repotting large foliage plants - Knowledgebase Question

Stonington, Co
Question by tumalo
March 10, 2010
Every year I purchase large foliage plants from the Home Depot and replant them in larger pots. After about one year the plants die off and when I remove them from the pot the root ball is about the same size as it was when I planted it, never stretching out into the new soil. What am I doing wrong? JWK

Answer from NGA
March 10, 2010


How disappointing! If the plants are not growing well, it might be that the light intensity isn't quite right for the plant so be sure to do some homework on the plants you choose. Girdling is what you are describing and it happens when plant roots do not have enough room to stretch out. Once they begin to grow around and around they can eventually strangle themselves. To help the roots reach out, use a good grade of potting soil and when you unpot the plant, tease the roots a little by combing through them with your fingers - be gentle enough that you don't break the roots, but separate them a little by running your fingers through them. This will break up the round and round habit they usually have when growing in a small pot and coax them to grow outward. Best wishes with your next foliage plants!

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