Repotting of Brighamia insignis and Jatropha podagrica?

Gothenburg, Sweden(Zone 7a)

I read a comment by Palmbob here (http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/266/) that Adeniums "LIKE to be crammed into a small pot, but if the pot is starting to split, then it might be a good idea to pot them up". Does this advice apply to Brighamia insignis and Jatropha podagrica (and other caudiciforms/succulents) as well? If not, what signs are there that it's time to repot, if ever?

I don't really want the Jatropha to get bigger and it seems to stay small if I prune it, and thus maybe it never needs or wants repotting? As for the Brighamia, I would prefer if it didn't get much bigger but I don't think it will let me decide that, I'm guessing it will grow about 5cm per year no matter what I do? And if it grows (especially if the base gets wider) I can't see how it can be happy with the same size of pot.

With palm trees, you can tell when it's time to repot by how they get clearly root bound and major roots start coming out the bottom, you need to water very frequently (2-3 days maybe) and it can even crack the pot. Are there any telltale signs like that for these, or succulents in general?

Gothenburg, Sweden(Zone 7a)

Seems I'm allowed to add pictures now. The last image is from last week, the first two are from this winter but the sizes are very similar.

The 1st image shows the pot size for the Brighamia. Actually when I got it 1 years ago, it was filled with (peaty) soil to 15mm from the brim. I had problems with mushrooms popping up regularly (and no, I did not water too much). In November I decided to replace the top 5 cm by sand size 2-3mm, and since then I haven't had any mushrooms, and I also think it's better for the stem to be in sand than peaty soil to be safe from rot. When I did this maneouvre, I saw there were no roots in the top 5cm and I'm guessing the store had probably gotten them in smaller pots and "repotted" them using some crap soil with mushroom spores (or perhaps the sand hinders them).

The Jatropha I got over 5 years ago and it's still in the same pot.

On neither of them are any major roots sticking out of the bottom, just some very minor ones and just a few millimeters. I water them when they just got completely dry, which for the Jatropha is every 5 days and for the Brighamia 8-12 days except when flowering, then it needs water every 4-6 days. They are in a sunny window (but usually with blinds in horizontal position when full sun).

This message was edited Jul 26, 2015 9:48 AM

Thumbnail by David_Sweden Thumbnail by David_Sweden Thumbnail by David_Sweden
Baja California, Mexico(Zone 11)

In my experience Adeniums do not particularly enjoy being crammed into a small pot. They grow much better when they are regularly given some space. Which is not to say they need a huge pot, they just slow way down if they stay root bound too long. The trick is to match the size of the plant (specifically the roots) with the size of the pot, so there is a little extra space (particularly during the growing season) but not too much. That strategy should work for the other plants.

It sounds like you would profit from carefully popping them out of their pots to see what's happening below ground, and that will tell you whether or not you should repot now. You might take the opportunity to replace some of the questionable soil, even if you put the plants back in the same pots. Just handle the plants with care and wait a couple of days (minimum) afterwards before you resume watering.

If space is a constraint and you don't want the plants to grow much bigger, you can let them grow root bound and they will naturally slow down.

Gothenburg, Sweden(Zone 7a)

Thanks.

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