Caring for Pot-Bound Plants

If your plant is looking a bit tired, it could well be pot-bound, and Spring is a great time to move plants into a bigger pot, or if they are already in the largest container, perhaps time to refresh the compost and have a look at the roots.

Many people get nervous about trimming back roots, but if your plants' roots have run out of space, they will keep going round and round, looking for an escape route but ending up locking themselves into a spiral. If this is the case, and in the same way that you would prune branches, it's time to shorten some of the heavier roots, which in turn will promote the growth of smaller roots. These finer roots are the guys that draw up the moisture for the larger roots to transport around the plant. Then, by adding approximately 7cm of fresh compost, you will be preparing a revitalised feeding ground for the new roots, and your plant will thank you for it.

Some plants will need more care than others, such as camellias and rhododendrons, but by gently teasing those spiral-bound roots out, your plant will root well again and become strong and stable in its new container. We always recommend checking the most effective way of root pruning for the particular plant in question with a specialist website or seller, but remember that in most cases, you are not undermining the plants' foundations, and there is no need to panic!

Take care not to damage your pot when you are taking out plants for re-potting. We generally find with larger pots that gently laying the pot on some sacking on its side and then pulling the plant out, rather than trying to lift it out of an upright pot is much easier and kinder on the back. If you have purchased from us before, the likelihood is you would have lined the pot with the complimentary membrane we supply, and this will give you something to grab and keep most of the compost contained.

Many of our customers choose to remain with the same style of pot but just go up in size as and when the plant dictates.
The good news is that several of our planter designs come in a range of sizes, so it can be a straightforward transition to re-pot whilst keeping the original look and design of your garden.

For a comprehensive range of sizes, take a look at the Classica, Trombo, Firenze and Cilindro pots below, some of which will offer sizes from 40cm diameter to a whopping 110cm diameter.

If you have decided to re-pot your plant into a larger pot, we are happy to advise on the best size and design for its next move, and of course, the best thing about re-potting is that it gives you a great excuse to buy a new plant for the old pot too. Win-win!

Posted by Lorrayne Scott-Collins on May 4th 2021

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