Gardening tools Houseplants Repotting

E-Collar as a Potting Tool

Repotting a Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) is not an easy undertaking. With its arched stems and umbrella-like, even weeping habit, it’s difficult even to get it out of its original pot without breaking a few of the fragile branches let alone repot it. But not if you use your dog’s or your cat’s Elizabethan collar to gently push the branches up and out of way. 

Christmas cactus happily repotted.

That’s the suggestion of Denise B., who also sent photos of her experience. She found it made a huge difference and her cactus came through the ordeal with no damage at all. 

You could try the same method when repotting any other plant with arching leaves or stems, like a Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) or a spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum).

Now all you need is to buy a dog or cat as a ready source for a collar!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

5 comments on “E-Collar as a Potting Tool

  1. What a great idea!! Thanks fort sharing! I have a large teddy bear vine that needs to be repotted….come here pups! Lol

  2. Love it!

  3. What a useful application of one of those devices. I don’t mind getting rough with those Christmas cacti and related species, just because I grow more from whatever breaks off. I would like to be more careful with burro’s tail (sedum), but I doubt that an Elizabethan collar would help.

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