purpleinopp's profile

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"This plant likes to be rootbound" Oh, this is sad!

No plant likes to be rootbound. What is necessary for plants to stay alive is for their roots to not rot, which can happen so easily in a pot with dense soils, like ground dirt, or bagged mixes of predominantly tiny particles of peat, (or to simply shrivel from simply never getting any water.) Having very little soil around the roots would make the soil dry more quickly, and for even the most dedicated plant-overwaterers to not rot the roots of their plants. This is not ideal, since most non-cactus plants are stressed by dry conditions, it's just a way of coping with soil that has little air in it when moist.

Negative experiences in regard to potting-up, where an undisturbed root ball is placed into a bigger pot with more soil around it, vs. doing a repotting, as described below, can give rise to old wives' tales about plants not liking to be repotted/disturbed. Potting-up a root-bound plant that has roots surrounding the outside root ball often lead to this negative experience because those roots had adapted to accessing oxygen around the outside of the root ball and surrounding them with more dense, soggy-but-airless potting soil will likely lead to suffocation.

The reason bonsai masters are able to keep potted entities alive for hundreds of years is because they care for the roots by trimming them and changing the soil. A plant grows from the roots-up, so if the roots are not healthy, gorgeous foliage will decline &/or no flowers can form. When you unpot a plant and find a pancake of roots at the bottom, chopping that off will give roots a chance to grow normally again for a while and will make removing the old soil easier.

Roots need oxygen & moisture at the same time to function. Just air = shriveling. Just moisture = suffocation & rotting. Either will cause root death and dessicated foliage because the roots have been unable to deliver moisture. Having to let soil dry, as if ones' tropical jungle plant was a cactus, is an unnecessarily stressful coping mechanism for non-desert dwelling plants in soil without enough oxygen for the roots to stay healthy when it is moist and can lead to premature loss of older leaves and in extreme cases, dry shriveled roots/dead plant.

The ability of roots to be able to function properly depends greatly on the soil structure/texture, which can change over time. Potting soil tends to be very dense, mostly peat, with very little air in it. Any kind of organic ingredients decompose into smaller bits over time, and roots fill air spaces over time as they grow through soil. Replacing soil periodically is usually necessary to keep plants healthy because of these reasons. A more porous, chunky, airy soil (like cactus/palm, if one is buying bagged,) can have more air in it even when it is moist because there is space between the particles. When there are tiny particles of any kind in a pot, such as peat, sand, silt, clay, they filter into all of the tiny spaces in a pot, eliminating the air. "Overwatering" is the label and manifestation when roots have suffocated and/or rotted, combo of both. Over time, organic bits decompose into smaller bits, so even the "best" soil, if it has organic components, will need to be replaced when this happens. The speed at which this happens depends on many variables, but on average, about 1-3 years.

Addicted to gardening & plants for decades, moved to AL from OH in 2007 and absolutely love it! My passion is beautiful and unusual foliage inside and out, nectar plants for hummers and butterflies, fragrant flowers, propagating whatever, and attracting the (friendly) tiny critters like birds, anole lizards, toads, hummingbirds, butterflies, geckos, skinks. We don't use any sprays or 'cides.

As I've done everywhere I've lived (except apartments,) and many times in other people's yards, I've started new gardens at this house. There was just one tiny 1-foot wide bed in a corner when I moved here, but now there are many. Propagation and a lot of elbow grease have enabled me to do almost all of the landscaping virtually for free - freescaping. There are now more Gardenias, Hydrangeas, Brugmansias, elephant ears, figs, Cannas, confederates roses, "regular" roses, and many other new plants, to make this yard more enjoyable and pretty for us while we're here, and for whoever else may come later. I have a ton of potted plants, most of which come inside for winter.

Equally as fun as doing these things is sharing the info about how they were/are done, so others can find the same pleasures from their plants/yard. After all, it is through the previous help/advice from others through books, internet, forums, that enable me to find info to lead to successful gardening endeavors (most of the time, like anyone, I have fails.) I find the learning process fascinating and enjoyable, and will never stop trying to improve and increase what I think I know.

My most sincere hope is to never arrive at a point where I think I know everything. I doubt that's possible, and would be too boring to tolerate.

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purpleinopp's badges:
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Permaculture Hummingbirder Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Purslane Aroids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America Region: Alabama Region: Ohio Garden Procrastinator Annuals Sedums Birds Plant and/or Seed Trader

Some info about purpleinopp:
  • Joined on July 5, 2012
  • Name: Tiffany
  • Location: Opp, AL
  • USDA Zone: 8b
  • Interests: °☘🌺⚛💮🌸✺✼✾⚛✿❁❂❃❀ 🗽☼☁⛅ϟ☂🎼♪♫🎵🎶 🎀🎁🎂🎉 🎃🎄🎈🎊🎿🚲🏊📷📻🔮🌠💫 🌌✨✵✺❖❉✪🎆🎇🚀❇✾🌅🌇🌈🗻🌋 🍕🍩🐳🌊⚓⛵🐬❣♥💖💝 ☃❄❅❆©⚜✯✞✈✉ 👅👄👃⛪⛲🎍⛺⛽💡🔑🔔❔✅√📌✍✎✏ ✁✂✄♦♣♠▲▼►◄↕↑↓→➳←↔
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  • purpleinopp's active areas of the database
  • Kalanchoes (164 contributions.)
  • Begonias (73 contributions.)
  • Tradescantias (64 contributions.)
  • Philodendrons (58 contributions.)
  • Snake Plants (32 contributions.)
  • Coleus (31 contributions.)
  • Crassulas (30 contributions.)
  • Sedums (26 contributions.)
  • Aglaonemas (25 contributions.)
  • Euphorbias (23 contributions.)
  • purpleinopp's Plant List
    There are 183 plants in purpleinopp's plant list.
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