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Advice needed on lots of potbound plants

CraighBCraighB Posts: 704
edited September 2018 in Problem solving
Hi guys,

I would like some advice about what to do in this situation.... At the beginning of this year I potted up perennials like penstemon, Gaura and Rudbekia and many others into 2 litre pots as I had ran out of room in the borders. I used them to dot around the garden to fill it out. I have checked their roots and they are now extremely root bound, however I have no room in the borders to accommodate them.

At the end of next year I am hoping to buy a house and want to take all these plants with me but if I keep them in 2 litre pots the roots are going to get even worse.

So what could I do to get these plants through next year? I do have some very large pots (I would say they are 10 litre) would it be advisable to re pot each 2 litre plant into a 10 litre pot just to give it some space? Or is this pot size over kill?

I just can't think of what else to do?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Craigh  :/

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,603
    If you can't get slightly bigger pots to move them on why not put 3 or 4 to a 10 litre pot so they have extra space and resources?   Easier to water that way too and you can separate them again when you have a new home for them.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 9,638
    To be honest, l think from a 2 to a 10 litre pot is too big a leap. You could try asking for a smaller size on something like Freecycle. I think you'll find someone only too happy to get rid of some pots !
  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 704
    @Obelixx Ah yes why didn't I think of that! Would the rudbeckia like being so close together as each plant is huge and really bushy with huge leaves?

    @AnniD I am joining Freecycle as we speak! :)

    Will extremely root bound plants grow properly if I break up the roots?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,603
    As they go dormant you could trim off the bottom inch or so and then tease out the ones above to encourage them out into the new compost.   Don't do this while they're in full leaf and/or flower and do make sure that you soak each plant thoroughly before you turf it out of its 2 litre pot and start messing with them.

    Try holding or placing 3 rudbeckias to a 10 litre pot and see how they look before you commit to the whole root fluffing and compost filling routine.  Maybe 4 will be fine.  
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • When a pot gets root boundit 's often a good idea to break up the root structure a bit when transplanting, this gets the roots to travel outwards from the pot bound section. 
    It's possible to "heel in"  plants to overwinter them - this is when you find a spare bit of ground, and put the plants in temporary, until next year, a bare veg patch is ideal. Other than that any larger size pots can do, including any DIY solutions, such as old plastic containers - not pretty but functional.
    Are you thinking out of the box?....(sorry)
  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 704
    Would it be better to pot them on now or is it worth waiting until the spring?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,603
    If you do it now the roots have time and resources to recover form any disturbance while the plants are dormant and not making demands on them.   They will also have just that bit more insulation from frosts in the bigger pots.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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