A plants root system.

tifflj(6 Pitts, PA)November 26, 2012

So how or where can i learn about a plants root system? I was recently told to pot my Maranta in a shallow pot because it has a shallow root system. Where can i learn this information from? I would hate to pot in an inappropriate pot for its kind.

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Sorry Tiff, I don't know of a specific place where you go to learn this stuff. Some of it is learn as you go, seat of your plants kind of stuff; some is trial & error.

Potting a plant in an inappropriately sized pot would be part of your learning curve. It wouldn't be awful unless one overwatered, so it's really not the calamity you seem to think it could be.

Sorry, I sense this is not the kind of answer you want.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:21PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Pots and landscapes are quite different. Plants that habitually tend to grow shallow root systems where they naturally occur in the landscape, do so because conditions are most favorable in the upper part of the soil, not because the plant is obligate to a shallow root system. The same plant in a container will happily colonize even very deep containers entirely, as long as the soil provides a favorable mix of air and water, and nutrients can be found. Additionally, shallow containers are more difficult to grow in because they have a larger fraction of soggy soil than their deeper counterparts, when the soil being used supports perched water, so the shallower the container the more critical drainage and aeration become.

If container A was full of soil, you can see that at container capacity (after a thorough watering and just as the container stops draining) the soil would be somewhere between 25-35% saturated. If the container was shallower by half, and since the PWT ht would be the same in any container, you can see in the mind's eye that the soil would be closer to 60-70% saturated at container capacity. If the container was only about 1/3 the ht of container A, the soil would be 100% saturated at container capacity, making it exceedingly difficult to grow most plants in.


This post was edited by tapla on Tue, Nov 27, 12 at 9:02

This post was edited by tapla on Tue, Nov 27, 12 at 15:34

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:35PM
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tifflj(6 Pitts, PA)

As, expected. ;-)

I knew Al would give an answer as such... Which is a great way to explain it... Makes sense to me.

And Karen, i expected that sort of answer ... Learn as you go... From everyone else! Otherwise I would have read in a book or on the internet by now.

I was just checking because in pot shopping I notice there isnt much difference in the way of the depth of a pot... Just the diameter. So i kind of figured it didnt matter on the pot but wanted to be sure.

Thanks guys!! Awesome as usual!!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 8:18PM
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