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how big should the pot be?

Posted by roksee 10b SF Bay Area (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 1, 14 at 0:31

This Dieffenbachia is new to me. I have been known to
transplant my plants in too big a pot... so I would like to know what size this Diff should be planted in and what soil.
Thanks so much
roksee


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by roksee 10b SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 1, 14 at 0:34

am I correct in naming this plant, actually ? I might be mistaken.
roksee


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RE: how big should the pot be?

That is a schefflera. Rule of thumb, repot into a pot that is just a few inches bigger than what it is in. That looks like a pretty good size plant. I would give it 2 or 3 inches max on either side of the rootball. An all purpose potting mix should work well. Dont buy cheap 'potting soil', make sure it is 'potting mix'. Some of the cheaper stuff is too heavy and plants will not grow well in it. Miracle Gro potting mix obviously is easy to find and Ive had no problems with it. What size pot is it in right now?


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RE: how big should the pot be?

yes, use only soilless mixes formulated for containers.
just to add - the larger the pot the longer it will stay moist, so it is always a good idea to add perlite at least to a third of volume, or even more.
but this is a vigorous plant and it grows fast - you'll need to repot it in a year again in even larger pot. but don't be tempted to put it in a large pot right away to save the effort;).


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by roksee 10b SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 1, 14 at 11:37

thanks, pet and lauraeli... right now it is in a 5 inch(6inch across) pot. I will use a good potting mix.
roksee


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RE: how big should the pot be?

Ah, I thought it looked to be about 6 inches. I would say a ten inch pot would be a good size to repot into.


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RE: how big should the pot be?

I'd base the pot size on the root system. If the roots are circling in that pot,then move up as mentioned above. If the roots aren't filling up that pot, keep that size.

tj


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RE: how big should the pot be?

i'd say it's severely root bound by now, based on the size of the plant!
i'd go just to 8" first - it's very easy to overwater when the roots are not all the way thru the soil. it'll be much safer to go to 8" and then to 10" in sev months, once the roots fill the pot.


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RE: how big should the pot be?

have to add - i think it does belong in 10" though. it grows fast too. if you just uppot without messing with root ball much it's easy enough to go to 10" in 3 mo.


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RE: how big should the pot be?

I personally hate having to try to fill a 1 inch space on either side of the root ball. When I do, there are ALWAYS pockets of air the next time I pull the plant out to repot. IMO an extra 2 inches of pot isnt likely to cause overwatering in this case, but it would certainly make the repot easier. It is springtime, after all, and this plant will fill the space SO quickly. But there is truth in petrushka's statement so if you are prone to overwatering, it is something to consider.


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RE: how big should the pot be?

just do the pot in pot and it's easier:
position the the smaller pot inside the bigger pot after you put in some soil on the bottom, then fill in sides using a spoon and compress it lightly with a spoon. or you can use a small plastic kitchen measuring cup with a spout to do the soil 'pouring' - it's very quick and easy. compress, so sides hold the mold (good to moisten mix somewhat beforehand) - lift the small pot, knock the plant out and stuff it in. done.
for underwaterers 10" would be OK. overwaterers can rot anything even in 6".....


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by roksee 10b SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 1, 14 at 23:57

such great ideas !!! thanks everybody.....


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by roksee 10b SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 2, 14 at 12:46

I have learned in the past year, from reading various helpful posts on this site, that I was an 'overwaterer' :(
It has helped all my indoor plants now that I have been
far more careful.
Thanks to EVERYone.
roksee


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 3, 14 at 20:58

Roksee - Potting up, instead of repotting, ensures your plant has no chance to ever grow to its potential. Instead of potting up, learn how to properly maintain your scheff's root system. Repotting (for scheffs) includes a complete change of soil (hopefully to one that allows you to water correctly) and removal of larger useless roots as well as potentially problematic roots. A well-maintained root system will be 90% fine roots and 10% heavy roots, all radiating from the basal flair.

These are some things I wrote about pot size and repotting vs potting up - in case you're interested.

Choosing an Appropriate Size Container

How large a container ‘can’ or ‘should’ be, depends on the relationship between the mass of the plant material you are working with and your choice of soil. We often concern ourselves with "over-potting" (using a container that is too large), but "over-potting" is a term that arises from a lack of a basic understanding about the relationship we will look at, which logically determines appropriate container size.

It's often parroted that you should only move up one container size when "potting-up". The reasoning is, that when potting up to a container more than one size larger, the soil will remain wet too long and cause root rot issues, but it is the size/mass of the plant material you are working with, and the physical properties of the soil you choose that determines both the upper & lower limits of appropriate container size - not a formulaic upward progression of container sizes. In many cases, after root pruning a plant, it may even be appropriate to step down a container size or two, but as you will see, that also depends on the physical properties of the soil you choose. It's not uncommon for me, after a repot/root-pruning to pot in containers as small as 1/5 the size as that which the plant had been growing in prior to the work.

Plants grown in ‘slow’ (slow-draining/water-retentive) soils need to be grown in containers with smaller soil volumes so that the plant can use water quickly, allowing air to return to the soil before root issues beyond impaired root function/metabolism become a limiting factor. We know that the anaerobic (airless) conditions that accompany soggy soils quickly kill fine roots and impair root function/metabolism. We also know smaller soil volumes and the root constriction that accompany them cause plants to both extend branches and gain o/a mass much more slowly - a bane if rapid growth is the goal - a boon if growth restriction and a compact plant are what you have your sights set on.

Conversely, rampant growth can be had by growing in very large containers and in very fast soils where frequent watering and fertilizing is required - so it's not that plants rebel at being potted into very large containers per se, but rather, they rebel at being potted into very large containers with a soil that is too slow and water-retentive. This is a key point.

We know that there is an inverse relationship between soil particle size and the height of the perched water table (PWT) in containers. As particle size increases, the height of the PWT decreases, until at about a particle size of just under 1/8 inch, soils will no longer hold perched water. If there is no perched water, the soil is ALWAYS well aerated, even when the soil is at container capacity (fully saturated).

So, if you aim for a soil (like the gritty mix) composed primarily of particles larger than 1/16", there is no upper limit to container size, other than what you can practically manage. The lower size limit will be determined by the soil volume's ability to allow room for roots to ’run’ and to furnish water enough to sustain the plant between irrigations. Bearing heavily on this ability is the ratio of fine roots to coarse roots. It takes a minimum amount of fine rootage to support the canopy under high water demand. If the container is full of large roots, there may not be room for a sufficient volume of the fine roots that do all the water/nutrient delivery work and the coarse roots, too. You can grow a very large plant in a very small container if the roots have been well managed and the lion's share of the rootage is fine. You can also grow very small plants, even seedlings, in very large containers if the soil is fast (free-draining and well-aerated) enough that the soil holds no, or very little perched water.

I have just offered clear illustration why the oft repeated advice to ‘resist pottting up more than one pot size at a time’, only applies when using heavy, water-retentive soils. Those using well-aerated soils are not bound by the same restrictions. As the ht and volume of the perched water table are reduced, the potential for negative effects associated with over-potting are diminished in a direct relationship with the reduction - up to the point at which the soil holds no (or an insignificant amount) of perched water and over-potting pretty much becomes a non-issue.

******************************************************************

Repotting vs Potting Up

I often explain the effects of repotting vs potting up like this:

Let's rate growth/vitality potential on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best. We're going to say that trees in containers can only achieve a 9. Lets also imagine that for every year a tree goes w/o repotting or potting up, its measure of growth/vitality slips by 1 number, That is to say you pot a tree and the first year it grows at a level of 9, the next year, an 8, the next year a 7. Lets also imagine we're going to go 3 years between repotting or potting up.

Here's what happens to the tree you repot/root prune:

year 1: 9
year 2: 8
year 3: 7
repot
year 1: 9
year 2: 8
year 3: 7
repot
year 1: 9
year 2: 8
year 3: 7

You can see that a full repotting and root pruning returns the plant to its full potential within the limits of other cultural influences for as long as you care to repot/root prune.

Looking now at how woody plants respond to only potting up:
year 1: 9
year 2: 8
year 3: 7
pot up
year 1: 8
year 2: 7
year 3: 6
pot up
year 1: 7
year 2: 6
year 3: 5
pot up
year 1: 6
year 2: 5
year 3: 4
pot up
year 1: 5
year 2: 4
year 3: 3
pot up
year 1: 4
year 2: 3
year 3: 2
pot up
year 1: 3
year 2: 2
year 3: 1

This is a fairly accurate illustration of the influence tight roots have on a woody plant's growth/vitality. You might think of it for a moment in the context of the longevity of bonsai trees vs the life expectancy of most trees grown as houseplants, the difference between 4 years and 400 years lying primarily in how the roots are treated.

Al


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RE: how big should the pot be?

(O_O) root pruning? Is that just for trees?

Doesnt cutting root tissue encourage rot?

Although, I guess that is the point of the gritty mix...


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 4, 14 at 12:56

All tissue is not created equal. Plants don't age like animals. In plants, newly formed tissue is the oldest (ontogenetically) and therefore less vigorous, Tissues closest to the zone where roots transition to shoots are the most juvenile, and the most vigorous. Cutting back closer to those tissues has a rejuvenating affect on plants - prolly why they call hard pruning rejuvenation pruning. That fact combined with the fact that large roots are essentially useless (other than serving as anchors/conductors) in containers, competing for space with the fine roots that do all the real work, are reason enough for growers to learn how to care for plants over the long term, instead of replacing them when they inevitably decline/expire due to lack of root maintenance.

Roots in water retentive soils go through some pretty severe death/regeneration cycles. Some soils hold so much water that more than 50% of the finest roots can die soon after a thorough watering and regenerate when air returns to the soil to support root function and growth. Issues like that are far more threatening to root health, and much more likely to cause a problem than roots worked on with appropriately sharp tools.

Plants have a mechanism in place that allows them to wall off injuries so pathogens can't spread from the site of the injury. The healthier the plant is, the better that mechanism works - good reason to work toward keeping the root system healthy.

It's simply unrealistic to hope for a healthy plant unless you're sure you can keep the root system healthy - not even a 'chicken or the egg' thing - it's a prerequisite to a healthy plant.

I root prune everything I don't divide.


Al


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by roksee 10b SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 5, 14 at 12:19

wow... this is information to use forever... needless to say I feel pretty blessed to have the Garden Web !!
roksee


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by roksee 10b SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 5, 14 at 12:20

wow... this is information to use forever... needless to say I feel pretty blessed to have the Garden Web !!
roksee


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RE: how big should the pot be?

so according to that declining scale after 20yrs my ficus lyrata should be dead altogether ;). but it's doing fine.
it's been uppotted may be 2 (at most 3?) times in 20 years and given in-situ 1.5" trim all around last year. and a few branches have been pruned /notched to develop fuller growth.
and it's been in std soilless mix until the addition of some soilless/bark/perlite mix just around the rim last year.
granted, may be you can grow even better and larger tree with heavy prune/repot schedule - but what i have is fine for me AND did not require too much work either.
so i'd say it all depends...


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RE: how big should the pot be?

Should I root prune my tree philodendron? the offset that grew from the roots took off after i repotted it, but the parent plant grows so slowly. I just repotted it because the pot I got it in had no drainage, and it was suffering from root rot even though I have not overwatered it. Previous owner pretty much killed it via overwatering (the entire base of the trunk is rotted out), but it came back via aerial roots. I am aware that it was overpotted and was not getting oxygen to its roots, which is why it had very little fine root growth. It was all woody growth when I unpotted it and put it in a new pot with new growing medium. After the repot, it put out one or two new leaves and then stopped growing. It may be focusing on roots right now. But im wondering if I should pull it out and remove any of the roots, or whether I should just leave it to do its thing.

This post was edited by Lauraeli on Sat, Jun 7, 14 at 12:45


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 7, 14 at 18:33

Some growers are more interested in what's easier for the grower than what's better for the plant, but unfortunately, what's easier for the grower is only very rarely going to be better for the plant. Growing well takes effort. Mediocrity still takes effort, though a little less. Trying to convince someone who is content with current results that the little extra effort one makes can pay big dividends (when they don't want to make it) is like trying to push someone up a ladder when they don't want to climb. I'm not interested in providing a grower with information they need to be average. I'd rather help them learn what it takes to be much better than average, then let them decide what compromises THEY want to make for the sake of ease. Not everyone's life centers around their plants, but not everyone's value set precludes all but the easiest methods, either.

Laura - You can make the most progress by focusing on the basics. Certainly, there would be value in taking a look at the roots to evaluate their condition, and following up on what you see if it requires something remedial. The important factors are making sure your plant is in a soil that allows you to water correctly, having your plant in appropriate light (& temps), and having an effective nutritional supplementation program in place. If you get those things right, and it's pretty 'easy', it's actually rather difficult not to do considerably better than average. The key is, you have an opportunity to learn how to avoid the things that are most often limiting to growers who are only exposed to the same old stale information, probably originally disseminated by Eve. ;-)

The info I linked to below covers all the main things that hold growers back - more often than not w/o them even knowing it. I hope it's helpful.

Al

Here is a link that might be useful: Covering the basics ....


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RE: how big should the pot be?

and what i am saying: there is middle ground, where the plant is ok and the grower does not have to dedicate his life to procuring and sifting ingredients, pruning, repotting,etc.
my plant certainly does not look avg - it looks good and it is well maintained with avg effort. and i am sure a lot of people might be interested in that too.


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 7, 14 at 22:57

If I consider what my average tree looks like, indeed, yours doesn't look average to me .... nor does it look 20 years old, or even close to that age. I'm not sure why you feel I need to justify trying to help other growers rise above limitations they don't have to live with if they don't want to. They already know what it's like to live with limitations. The idea is to offer prescriptions that eliminate the limitations.

I'm perfectly fine with the fact you don't want to change anything you're doing, that the added effort isn't worth it to you. That's just how it is. I'm not interested in working to change the mind set of someone so entrenched in their ways because there's no reward in it for me. I'm interested in helping people who want to learn how to offer their plants the best opportunity to realize their genetic potential. THAT is rewarding. If they think it's too much effort, they can decide (for themselves) it's too much effort. That's much better than a second party encouraging them to live with limitations because rising above them takes more than the average amount of effort.

You see, I don't want anyone to have to settle for having to say their plants are just "OK" unless they decide their priorities don't allow for a little extra effort it takes to have wonderfully healthy plant material. When we compare our approach to growing, I can say I know a better way, and I can back it up. All you can say is you know an easier way ..... but we ALL know the easy way. You grab a bag of whatever is on the shelf and do the best you can working with its inherent limitations. One way lives with limitations, the other way eliminates them.

In the end, I really don't care how growers decide to care for their plants, except to the degree I'd like to see everyone get all they can from the growing experience; but I DO have an interest in seeing they get the information it takes to make an informed decision. That's what I provide.

Al


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RE: how big should the pot be?

i am also providing information on my growing method that is working well for me for many years.
it is not to your liking - and it is fine with me. what is not fine with me is your continuing derogatory comment.
this is not your personal site this is a public forum with people sharing their experience.
you share yours, i share mine.
you are being wa-ay too overbearing.
i have posted many pics of my plants. i have over 150 in a city apt. a lot of them are challenging to keep plants for avg grower. i am not an avg grower for sure and yet i am not chained to plants and do many other things besides, including lots of travelling. and i hope my posts will be of use to other people.
there are lots of people leading busy lives, family/work,etc that chose different priorities from yours - try to be more understanding instead of putting labels on people.
quote:
yours doesn't look average to me .... nor does it look 20 years old, or even close to that age.

what are you saying ,exactly? that i am lying about the age of my plant? care to elaborate?


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 13:19

Look - I'm not here to parse words with you. If you just do your thing and stop addressing me directly, all will be well. You offer your suggestions and what ever you have to support your reasoning, and I'll follow suit. People are smart enough to decide (for themselves) whose direction it's in their best interest to follow. It doesn't matter to me what they decide, only that they have the information to MAKE the decision.

All the experienced growers know that high porosity soils that drain quickly offer better opportunity for your plants and less frustration for growers. You've already allowed that if you maintain roots properly, it's better for plants. I allow that making your own soils and root pruning is more work, but it's not as much work as you make it out to be. You don't really believe that peaty or water retentive soils, or neglected root systems (potting up instead of repotting) are better? So what's to argue about?

I've already repotted over 125 plants (full repots with root pruning) since spring, along with working long hours (at work) and working on several sizeable projects at home. I'm not saying that I think people should emulate me, not at all, but an hour to mix a batch of soil and another hour or two for a beginner to work on the roots of a plant might be looked on as being therapeutic by many - perhaps the only way some apartment dwellers might satisfy the need to be a little more connected to the earth than they would be just watching a plant grow. I try to empower growers by giving them the information they need to make their own decisions - not make their decisions for them.

Any one who wants to can skip right over my advice, including you. Resisting the urge to engage me and tell me what you think of me or my advice would be helpful.

Sorry, Roksee, if this OT conversation has confused you. If you have lingering questions about pot size or soil choice that you still need answers to, don't hesitate to ask. Even if the opinions differ, if we stay on topic I have faith that you'll be able to sort through the different opinions to determine what course suits you best.

Knowledge is the fastest way to a green thumb. Learn all you can, and then let your experience justify what you've learned. For example, you probably get the idea that heavy (water-retentive) soils don't offer the best opportunity for plants to grow well. That's something you learned. Now, as you continue your growing efforts, your practical experience will prove the contention right or wrong. Eventually, to solve a number of problems, you'll find yourself gravitating to more open soils that drain better. BASE these soils on large particles (larger than .1"). Its impossible to start with small particles and amend with larger particles so the o/a mix will drain well. The reason is, it takes a much higher % of large particles to reach the threshold where there the fine particles don't fill up all the air spaces between the coarse particles.

For example - imagine a pint jar of BBs. In the mind's eye, you can see all the desirable air spaces between the BBs. Let's say that 25% of the volume of the pint container is air. Now add sand to the mix. There are 16 oz in a pint, so it only takes 4 oz of sand to fill in all the air spaces between 16 oz of BBs and steal almost all of the air space.

An understanding of how water behaves in soils is probably the most critical part of becoming skilled at container gardening, which includes growing houseplants. That understanding is almost certainly the largest step forward anyone can take at any given time on the road to becoming proficient. Once you understand the concept, dealing with the limitations is easier. It's also unnecessary because you'll know how to create soils that don't have the limitation built into them.

A huge % of the problems people come here looking for help for (my guess is 90%+), are related to poor root health imposed by soils you can't water correctly. Weak plants, stalled growth, spoiled appearance, root rot, insects, diseases - all are usually directly related to plants that aren't strong enough to ward off problems because of a compromised root system, or in some cases plants that are suffering from the effects of root congestion.

We're defined as growers by how well we're able to identify and eliminate those conditions that limit our plants. That's our job, if we set our expectations high and expect our plants to meet them.

Al


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RE: how big should the pot be?

and if you could resist posting lengthy condescending commentary like:
..
Mediocrity still takes effort, though a little less. Trying to convince someone who is content with current results that the little extra effort one makes can pay big dividends (when they don't want to make it) is like trying to push someone up a ladder when they don't want to climb
!.. then i will resist addressing you directly too.

i have posted the pic of my tree in response to your post about plant deterioration with uppotting. clearly uppot is not as detrimental as you imply - well within the OP question.
but! i will get very personal when you practically accuse me of what? fabrication? lying? by stating

. nor does it look 20 years old, or even close to that age.

what, i should cut the trunk and measure the rings to convince you?

oh, and by the way if you compose a mission statement and post a link to it - it'll keep us closer to discussion at hand :).


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RE: how big should the pot be?

IMO some plants respond better to the simple potting up than others. My experience has been that many plants, as they get older, are not as vigorous, and taking cuttings to start a new plant is how i have gotten around the issue. However, I find the information about root pruning very intriguing and helpful. Though one may not HAVE to root prune to keep a plant alive longterm, I am sure there are many people who would love to have a plant which is both mature AND vigorous. It could very well be that root pruning is the way to achieve that.

Im perplexed at your ficus though...my parents' house is a veritable jungle. They have never root pruned. Their china dolls are clearly suffering because of it. But the FICUS is a different story. 10 years ago, it was my ficus. It was a foot tall with three leaves. Today, it is half a dozen ficus, ceiling height. Because it kept growing too tall, and every time they had to cut it back, they started a new plant from it. How did you keep yours so small? O_o


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 17:48

Laura - all plants with established root systems tend to lose their juvenile vigor as they age. I think it's important to understand the difference between vigor and vitality in discussions like this. It is actually a plant's vitality that we hold any sway over, not its vigor. 'Vigor' is predetermined by genetics. Mother Nature provides every plant its own level of vigor by programming it into each plant. Vigor is the genetic potential every plant is encoded with, and the measure of vigor is the plant's ability to resist stress and strain. Vitality, in contrast, is variable - a dynamic (ever changing) condition that is the measure of a plant's ability to cope with the hand it's dealt, culturally speaking. A good way to look at the difference between vigor and vitality is to look to genetics for the level of vigor and to things cultural for the plant's vitality. It's up to us to provide the cultural conditions that will ensure our plants' vitality. Vigor and vitality are distinctly different, and a good case could be made that they are unrelated, but there is no need to delve deeper into that point. A plant can be very vigorous and still be dying because of poor vitality. Far more often than not the term 'vigor' or 'vigorous' is misapplied, where in their stead the terms 'vital' or 'vitality' would have been more appropriate. Reduced vitality is what we witness when our plants are growing under stress or strain and in decline - under the effects of limiting factors.

Some plants don't lend themselves to root pruning, but most houseplants and all woody plants I can think of that we grow as houseplants do. No plant fares better from a growth/vitality perspective when grow tight if compared to plants with room for roots to run. There are reasons some growers choose to grow plants with tight roots, but none are actually good for the plant, because tight roots are a stress. Stress progresses to strain and strain to death (always) unless corrected. Potting up only allows plants a partial return to something a little closer to normal growth potential. Repotting, with its accompanying root pruning, relieves all the stress associated with root congestion - potting up ensures a considerable degree of stress will ALWAYS be in play.

Getting back to vigor - young plants are more vigorous than old plants, and as noted, the way to rejuvenate old plants is to cut them back to tissue that is older chronologically, but younger ontogenetically. That would be tissue closer to the transition zone between roots and shoots. Pruning roots rejuvenates a plant and reinvigorates it. There is no question that regular root maintenance beyond potting up, provides much better opportunity for growth and vitality. It also makes no sense to use stress and impaired growth to control a plant's size when all we need to do is learn how to prune it. Even herbaceous plants can be made to look like something special by regular applications of the pruning shears.

It's impossible to say with any certainty that a tree isn't suffering because it looks ok. Until a tree is in serious decline, the stress of roots is manifest primarily in lost potential. That would be potential growth and vitality. When you pot up, you notice what you think is a growth spurt. It's really not a growth spurt, only the plant returning to something a little closer to normal growth, as previously noted. Lost growth potential in plants can never be regained. Once lost, it's lost forever. To imagine how the plant responds to a full repot (instead of potting up) multiply that 'growth spurt' by a factor of somewhere around 3-5X, depending on how severe the root congestion was at repot time.

Best luck.

Al


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 17:52

deleted duplicate post

This post was edited by tapla on Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 17:58


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RE: how big should the pot be?

laura,
i do not think it would be useful to discuss my plant here.
eminent demise is clearly predicted by al.
i certainly do not wish this plant to increase it's size 3 or 5 fold. where it's at is the upper limit sizewise for me. i'll be trimming the branches again soon to reduce height. it stands at 8' and the 5 trunks are from 4" to 5 1/4" in circumference.
perhaps i shall post about my ficuses in a separate thread some time with strict invite policy for guests ;),
as i find it impossible to have a normal discussion with al present.
if you search for 'pruning ficus lyrata' posts you can find a few of my pics and posts.


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RE: how big should the pot be?

Oh, of course. I could not tell by the picture that it had been pruned. You should start new plants with what you remove :-) even if you dont have room for them, they would make nice gifts.

And try not to get salty. If you pay attention, you will notice it always encourages whatever behavior you disliked in the first place.

I like stick with 'be nice or move on'. And when I step out of that, it is only because I wish to instigate a fight for my own entertainment (a game which is not forum friendly). Forums are for helping each-other, after all. There are a lot of people reading. Everybody has a role to play, and knowledge to share. If we were all entertaining ourselves in a veritable internet boxing ring, nobody would get any useful information. ;-)


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RE: how big should the pot be?

perhaps, you find the lecture useful. i do not.
neither al's nor yours.


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RE: how big should the pot be?

Lecture? Im not in the business of lecturing. Consider yourself lucky I shared my thoughts at all. Normally I keep to myself. I find most people dont appreciate thoughts that differ from theirs by more than a couple degrees.

I watch people's stumbling with a guarded indifference.

Do I find the 'lecture' useful? Of course. I always find ways to use things to my advantage. Information and people alike.

Al shared information that is on point and useful. If you decide it does not apply to you, don't worry about it. Nobody is going to chase you around with it.


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RE: how big should the pot be?

laura,
seems you missed the point of my objection entirely.
you told me what i should do.
my turn now:
you are new to the forum, you need to watch a little longer.

i do not consider my responses as stumbling or bumbling or personal entertainment.
i presented a case of what i think is a well-maintained plant that does not fit within the chart of decline presented by al.
i objected to a derogatory commentary clearly directed at me and the inference of lying/misrepresentation.
i did not object to al's lecturing (though it stopped being new to me oh, half-a-dozen years or so).

i objected to a concealed 'personal attack'. yes, it makes me upset.
i am of a persuasion that it is possible and best to disseminate knowledge in public forums thru factual exchange, not dismissing and condescending commentary bundled together with useful info.


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RE: how big should the pot be?

Petrushka,
I don't think Al was accusing you of lying about the age of your Ficus. I think the comment was in regards to lost growth potential over those twenty years.

Josh


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RE: how big should the pot be?

You? I was talking about myself the whole time. ;-)

Of course, adding in a personal affront is impolite, but you cant control what people do. People often do that which is 'possible', but not always what is 'best'. If it has been as long as you say, then you might have known what his response would be when you dropped that photo of your ficus.

I would like to continue the debate indefinitely, but, lacking the correct time and place, I have decided it is better not to.

Perhaps we could start a new thread called 'complaints and personal affronts' where we can all just take jabs at eachother :-) It would be entertaining, to say the least.


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RE: how big should the pot be?

And also what Josh said ^^^


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RE: how big should the pot be?

well, al's not talking ..
quote again from al's post:
If I consider what my average tree looks like, indeed, yours doesn't look average to me .... nor does it look 20 years old, or even close to that age.

i asked 2 times for clarification. since the above can be interpreted in various ways, indeed.
1. may be compared to al's trees my tree is below avg?

i would like to see a pic of al's f.lyrata 20yrs of age , grown strictly indoors (as mine). how many bare-root repots and prunings of branches? that would be a good info for comparison and discussion.
yet from what pics i've seen on the web mine is a pretty good-looking healthy specimen. it grows ev year by about a foot, dense foliage too, good leaf retention.
i do deep pruning on a few branches at a time - propagate them. have 2 trees no repots whatsoever for 5/6years - posted pics before. am happy with results.
they are growing the way i'd like them to!
....
2. so it doesn't look to him even close to 20yrs?

so please, explain to me what that sentence means aside from:
i am misrepresenting the age of my tree?
i am guessing here:
perhaps, al's trees look like that after x number of years? never look like that?
does it mean that all trees need to be looking like al's trees to pass the grade? or be maintained strictly based on al's recommendation to be called 'better then avg/healthy'?
perhaps some other tests are required to establish vigor? what would they be?
is vigor of the plant the overriding factor? should it be always desirable for a plant to grow 3-5 times more after repot? requiring even higher maintenance with more prunings/repots/foliage pruning? not to mention available space for growth..
my tree is still better then avg with just a few of uppots with reg, standard minimal root pruning, not deep bonsai pruning with bare-root repots as practiced by al and grown in std soilless mix too. and strictly indoors. i get 80% of results for 20% effort.
why is 'easy growing' a dirty-word? why should it be hard-growing or intense-growing? it can be by choice, of course.
i understand that this is al's goal and that is what he wants to teach.

perhaps, it is good to assume that not everybody wants or needs to grow the way al does?
and can people discuss what they do without put downs like the following statement:
Growing well takes effort. Mediocrity still takes effort, though a little less. Trying to convince someone who is content with current results that the little extra effort one makes can pay big dividends (when they don't want to make it) is like trying to push someone up a ladder when they don't want to climb.


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 21:46

Al's goal, as stated, is to get reliable information to other growers so they can make intelligent decisions about how much effort they wish to expend on their growing endeavors.

Is there ANYTHING untrue in "Some growers are more interested in what's easier for the grower than what's better for the plant, but unfortunately, what's easier for the grower is only very rarely going to be better for the plant. Growing well takes effort. Mediocrity still takes effort, though a little less. Trying to convince someone who is content with current results that the little extra effort one makes can pay big dividends (when they don't want to make it) is like trying to push someone up a ladder when they don't want to climb. I'm not interested in providing a grower with information they need to be average. I'd rather help them learn what it takes to be much better than average, then let them decide what compromises THEY want to make for the sake of ease. Not everyone's life centers around their plants, but not everyone's value set precludes all but the easiest methods, either"? You take part of it out of context so you can pretend it's all about you, and call it a put-down, but the conversation was directed at the entire readership and the point is, if you want better than average results, you're going to have to make more than the average effort. IOW, effort well spent can yield large dividends and a LOT of personal satisfaction. Not all growers want to do as little as possible, and the growers who WANT to learn and make an effort to improve their lot are the ones I want to reach. It doesn't take me long at all to see who has the want to improve and who is content with the status quo. The entire paragraph was written in the collective plural.

Not all methods are equally productive. It's important people understand there are method sets that have the potential to yield only ho hum results, and methods that have the potential to yield exceptional results. As I stated, I'm not interested in helping someone be average. I want EVERYONE to at least know how to increase the rewards they get from the growing experience. If they decide they would rather not go through any additional effort, I'm perfectly fine with that decision; but why would anyone want to withhold or pooh pooh information that has already changed the way thousands of growers look at growing in containers?

There is absolutely no question that repotting is better for the plant than potting up, and that highly aerated soils that drain well and hold little to no perched water offer much more potential for growth and vitality. If you dispute that, let's debate those points civilly. If you don't dispute it, where's the beef?

If I was making forays beyond the bounds of solid science or my personal limits, some apprehension might be warranted, but there is nothing I've said that can't be supported and explained to the nth degree by science. If I don't know what I'm talking about, I keep quiet. When I see an opportunity to advance another's understanding of what it takes to grow well, I'm always anxious to help as much as is wanted or needed. It's always been that way.

Anyone have any plant-related questions so we can get back on track?

Al


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RE: how big should the pot be?

al, you just repeated AGAIN what you said before.
you have not answered any of my specific plant questions in the last post.
and after the 3rd request, you would not clarify what you meant to say about my plant.
but you LOVE talking about your mission, however, and high potential.
broadly speaking i am not disagreeing with what you recommend. however, and that's a big however, i practice a modified approach suitable to MY life and my priorities.I chose already for myself. i am very well informed. and i read a lot of sources, respectable sources, outside of these pop-forums. i learn continuously, just not what YOU are teaching. you are not the only source of info and knowledge. can you at least allow for that?

my approach is quite FAR from avg approach and produces ABOVE avg results with LESS effort/maintenance then would be required to execute YOUR approach. i view it as MIDDLE ground, not 'the bottom easy'.
i am not asking you to change your recommendations.
i do not want to argue science with you either.
i might recommend diff things to diff people about the same plant, because i don't think it's practical to drop them in deep water. your posts are all over. if they have even a slightest interest - they can go as deep and intense as they want. at any time.
obviously i post, 'cause i think i can get them to grow a good plant and get happy about it. just like i am, or at least closer to where i am, 'cause i rather insist that my plants are doing well and keeping me very happy.

and i am not obliged to seek your approval of my approach.
i want to be able to talk about what I do, while you talk about what YOU do, sticking to specifics, not 'collective plurals', if at all possible.
as far as getting back to schefflera, specifically. it is clearly a young plant, it is a healthy looking plant too.
and vigorous plant usually. and in my informed view as a grower of above plant, it can be up-potted until it grows much larger without any detriment. with just reg, superficial root pruning if necessary of circling roots.
that is how I would do it. that is my specific opinion.


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by roksee 10b SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 14, 14 at 22:24

Hey everybody.... I hope this doesn't mean that you won't want to answer anymore of my questions... :(
Actually, I got a lot of info out of all of the above... so you never know how things can turn out..
Thanks everyone.
roksee


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RE: how big should the pot be?

  • Posted by roksee 10b SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 14, 14 at 22:25

Hey everybody.... I hope this doesn't mean that you won't want to answer anymore of my questions... :(
Actually, I got a lot of info out of all of the above... so you never know how things can turn out..
Thanks everyone.
roksee


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