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Roots showing

Hi thank you for taking time to read my post. I have two shrubs in pots that I rescued from my grandparents garden after they passed away. I didn't want them to be thrown away. They were already in these pots but I noticed the roots are showing. Will I need to repot in larger pots or are they OK? They seem healthy enough. Are they better suited in the ground? I'm not sure what they are. Thanks for any help. Very much appreciated. 


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    I can't tell exactly what it is from that photo (can we have a closer photo of the leaves and tips of the shoots?)  However, that mass of roots does indicate that it is pot-bound and it looks a little on the yellow side, so may be short on nutrients.  One problem with pots that shape is it's almost impossible to get woody root-bound shrubs like that out of them without breaking the pot.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • I would like to try and keep the pots as well. So if I feed them will they be ok with the roots like this? Thank you for the reply. 
  • ElferElfer Posts: 329
    Definitely need to rehome them, could try giving them a bath to soften it up a bit.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    I would do as @Elfer suggests, give it a good soak and see if you can get it out into a larger pot.  If not, then a regular liquid feed every two weeks, with something like seaweed extract will help it to struggle on, but I suspect roots will block the drainage holes soon (if it hasn't already done so), so really does need re-homing.  An old bread knife run around the inner circumference may help to release the root ball.
    I'm still not sure what it is, perhaps a laurel? @Silver surfer may know?
    Some things are supposed to be that colour, but it looks yellow and very hungry for nitrogen to me and I can see a bit of shot-hole type damage on the leaves, so not in the best of health.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,079
    They'd be happier in the ground, or at least in much bigger pots. You could get some new plants to put in the pots.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353
    Grisellenia maybe?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks everyone. I'm going to make larger wooden planters for them and then attempt to remove. Fingers crossed. Thanks for the advice. 
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