A plant that is permanently set in one place does better?

meyermike_1micha(5)September 18, 2010

I was at a Botanical garden today and their plants were HUGE , healthy, and gorgeous!

The one in charge there told me one of the biggest assets to their extreme health is that they never move them..I mean 8 feet high citrus trees, palms of all sorts with lot's of growth that stay in their same location, gardenias loaded with blooms, all left in their same locations every year.....They said that their plants taken outdoors have a good spurt of growth through the summer, while the ones left inside have new growth all year long...Of course they are under a glass roof and surrounded by glass walls..

The fact the we drag our plants from indoors to outdoors, and move them all around works against consistent growth, no?

The one tree that I have set on the stairs on by back stairs and have not moved at all, all summer, has acquired the most growth out of all my plants this season.

The palms in my house, in their same location untouched, have grown faster than the very same palm that I moved to the outdoors this past spring..

What do you think? is this guy right? Just wondering...

They leave these plants in the same location except to clean them up year after year....


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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Beautiful pics, Mike! Thank you for sharing them.

If I don't move my Jades, for example, they will begun to 'run' and 'lean' in a
particular direction. When I turn my Jades, the growth remains more balanced and
compact. While allowing my plants free run might produce longer branches or shoots
in a particular direction, I find that I prefer even growth from root to crown.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 6:30PM
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Hey buddy...What I am talking about is extreme movement..Like just as your plants get use to one place indoors, we move them to the outdoors..Then just as they get use to one spot, we move them back indoors, from one side of the yard to another to keep up with the sun..That we move one plat from the patio to the back deck and so forth, then back into the home...Many of our plants, well at least mine, are constantly on the move within any given 6 months...

These people never take the plants your looking at outdoors,and they are growing FASTER and BETTER than the ones they put out on the patio and then bring them back in again...

My mother seems to think that all plants should be left alone, in their one spot most of their lives to get the best growth..She has a pothos that has stayed in the same spot for years that grow's like weeds, while mine grows much slower because I hang it outside on the porch for the summer, then put in in a different spot when I bring it inside, at least that is what she thinks....

For example, you know, when you bring your jades inside and place them on the sill, if you left one there all yearlong and never moved it outside, except for turning it to grow evenly left in it's same spot, would it grow better than the others brought in and out? I have one that I never move from it's spot at work, and it grows much faster than those I constantly move from one spot to another or put outdoors....

Could this explain why many of my citrus trees grew much slower than those I
saw at the nursery today that were 4times the size as mine from the very same crop and same size? They never fed them, and just left them on a flat board all summer without ever moving them..Mine were constantlty on the move all over my yard and driveway and they are much smaller.....lol

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 6:53PM
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I am going to take comparison pictures to show you what I mean..It is very aggravating to see their plants growing crazily faster than mine when I know mine are getting tip top care!!! They did nothing to theirs...Just left in the same exact spot since April..


    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 6:57PM
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Mike, I think the key is the glass roof for light and probably optimum growing temps in a very controlled environment. ALso if one looks bad they will remove and replace it, they don't want you seeing it.
Yes us moving them I think does take a little adjustment time especially when bringing inside. So they sulk.
If we brought them into a glass roof they probably wouldn't sulk as much.

I have to bring in the monster ZZ after hosing it off and I noticed several new shoots.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 7:03PM
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Lol..My mother says, if you find a spot a plant likes, leave it alone...lol

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 7:06PM
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Gobluejm!! Where have you been..I missed you!

Haaa, that makes sense...How many of us even may not think of this...Maybe light change is a BIG factor....! I think the citrus trees at the nursery are getting sun from the time it comes up, till it sets out in the wide open...Mine, are getting direct 6 hours of sun if lucky ...Therefore a big difference in size.They could probably move them from one part of the field to the other, and as long as they are getting the same sunlight, they would never know it.

They do well outside, but the light is cut dramatically when brought indoors, or when less sunlight is hitting them when moving them about the yard, or more..

The plants left in the SAME spot, hardly ever have to adjust while the ones we move constantly have to acclimate to their new surroundings each time. probably adjusting to light change more than anything, with a few other factors..\

Two of my tropical brought in 5 days ago are already loosing a couple of bottom leaves. They are turning yellow..:-(

Make's you want a big beautiful solarium or greenhouse, doesn't it? Then we could just leave them alone.....lol

Good to see you again..:-)


    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 7:20PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

What GBJ said. If you move a plant from conditions that are limiting growth (low light/low humidity, e.g.) to a site where the limiting conditions are improved to the point they are no longer THE limiting factor, the plant will respond favorably. It has to, as plants are reactive organisms.

As GBJ suggests, if the plant is sited in optimum conditions, why move it - unless the optimum conditions are in flux (moving plants in and out of doors as temperatures allow/dictate).


    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 9:37PM
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Oh I've been around Mike, just not much to say I guess ;)
Your tropicals will be fine, they are just adjusting and sulking. I am sure you are giving them the best care you can.
I have to give you kudos though for even trying citrus inside as I never would. Of course I can get it fresh almost anytime of year.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 12:00AM
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dellis326 (Danny)

Why do you move them around so much? I move some of my plants outside and they sit in one spot until its too cold to leave them out and then they come back inside. Growth is slowed or stopped during the winter due to temps which probably isn't an issue in the conservatory which is probably temperature controlled.

When you move the plants, you induce stress that they need to recover from. it may be minor but it could set them back for a couple of days or longer each time you move them. How much the overall effect would be would depend on a lot of factors though.

At the 3 conservatories here most of the plants have sat for decades without being moved and most are grown in in beds rather than pots. Sun, water, room to spread out, it doesn't really compare to the average home setting for plant growth. The link below is photos of the Garfield Park Conservatory.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garfield Park Conservatory- Chicago

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 9:20AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I chase the sun all day when I can...my Jades might sit in three different locations, or be turned thrice a day ;)

That said, I agree with the others about the glass.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 10:52AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I don't think that simply moving a plant can be counted on to induce stress, though it certainly can. E.g., when you move your houseplants indoors after a summer's vacation outdoors, that is stressful. If you move a Ficus b from in front of a chilly basement window where it's been struggling all winter, to a table in dappled shade when summer comes, then to a full sun location, that will alleviate the stress of growing where it is too cool and too dark.

Plants are responsive organisms that are limited by their genetics and cultural influences. Whenever you improve a cultural influence so it is no longer the limiting factor, another factor becomes limiting. Eliminating limiting factors or reducing their influences is how we make plants grow better. In the example of the Ficus, we improved both light and temperature by moving the plant to a brighter/warmer location. The reaction of the plant would be an immediate improvement in growth and metabolic rates based on a reduction of stress/strain due to improved cultural conditions.

So you can see that it is the conditions under which the plant is presently growing vs the conditions that prevail at the new site that determines whether or not the plant will suffer increased or reduced stress when/if it's moved. We can't simply say with any degree of certainty that resiting a (containerized) plant is stressful.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 12:38PM
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Go to a local greenhouse and buy a Ficus. Bring it home and wait a few days. It WILL drop leaves.

A drastic change in environment can have a drastic effect on some plants, hardly any effect on others.

MeyerMike there IS some truth to what your mom said!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 8:19PM
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Just wanted to than everyone for their thoughts...I really appreciate it..

I wish I could leave my plants in just one spot for 6months outdoors then 6 indoors, but I am always chasing the sunniest locations as the sun sinks and rises in the sky for my plants most sunlight....I wish I had a spacious open field where I could leave them all year, in a greenhouse and outdoors where they see the sun rise, and fall, then they just might grow even faster than they already struggle to do.

I should count my blessings and just be happy they are healthy and that I do get lot's of sun at the suns highest peak for a month or two, and that I don't live in a small apartment, condo complex with strick rules, a home with no south facing windows and so on...I pity those that do..

Guess I am doing the best I can for the situation I am in..Guess my plants will just have to keep getting use to it..

Josh, I hear what you mean when you chase the sun..lol

Muchos gracious


    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 1:02PM
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Now the sunniest place is on my flat roof since the sun has yet to fall behind the tree...
That is where the sun loving cactus and lucky succulents are getting more than 8 hours of sun..

My driveway use to be the sunniest place in July and August where my citrus were, now they are in the back where the sun shines at least 4 hours until it moves behind the trees because the driveway only gets about 2 hours of sun now when it use to get 6 or more. The sun now sinks behind the garage...lol

Musical spots with my plants...

Then there are those in my pop up now that use to sit on the back yard where my citrus are..

And then others in my home again, in the sunniest windows until the my most sun demanding ones have to come in.Now to try and remember which plants occupied which same spots as last year..lol

Cofused yet? lolol...I bet my plants are...lol


    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 1:12PM
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