Curious article from the BBC

Curious ( but not surprising) information from the Beeb on the effect of “containerizing” plants and the effects of limiting root growth. Goldfish-in-a-bowl syndrome if ever there was such an instance!
BBC article on pots and their growth-limiting effects


One response to “Curious article from the BBC

  1. You would have seen, as I have, on many occassions how roses react when put into the ground after they’ve been in pots for a while and I’ve always said to people, when asked what I’ve been doing, is that I’ve been liberating some roses into the ground. You can almost hear them breathe a sign of relief! It’s something I have always noticed. Each winter I sell off all my extra cutting grown roses that I’m not going to use (it’s fund my annual winter purchase of new breeders), and some are raised in pots and others are raised in propagation beds in the ground. The difference in the root system is always dramatic. What the article doesn’t discuss is how the roots react after they’ve been in the pot for an extended period of time. It says the plants don’t use the centre of the pot, however, once they’ve been in the pot for a while they begin to look for alternative directions to escape the pot and they develop a dense matting of fine fiborous roots in the centre. The roses I dug up from the propagation beds, to mail out yesterday, showed very different root systems to the pot grown ones. They always form only 3 or 4 long thick main root-branches with very few finer roots close to the plant. One plant of ‘New Dawn’ I sold that was grown in a 20cm pot had filled the pot completely with fine feeder roots whilst the plants of Flower Carpet ‘Pink’ I sold that were growing in the ground, which were only 12 months old, had roots 5mm thick stretching out as far under the ground as the plant had above the ground (up to 2ft). So… as you say… not surprising… do you mind if I cross-post this article onto RHA? I’ve been talking about the possibility of making raised seed beds of potting mix directly onto the ground and sowing the rose seeds into these so that once they get a bit of size on they can go directly into the ground and grow for a year without root disturbance and after a year I’d dig out the ones that remain after culling to transfer into the test beds over winter to grow on. The whole idea is to allow them to grow better roots that will in turn allow stronger plants to form allowing for better assessment of the seedlings.

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