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Re: Your input please? rootbound.

  • Subject: Re: Your input please? rootbound.
  • From: "John" <>
  • Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2010 17:16:57 -0400

Steve it is my experience that repotting ANY plant too soon slows down growth.  So if you’re a commercial grower you can’t afford to make this mistake.


I have always ASSUMED that the reason why plants grow faster in small pots is because oxygen is more available to the roots, whereas in a larger pot the roots suffocate in clogging, wet soil.


So it is a question of recognizing when is the right time to move to a larger pot. It is just before the plant begins to starve for lack of growing medium.


Also a great deal depends on individual conditions, rate of drying out, etc.


I once visited a tropical collection under glass in England where I saw some of the hugest leaves on anthuriums and philodendrons. The secret was that everything was planted in six inches of fibrous growing medium on a concrete floor, with plenty of automatic misting. That heady mixture of water and air makes plants grow like crazy.


Looking forward to reading your article when it’s ready




From: [] On Behalf Of ExoticRainforest
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2010 9:07 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: [Aroid-l] Your input please? rootbound.


Some of you  know that I love to chase down the sources of horticultural beliefs.  If you have ever spent time on any plant forum you know the common advice is to keep your plants root bound, or at least when you repot give the roots only an "extra fingers width" on each side the pot.  My question is where do that advice originate?  Why do we believe it?  Is this really good growing advice or just an old wives tale?  Are plants in the rain forest root bound?

I understand that nursery men prefer to start their plants in small pots and allow the roots to fill it before stepping the seedling up to a larger pot.  My understanding is they do this in order to encourage a hearty root system first.  But it appears some growers may have taken this advice to excess and always keep their plant's root bound.  Should we always keep our aroids in pots so small their roots are for ever crowded, or give them space to grow?

We always have new growers looking for good growing advice.  If you have adopted a small pot policy please tell us why.  If you are an experienced grower and prefer a tight pot method I would enjoy knowing the reasoning.  Many of you don't know that I have written for years for a variety of magazines and I have another train of thought in this area.  I am now working on a new article to explain about aroid growth, a plant's need for oxygen around its roots as well as how to keep their root systems healthy.  This discussion will help me to formulate my article.

 If you are new to growing, please chime in.



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