Hi Steve, and All,
One reason for small pots when starting most young
plants is to keep them from getting root rot in an overly moist
environment (small root system, people water -thus wet soil) and
it does not dry uniformly, staying very wet in the bottom.
With re-potting, some plants will perform best only when they
are rootbound to some degree, and will cease to perform well when
they are very rootbound. Again, too large a pot can mean root rot
due to too wet soil. It takes some seasoning to gauge 'soil' mix for
plants, each one with it's own needs. One inch is the usual recommendation
for sizing up.
One plant that I put into the largest pot I have, making sure that it is
always moist, sitting in some water are my treeferns. They are one plant
that will grow as large as possible in the smallest amount of time if
treated this way.
There are some plants that I put in the largest pots immediately, without
intermediate potting up and they will perform similarly, but of course
without all the water. I think people just need to know what they have.
There is little that I keep 'always potbound' though.
Let us know.
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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