Have you ever planted a houseplant into the ground?

meyermike_1micha(5)April 7, 2010

I am experimenting..

I have planted a couple of Jades into my rock garden in garden soil.

I have planted my frangrans olive trees into the garden bed.

I have planted a plumeria into a raised bed in full sun, and a few camellias into a semi shady spot into the mulched area.

Can anyone see any disadvantages, or advantages to this?

So far, it seems like my Jades are thriving in the rock garden in full sun, growing fast and turning bright colors..

I would be curious to see if anyone else puts some of their what would be considered otherwise container plants into the ground for the warmer seasons. Someone told me to give it a shot and watch my plants explode..We will see.:-)

I am tempted to try planting a couple of my smaller citrus trees inground in a great composted area with rich fast draining soil and see what happens to them, once all frost danger is over..Hummmm

Have you done this?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

And then what happens when it's time to move them back in? You don't have any idea how far and fast roots can grow when planted in the ground, do you? They'll (the roots) take off like they've been given one way tickets to Nirvana.

So, what about the digging and transplanting process in the fall?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 12:27PM
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I have thought of this...But I am wondering if any one has ever tried it and want to see what experience they have had.

Maybe what you say is something that has caused a problem for many and have stopped. Maybe there is a way around this. Maybe there are plants that can handle a hard root prune at the end of summer, jades being one of them I know, also my plumies..

I think Josh here has had plants growing in soil, thendug up, and wintered indoors?

I have bare rooted a many before to transplant from one pot to another and have had success, so I assume digging up most roots, and washing the soil off the roots to replant into pots for the winter months, it can be done..No?

Thanks though..:-)

By the way hello and hope you are well.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 1:32PM
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Hi Mike.
I've had container plants sitting on soil and the roots grew down into the dirt. Had to cut them before bringing the plant back in. I've never 'sunk' a pot into the soil. However, I have dug up annuals to bring in and grow over the winter without any problems.

I will be interested with your results and the Plumies.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 12:58AM
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Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)

I do that a LOT... plant the pots that is. I work in really tropical plants into the landscape and it's really pretty. Sometimes they will send out roots out of the holes but typically not big ones. Then in the fall I bring them in before it freezes. The plants are much happier being in the ground outdoors.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 2:28AM
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I usually only plant "houseplants" into the ground if I intend to leave them there (done this with some hardy palms, podocarpus, Fatsia, etc)--otherwise I feel I'm only making gardening more of a chore for the Fall. Two years ago though, I decided to plant some tropical hibiscus into the ground--well, that was good for a day until the deer ate the flowers, leaves, and stems! I would not plant any non-hardy Citrus into the ground on a temporary basis as Citrus do best when undisturbed--they resent transplanting more than many plants I find and will sulk for a period--once they do adjust, you'll only have to move them again. If you want, temporarily bury the plant WITH the container--but some plants (keep in mind), will have begun to really root in so this is not without potential work (and stress for the plant).

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:10AM
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maidinmontana(Zone 5 Billings MT)

Hi Mike,

Last summer I planted my small jade in the ground. When I dug it up in the fall to bring it in, it had tripled in size. Since it's been in the house all winter, it has grown even more.

I didn't see any disadvantages of planting it in the ground, as a matter of fact I plan on doing it again this summer.

Many many years ago my boyfriend planted a schefflara in the ground for the summer, it did the same thing. . . grew like crazy. Needless to say, you need to have a much bigger pot on hand when it comes time to dig them up.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 9:45AM
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Just wondering, as I'm about the same zone as you...Don't you think early April is to early to be putting Jades or houseplants outside? You don't worry about a frost? I always thought the middle of May was about the earliest to put plants out around here.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 3:40PM
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Hi Chris and everyone else!

I have planted a couple in the ground, Jades that is, and boy are they looking great!

I put a plastic container over them at night to protect them, then a towel over that..Funny, when I lift the container off them in the early am, you can literally feel the heat from the ground rush to my hand..

They are doing great thus far..Cool nights and the warm sun I think are starting to color them up fast!!!

Here is a picture..Thanks for all the input everyone!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 4:48PM
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Mike, If you are getting that kind of warmth, you might be getting steam under that plastic lid. Just something to think about as I bet the jades won't like.

I still think your crazy for doing this though. I just wouldn't be interrupting and confusing their normal growing cycle or habit just to get bigger plants.
I guess I grow for health not for size.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 6:08PM
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You know gobluedjm, you make a lot of sense along with a few others here.

I am seriously considering pulling them back out for the reasons you and others stated..It is after all the plants health and not so much what I want that I should consider..Thank you for your input and everyone else's.

Thanks everyone..I think I just might pull them back up and grow as suggested..I have some thinking to ponder tonight


    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 7:37PM
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Good Mike...think about this;
Think of the rootball as the heart of the plant and maybe the stems as veins. How many open heart surgeries can a human body handle?
You remove from pot, disturb the roots, dig it up, disturb the roots. From other discussions we know it takes a plant time to recover from a repot because growing medium and healthy roots are key for a healthy plant. We encourage or discourage depending on time of year and health of plant and other various reasons etc.
You can't control the rain from getting to rootball.
Your climate is still tempermental...chance of snow or hail maybe.
Also the soil medium also is a concern. Jades have small rootballs but still will grow and expand and hit the heavy garden soil and the roots will think they hit a wall. Once they do penetrate it you don't want that heavy garden soil in your pot.
Soil bugs and critters are another reason.

I am sure there are plenty other concerns I haven't thought of. I just know you care deeply for your plants and only want the best for them and I don't think the ground is it.

Just put them outside but leave in the pot...you can control the rain then.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 7:58PM
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Thank you very much....I have made up my mind with your sound reasoning..

I really appreciate what you and everyone has said..Thank God for these forums..


    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:07PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I could have sworn that I responded to this Thread, Mike...
Maybe I angered the GardenWeb gods and my post was removed. Who knows, these days...

Anyhow, you are quite correct. Having seen the growth associated with free root-run
in raised beds and similar, and having firmly disavowed myself of the Myth of Under-potting,
I am a proponent of in-ground growing wherever it is possible. Obviously, not everyone
has this luxury, and so I emphasize *wherever possible.*

As I mentioned, Mike, April is much earlier than I'd put my Jades or other succulents out....
risky, in fact, especially on your side of the country. I don't even plant my garden until May 1st.
To reduce risk: plant later in the season; plant on a slight mound for drainage; and perhaps
utilize a cloche jar or other type of protective covering for the first few weeks after planting.

Last weekend, I put two "Houseplants" in the garden.
One was the Port. afra cutting that I actually rooted and grew in the garden last summer....
The other plant is my Euphorbia beharensis guillemetii -
it's beginning to flower: very top, by my thumb.

In tiny pot on the deck-rail...just about to be freed:

In the garden, next to the Port. afra:

Close-up, in ground:


    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 4:14PM
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Wow Josh, quite interesting!

It seems like it os going to be quite happy having all the room to run..loll

Please, take an updated pic like from a month from now. I would love to see the difference..

You are right, way to early for me to stick mine outside for good..It was only 45 today and the 30's tonight after a long spell of 70's..I hate it when it gets cold again..:-(

Thank you for sharing as you always do. I love the pictures..


    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 8:37PM
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whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio

I've thought about getting a large container, say 2-3 feet across and maybe a foot deep, and countersinking it into the ground. I'd like to fill it with the a light weight gritty mix, and plant some succulents in it over the summer. The gritty mix would allow the roots to be pulled up easily without much damage in the fall. I would assume if the plants have a lot of room and sun, they would grow quicker than if confined to a small pot. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 6:54PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The more root-run you can provide, the faster the top growth in return.

Gritty Mix is heavy weight....but definitely makes re-potting much easier than peat-based soils.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 11:17AM
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I've been sinking non hardy plants in my yard for years. I seal the bottom drainage holes and cut new holes in the sides of the pots about halfway up. This makes for very easy lifting with a sharp spade in the fall. I just push the spade into the soil, close to the pot, and slice thru the roots tht have grown out the new drainage holes. With small plants it's not a big deal as a hand trowel works just fine but when you are lifting 6'+ plants it makes it so much easier.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 9:14PM
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Actually, I've done it a couple times. I brought a calanchoe back from Florida which was, of course, grown in the ground. I kept it as a houseplant but once the flowers stopped it would seem to not bud again. I put it into a sunny southern location outside and it took off; grew great and flowered. In the winter I brought it back inside and out last spring. Unfortunately it kicked the bucket...don't know why but I suspect a squirrel or something was nibbling on it.
Azalea, often grown as a houseplant, are definitely able to be put outside in spring given a north east location protected from cool winds. Given a southern or western exposure azalea can often dry out too much...they are a plant that needs constant moisture so the north-east location can do that better.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 10:59AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Goren, welcome to the Forum!

Did you plant your Kalanchoe in the ground?

When you "brought it back inside" did you make sure to remove all the yard soil from the roots?

When you put it "out last spring" did you bare-root it again and plant it in the native soil?


    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 3:12PM
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