Re: [IGS] over potting

>Do not look to me as the expert on this! I am in need of help, myself. What
>I was asking about resulted from some large specimens of P. cortusifolium
>last week that were growing in very poor, fast draining potting mix that
>had been dumped in the open. The plants were very healthy, growing very
>well on just rainwater, which has been good this year. However, instead of
>making short, chunky stems the branches were only about 2 inch diameter and
>several feet tall. For these plants I prefer the Sumo wrestler form!
>On books to read, do not ask me! I am the one looking for the books! There
>are books on how to bonsai succulents. They might be relevant but I am not
>One thing that concerns me a litle about your potting the plants up into
>such large containers is that unless the mix is really fast draining  those
>root rots are more likely to occur because there are not enough roots to
>extract the excess moisture. At least, that is what happens to succulents.
>These pelargoniums may behave differently but they are not that far removed
>from them. Any ideas from others?
>San Diego, California

Andrew and Collin,

I am bound to agree a bit with Andrew about the dangers of overpotting. But
I suppose it depends on your growing conditions really. If your environment
is very dry and warm, the containers may dry out fast, even large ones, so
it is feasible I suppose. On the other hand, should you have excess
moisture in your containers, my fear is that instead of promoting faster
root development the roots would simply rot instead.
Species Pelargoniums from arid places just can't say stop and nono when
they have access to more water than they need, they would split in some
cases. Has happened to me once, the plant still lives though.
But I is a tempting thought..but aren't caudex plants which are
overpotted or planted in the ground to promote faster root/caudex
development ...aren't they *less* prone to root rot in the first place? I
mean, some are more sensitive than others? So it might be a good idea for
'easily grown' caudex plants only?

But it might be worth a try....sure, why not? Just don't try it with your
most treasured plants :-)
Re books.....there is a rumour that a Vol 4 ( by Van der Walt
of the famous Vol1-3) may be in the works. Has anyone heard anything of

All the best,


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