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Re: Your input please? rootbound.

  • Subject: Re: Your input please? rootbound.
  • From: ExoticRainforest <Steve@ExoticRainforest.com>
  • Date: Sun, 05 Sep 2010 15:41:45 -0500

Thanks Dylan! I especially like to read info from a good scientist. All of this just went into my file!


On 9/5/2010 12:28, Hannon wrote:

Yes, some rainforest plants are rootbound in the wild if they are
lodged in small crevices or holes in limestone, e.g., various

I am a strong advocate of maintaining plants, any plants in pots,
under rootbound conditions for the reasons that others have given here
and more. It boils down to the health of the roots, which is really
the greater part of horticultural method. You will notice that a plant
is at its best when it is well along after repotting, becoming
pot-bound, yet before it is really cramped. This ideal state does not
last more than a year or two in many cases, unfortunately.

The rootbound condition necessitates more frequent and more thorough
watering (a good thing for many aroids) but otherwise should not be a
problem for the grower. Shortly before a plant is simply obnoxious
because it dries and wilts all the time, it should get a bigger pot.

Naturally there are exceptions, such as fast growing plants or aquatic
aroids, that can be "overpotted" with no ill results. If plant health,
time of year and other conditions are ideal then it may be fine to put
a large pot-bound Philodendron in a 6" pot directly into a 5gal tub if
it is a large species.

I would add that the firmness of the container is important too. Roots
seem to need physical resistance, and I have generally had much better
results with very firm, stiff pots (good polstyrene, clay, wooden
boxes, etc.). Any squishy-soft pots are thrown away. As a consequence
of "greater efficiency" in modern injection molding I have lots of
plastic pots 10 years old or more that I value highly.

Particle size of potting media is another consideration, in addition
to others. It is a complex topic that is not often properly addressed.
Best of luck with you article!


On 02/09/2010, ExoticRainforest<Steve@exoticrainforest.com>  wrote:
  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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fn:Steve  Lucas

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