybody growing Ischia Green? Replies: 93
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 15,526
 
Between the FMV and being young trees, it's kind of hard to tell, but it looks like my Ischia Greens only have three lobes. Maybe they get more as they mature?

Attached Images
jpeg Ischia_Green.jpg (176.56 KB, 170 views)


Subject: Fig "A-10-5" from Ken Love collection Replies: 20
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,420
 
I have a one-gallon DFIC0164-1 from last year's UCD cuttings, but from the little I've been able to read about it, the fruit is bland and uninspiring.

Attached Images
jpeg DFIC0164-1.jpg (136.28 KB, 33 views)


Subject: I finally figured it Why figs with FMV,from Ca Collection,don't want to grow on East Coast. Replies: 26
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,847
 
Since much of my yard has caliche (a concrete-like layer of sand and rocks bonded together with calcium carbonate) anywhere from a few inches to several feet below the surface, I assume I don't need to add any limestone products. I've not found caliche under my fig plantings, and I've never had my soil tested, but I believe all of the soil in my area is already fairly alkaline.

Subject: Anybody growing Ischia Green? Replies: 93
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 15,526
 
Interesting info, everybody--thanks very much. My reason for asking is I have a couple one-gallon Ischia Greens from last year's UCD cuttings, and I'm trying to decide whether to commit any of my rapidly-dwindling in-ground space. Both of them have FMV but it doesn't seem to be slowing them down any--they're pretty vigorous, and both have small figs forming. At least one of them formed figs last year as well. Maybe they like the heat.

Subject: Anybody growing Ischia Green? Replies: 93
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 15,526
 
I haven't heard much about this variety except that it has a closed eye, and am wondering if anybody can offer some information about the fruit quality (or anything else). Thanks.

Subject: Another newbie question Replies: 7
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 754
 
I doubt you'll get anything worth eating, but when nearly all of my newly rooted cuttings started getting little figs last year, I left one on each tree to see what would happen. As I recall, all but one (Violette de Bordeaux) eventually withered without ripening, but that one was at least mildly sweet. Also, a late-season, green-wood cutting from a neighbor's tree (I'm virtually certain it's a Kadota, but am waiting to compare it with a known Kadota from UCD) got more than 20 little figs on it the following spring, and ripened two or three. Again, the flavor was nothing to write home about, but the fun of seeing them ripen made it well worth leaving a few on the tree.

I've heard several experienced people say that it's better for very young trees to remove any fruit, and that's probably true. On the other hand, I didn't notice any problems with mine, and being a newbie myself, I just wanted to see some figs. Most of them have figs growing this year as well, but unless I can see that a tree is struggling, I intend to just leave them alone to ripen, or not--I don't think the consequences will be too serious either way.

Subject: Cactus pears Replies: 108
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 8,116
 
Eye-opening article, Bass--thanks for sharing it. It looks like I'd better sample more varieties than just the bland tunas growing wild in my yard.

Subject: Some Figs Making Progress Replies: 2
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 577
 
Joe--I'll be very interested to see how your Celeste does in Phoenix's heat.

Subject: Grass clipps for fig mulch? Replies: 6
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 787
 
I'm not too scientific about it. I've gotten a couple loads of free mulch from a local landscaper, consisting of whatever pruned branches he's just run through his chipper-shredder. I also bought a little electric chipper-shredder that can handle branches up to about an inch-and-a-quarter, if you take it slow on the thick parts. I turn whatever I prune out of the yard into mulch, and avoid having it go into the landfill.

Subject: Grass clipps for fig mulch? Replies: 6
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 787
 
Grass works great when used as described above. Unfortunately, I didn't know those "rules", several years ago, and I piled a big heap of fresh clippings around the trunk of a young tree, and killed it. When the grass started to rot, it got extremely hot and cooked the trunk! Live and learn.

Subject: Wter barrel with floating sunflowers seeds Replies: 20
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,507
 
Cathy--I don't know the details of your cage set-up, but if there's a way to utilize an electric "hotwire" it might be very effective against raccoons. I had an old "FidoShock" unit that I hooked up to some wires around my tree cage and it immediately put an end to javelinas getting inside. It won't injure people and it's a great deterrent for critters.

I also have a friend who uses one to keep round-tailed ground squirrels (these are little guys that don't jump very high; I don't think it would be effective against the big, fluffy-tailed kinds) and pack rats out of his garden. He installed a fairly low (3'?) chicken wire fence with a hotwire strung on insulators along the top. When rats or ground squirrels try to climb over, they have to touch the top wire and immediately decide they'd rather be somewhere else.

Subject: "Blackened" Madeira Replies: 34
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,716
 
I ripped some scrap 1x2s in half this morning, screwed them together into triangular frames, and stapled aluminum mini-blind slats on top to form little shade-roofs for three figs that seemed heat-stressed. Hopefully, this will prevent any repeat performance of the "Blackened Madeira"--which seems to be recovering. Thanks again for the help!

Attached Images
jpeg fig_shade_1.jpg (151.18 KB, 70 views)
jpeg fig_shade_Black_Madeira.jpg (158.23 KB, 63 views)
jpeg fig_shade_Black_Madeira_2.jpg (127.89 KB, 60 views)


Subject: Pre-Fig Fruit Season Replies: 20
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 1,260
 
The goumi looks impressive--really loaded. From the pictures, I'm guessing this is a pretty large tree? Can it be kept pruned to bush size?

Subject: Mutation Replies: 3
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 787
 
I don't know much about this, but as I understand it, if it is a true genetic mutation and not just an extra vigorous branch or caused by some other non-genetic factor, then yes, cuttings or air layers should retain the same trait as the original branch.

Subject: "Blackened" Madeira Replies: 34
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,716
 
Sounds like a good approach, Cathy. I've been giving my new in-ground trees 30 minutes a day from a single, one-gallon emitter each, basing the quantity on what they had been getting in their pots, which has been enough to keep the ground underneath pretty wet from all the overflow. Clearly, though, it's not enough once they're in the ground. I had failed to consider how much water gets sucked up by the surrounding soil; also, they had basins under them while still in their pots, so that provided an additional reservoir to draw from. I'm thinking I'll leave the drip system set as-is for now, but I'll also give each tree a good soak from the hose every two or three days, depending on how hot it is and how stressed they look.

Subject: "Blackened" Madeira Replies: 34
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,716
 
Jon--I've put lots of pampering and TLC on the schedule from now through the end of summer. I can already see the difference in all of them after their big soak yesterday, and with a few more weeks of deep watering I expect everybody will be growing like weeds.

Subject: "Blackened" Madeira Replies: 34
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,716
 
Thanks everybody, for the input. I'll hold off on the fertilizer, water deep, and put a better shade lattice over it. Dennis, I doubt I'll see another drop of rainwater until mid-July, but our neighborhood is supplied by a well and the quality is quite good.

Dan, I think your observation about high heat near the ground is right on the money. This little tree sat out in full sun through the hottest part of the summer last year and loved it, but it was up on a rack about a foot off the ground, and the black pot was sleeved inside a white bucket to keep the roots from overheating. In addition, all the pots sat in shallow water basins, so they could keep a little cooler just through transpiration. It might have escaped damage this year with increased irrigation, but it's hard to say--it's the shortest of all the others, by far, and I think the combination of direct sun and reflected heat off the mulch layer has created a shallow "oven zone" that's too much for any leaves growing right near the surface. I looked at the other trees once again, closely, and on the Conadria noticed similar damage to part of one leaf that is very close to the ground. Maybe I'd better put shade over some of the others, too, just to be on the safe side.

Subject: "Blackened" Madeira Replies: 34
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 2,716
 
A little more than a month ago I planted this Black Madeira (last year's UCD cutting) in the ground; it has been growing in full sun since early spring with no signs of stress. Once it was planted, I put it on a drip system at 1/2 gallon per day. Other than a bad case of FMV and getting the leaf margins munched by leafcutter ants, it's been doing fine--until I recently noticed the leaves turning black from (I assume) a pretty severe sunburn.

I had read that Black Madeiras love heat, so the sunburn came as a surprise--but I put some shade over it and in a few days it had dropped nearly all of the blackened leaves and was putting our a little bit of new growth. Then I read Dan's post today on another thread regarding the importance of deep watering for new in-ground transplants, and wondered if the problem with mine was simply not enough water. I went out and looked closely at my other new plantings, and they seem a little stressed as well, so I soaked everything thoroughly with the hose.

Now I'm wondering--How much water do you experienced growers (especially those of you in hot, dry climates) give to your new, 1-gallon transplants, and how frequently? How would you recommend nursing this baked BM back to health? Should I fertilize it? Any advice would be much appreciated--thanks!

Attached Images
jpeg blackened_Madeira.jpg (183.74 KB, 162 views)
jpeg blackened_Madeira,_later.jpg (159.23 KB, 125 views)


Subject: What is the next step for my cuttings? Replies: 5
Posted By: TucsonKen Views: 736
 
I'm no expert on this, but if they're in containers as large as soda bottles, I wouldn't be in a big hurry to get them into bigger pots. I think the best way to decide when to repot them is root development.

 

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