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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

Christy Dailey: Plant Guru

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This is one of two giant philodendron plants that I had in my apartment. I brought it to the office one day last fall to spend the winter in Martha's office, and it had such a great visit that it completely outgrew its container and needed to be divided and re-potted. I hired Christy Dailey, a local urban garden designer, to come in and help with the situation.

Christy started out as a gardener, and now works designing and planting outdoor spaces as well as rooftop and terrace gardens in Manhattan and Brooklyn. She is a great reference for all things planting and potting, and she often helps us with important plant or garden-related questions and projects.

Philodendrons, which are native to southeastern Brazil, typically grow to be quite large, but it is not at all easy to separate them. In fact, it can severely damage the plant. Check out my photos of Christy's process, but don't try this at home!

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Christy and an assistant had a hard time getting the plant out of the pot.

1 Christy and an assistant had a hard time getting the plant out of the pot.

As you can see, the pot was very root bound, and Christy had to separate the four trunks extremely carefully.

2 As you can see, the pot was very root bound, and Christy had to separate the four trunks extremely carefully.

Christy decided where the divisions would be best and least damaging to the plant.

3 Christy decided where the divisions would be best and least damaging to the plant.

The tools necessary for Christy's expert procedure.

4 The tools necessary for Christy's expert procedure.

Let the dividing begin!

5 Let the dividing begin!

Me and Christy. I couldn't be happier with the results. I now have two beautiful philodendrons to put on my terrace at home. I will post a picture once the plants have settled in and are looking their best.

6 Me and Christy. I couldn't be happier with the results. I now have two beautiful philodendrons to put on my terrace at home. I will post a picture once the plants have settled in and are looking their best.

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