Plant it Right

Plant it Right

Plant it Right

live trends haworthia 042I saw this little Haworthia in this orange container and it was a definite must have for me. I bought it up north in Mt. Pleasant while visiting my Mom. I forgot it on her refrigerator and left it there about a month. I recently brought it home and decided it was time to check it and water it. I took the top layer of moss off because I like to see the soil to  determine if a plant needs water or not.

The picture below is what I found. There was no top layer of moss. The whole container was full of moss! Where is the soil?! There was none to be found.

live trends haworthia 041So these little containers have no soil, just a bunch of moss and little plant plug. I don’t understand how a succulent is expected to live in a pot full of moss. I did look at the Live Trends website and the directions say to water the plant with 2 ounces of water once a month.  I guess I’m not the average person, and I’m definitely okay with that. When I called Live Trends to ask them about these magnets they said they are intended for the average person to buy and take care of.

live trends haworthia 046In the picture above, you can see the ball of moss that was tightly packed in the container, thus the round shape.

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This poor plant has no soil, just moss.

The first thing I did was drill a hole in the container. I recently bought a $16.00 diamond drill bit and it is the best. If I have a container wlive trends haworthia 047ithout a drainage hole, I make surrepotting live trends 003e it gets one. I also put a piece of screen over the hole so the water can run through, but the soil stays in.






I then got everything together, ready to re-pot.

repotting live trends 001

Everything I need to re-pot the plant.

When I was getting ready to re-pot the small Haworthia, I realized there was something wrapped around the plug roots. I cut it off and it looks like a piece of landscape fabric, but it is white.

live trends haworthia 045

Haworthia plug



repotting live trends 006

Piece of white fabric-like material wrapped around the plug roots.

Now, to be fair, I was at Lowe’s and saw these for sale again, and I had to have the yellow and green one, with different Haworthias.


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When I removed the moss from this one, it was potted in a plastic pot inside the yellow container. This is way better than the moss only container.

lynns plants and living trends 057Now, I do have to disagree with the “place anywhere” and “water with 2 oz. of water once every two weeks”. I would place this somewhere with bright light and I never agree with watering on a schedule. It depends on the light it receives and the temperature. I feel the soil before watering. But, at least the ones in their own pots can be removed, watered and left to drain before returning them to their grow containers or as they say in France: cache-pot (hiding a pot).

Okay, so I re-potted the orange one with soil and a hole in the container. I haven’t re-potted the other two, but I will. I have no idea why one set of planters was planted with only moss and the other ones with soil. Different growers? I have no clue. When I called and talked to someone at Living Trends, they seemed to think they were only sold in the small grow pots. I don’t think they had a clue what I was talking about when I asked them why they were only planted in moss. She said hers has been living since last fall.

Below is my orange plant on the right, re-potted and on the refrigerator and on the left the green and yellow ones, without the moss, waiting to be re-potted. (Yes, I have a lot of magnets…don’t go there.)

I really only want people to be successful with houseplants. If they die from being drowned in a pot with no drainage and wrong growing media, failure may turn people off from growing plants. Not a good thing. Maybe I’m too critical. I hate when one of my plants die. Maybe most people don’t care….. What about you? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


I decided to hang my magnets in the sun room. I used a Dollar Store cookie sheet, painted it with Rustoleum and hung it on the wall.

Living Trends magnets on metal tray

Living Trends magnets on metal tray

Living Trends plant magnets

Living Trends plant magnets

22 Responses to "Plant it Right"

  • Good morning, Houseplant Guru!
    I could almost live with the moss, as long as it’s not a moss that retains water, like sphagnum. The woodland type moss in the photo would allow water to drain through, but no holes in the pot? The lack of drainage, for any plant, is almost a crime!

    There are no nutrients in moss, so any plant would need to be drenched with a dilute fertilizer once in a while. Like orchids anchored in moss. I agree with everything you did for this plant and am again convinced that the big box stores sell gimmicks to the uninformed. So many people don’t understand plants, yet want to have them and the big box stores prey on that! Like “ice cube orchids”! Really?

    Good luck, Guru!

    • Thank you Carol! So nice to hear from you. And, yes I agree- “ice cube orchids”! Yuck!

  • Cute little Haworthia, and nice replant. I’ll bet you get a ton of use out that diamond drill bit. Just about any ceramic or glass container can become a planter now! 😀

  • Just scooped up a bunch of these at our local Safeway. Some had no pot, just a plug. One is totally root bound – the roots are coming back up towards the top. My big question – what type of soil do you use to re-pot these guys? I have several ones on magnets and some in little glass jars. All from the same company. Also, they do not tell you what type of plant you’re getting. Thank you! Diana

    • I use a good well drained cactus and succulent soil. Usually I’ve found that most of the plants are Haworthias so they can take lower light than most succulents.

  • I have 3 of these plants and they were advertised as air plants at our local Tops. Love plants so have 3. Now time to transplant they got to big for the tear drop holder. So from what I am reading they are not air plants? One looks like what you used in your blog. I took that one and another one apart last night. They are only planted in moss. So I should not use Moss? I really donot want to loose these plants but now I have no clue what to do. HELP

  • I am so grateful i found this post! I have two LiveTrend plants, and it’s been driving me CRAZY that i couldn’t determine what medium it was planted in. You can see them here:

    Of the two pictures, the one in the back has grown exponentially. I noticed upon inspection that it seemed less “packed” into the container than the front plant, and i’ve been curious to remove it but also was afraid to damage the roots in the event the plants were hotglued down. The front plant i can barely even water (though i’ve painstakingly done so) because the moss is so packed in there the water just beads up and rolls off. Around the plant there looks like a tiny little clear plastic barrier of some kind… i just assumed it was a small plastic pot, but now i’m afraid it’s just a wrapping thing like yours. I may have to pick up a diamond drill bit to drill holes into the pebbles and then remove the plants and repot.

    Again, thank you so much! I thought i was the only person who cared enough to look this information up! Very informative post.

    • As an update, i finally got the courage to remove the tighter-packed plant from it’s pebble. After MUCH effort to safely remove the plant, (as well as the loads of moss tightly packed around the plant) lo and behold, a tiny plastic “pot” boasting nothing more than moss.

      The roots have reached the bottom of the tiny plastic container and it has no form of drainage. I just assumed a company like this would have placed the plant into a small pot with drainage, so the excess water would drain from the pot, get absorbed by the moss and then evaporate out of the top. (As you can tell, i gave it a lot of thought just hoping my worst fears were incorrect.)

      I’ve already ordered a set of diamond drill bits off Amazon i’ll be expecting in 2 days. Thank you so much for this post. Seriously.

    • Thanks for all your great comments! I hate that they just pack the plants in with moss and hope they make it with no drainage and soggy moss around a succulent’s roots. I’m glad you got the courage to investigate the roots. That’s most often where things go wrong. The plant you showed me in the plastic pot is a Haworthia, but the one behind is an Aloe. It will need more light than the Haworthia. Best of luck with the drill bits-I love mine, and I know your plants will appreciate it!

  • I am glad I am not the only one who was concerned about the moss planting. I just bought two of these near their death beds on clearance and I wanted to keep them in their glass containers. I had assumed they were also going to be in small pot, just like the two mini violets I bought earlier also on clearance …get the idea I like clearance plants lol and I was shocked when the moss just wouldn’t lift off the top. I then pulled them out, and noticed their was no soil. Also attempting to peel off the moss, I finally seen a plug and then I noticed that other white fabric material. This was the most oddly planted novelty plant I had ever bought! I understood they could live like this for a bit, but I just couldn’t get over how hard the moss was packet into the container. I now have them in mini terracotta pots with actual soil until they start growing like weeds.

  • I am so thankful that I found this site. I received a live trends plant as a gift at Christmas a year ago. It has now outgrown the tiny magnetic pot. I had no clue what to do with my poor little plant because I’ve never seen anything like the contraption that it’s potted in. The designing trends care website was no help. Hopefully, now I can extract it with no harm and put it in a better set up. Thank you for the info!

    • I do love the live trends containers but was amazed to find some only planted in moss and I hate when there are no holes in pots. Most people overwater when there is no drainage hole. Sometimes they are already floating in water before they leave the store. I hope yours does well and thanks for the comments!

  • The moss is to prevent over-watering in the store. Most succulents that spend any time in a box store die from over-watering. Nurseries take those back and eat the loss. By putting these slow-growing, shade-tolerant, rather expensive Haworthias in plain moss, which holds very little water and allows lots of air flow, the nurseries substantially reduce losses from over-watering.

    You can grow them that way for quite a long time. I would bet most people have more success with the moss medium than with soil because moss breathes much better and doesn’t support any perched water. All you need to do is be sure it doesn’t get too dry for too long, and maybe give it a wee bit of very dilute fertilizer now and then. The moss will eventually break down and need to be replaced, but other than that, it’s a perfectly good planting medium for such a rot-prone plant.

    • It is weird that the moss is only used on some of the plants, though. I just feel using soil would be better and I do drill a hole in every pot I use that doesn’t have one. I want everyone to be successful with plants and a drainage hole is important, as is planting them in the right medium.

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