'Root-Maker'...'Root-Trapper'....'Air-Pot'...etc.

bronxfigsNovember 28, 2011

Has anyone ever used these root-making systems with growing Hipps.? Clivias?

I would attach relevent information, but, I do not know how. Sorry.

BronxFigs

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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

I've heard of these Frank, but seriously, a regular size bulb will more than fill up a 1-gallon pot at my house in less than a year. I think that a hard to root bulb would benefit from other "therapy" such as basal plate slicing or root hormone.

Don't know about clivia...only have a couple of seedlings. Are you a member of the clivia forum too? We have a couple clivia experts, but the main one seems to have gone fairly silent.
K

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 7:22AM
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jodik_gw

My container of preference is your standard, every day, unglazed terra cotta pot in whatever size is necessary for ample root growth. Now, the size issue comes with a caveat... while commonly accepted practice is to only use a pot that "fits" the root system, I go ahead and give ample room because I use a more sharp draining medium that allows for better aeration and faster evaporation of excess moisture. With my medium choice, I can "over pot" without fear of roots rotting, and I can then forgo re-potting for a couple of years.

I've never gone in for any of the fancy shmancy, newfangled gizmos or designer ideas in plant containers, whether it's a "self-watering" deal, "self-pruning", or anything else.

I want to be the one controlling moisture, nutrition, and anything else going on within the pot. And it's my thinking that the industry just tries to reinvent things with the end result of more profit in mind. All a plant needs is something to hold the medium so the roots can grow through it.

To me... it's like over-thinking the basic idea of growing a plant... I tend to be skeptical, though I think one sort of has to be in this day and age.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 2:17PM
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bronxfigs

Kristi....

I have posted some queries on the Clivia forum, and this is the first time that I will be growing these rather expensive plants. I hope I can settle into some kind of routine, correct culture, and most of all, get the plants to thrive and bloom.

I'm particularly attracted to the "newer" Clivia that have shorter and broader leaves because the plants are more compact, and not as floppy. Of course, I learned that the breeding programs which produce plants with the shorter/broader leaves result in plants that are very, very expensive, and not for the casual growers. Not for my pocketbook either. Hipps. are definitely cheaper, but I think Clivia make a much nicer looking plant when correctly grown.

I thought that the whole root-trimming type pots concept was rather interesting, and may have a use with growing Clivia, and Hipps....so, I just thought I'd ask.

The Clivia Forum doesn't seem to be a very active place for exchanging ideas, and getting answers to questions...but, I'm new to this game so I'll have to wait and see.

Thanks for your additions.

Frank

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 2:32PM
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bronxfigs

Seems, by the postings, the old tried-and-true potting methods have prevailed.

My curiosity has been satisfied. The old, standard pot/container it is.

Thanks for the input and opinions.

I'll be back.

Frank

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 6:57PM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

Here's 1 year of root growth in a 1 gallon pot (std size bulb). I won't be wasting my $$$ on some special "root promoting" system...I don't have the budget to buy bigger pots!! Good thing they like being root bound!
K

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 7:52PM
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bronxfigs

One picture is worth a thousand words.

Like I said,....I was just curious. Now, I know.

Thanks....Frank

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 9:12PM
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joshy46013

Frank,

While I haven't much looked into these pots I really think they're quite interesting! If aeration is what you're looking for while using clay I imagine the result via these "air pots" would give a good result and be quite less heavy.

I'm going to look a bit more into it, I think it could possible make a healthier plant? I'm not really sure tho as I know nothing about them other than briefly glancing at pics.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 11:54PM
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jodik_gw

I'm more of the opinion that the foundation of a containerized planting is the medium, not the container you grow it in... and I'm fairly certain science and physics would back that up.

I also believe it's a fallacy that plants "like" being root bound... this goes against the majority of everything found in nature. Plants react a certain way when pot bound because they may... for lack of a better way to put it... feel that their survival is in jeopardy. When the roots are restricted, and have no where else to grow, they will begin offsetting or budding, making what instinct tells them is a last ditch effort to survive because conditions warrant... reproducing and leaving offspring being their main function in life, instinctively, genetically.

I grow a couple of Clivia, and I keep them in regular clay pots, tall enough to give their fleshy roots ample room. The medium is Gritty Mix, the feeding program the same as for everything else.

If I'm not mistaken, Al has discussed the issue of root space and how it affects plant growth and health at the Container Gardening Forum... and I'm fairly certain his recommendation is providing plenty of room and keeping Leibig's Law, the law of the minimum, in mind when growing any plant type. It states that growth is controlled not by the total amount of resources available, but by the scarcest resource, the most limiting factor.

Quite honestly, Frank... I'd ask at the Container Gardening Forum, and see what tapla and greenman have to contribute on the issue.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 4:47AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

OK...maybe they don't LIKE to be root-bound, but they don't seem to suffer much from it! Sorry for that...

Also, you can see how gritty my media is by looking at the bottom left hand corner. Lots of sand, small gravel, granite, etc.

Seems like Jodi had the best response...consult the Container Gardening forum.
Kristi

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 7:41AM
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bronxfigs

My main interest in this type of container is that the designs seems to increase root ramification, possibly leading to better, more efficient plant growth. To me, a pot filled/packed with fine feeder roots is far better that a pot filled with larger, inefficient roots.

The concept looks interesting... I'll do some research within the Container Gardening Forum, and see what I dig up.

Thanks again.

Frank

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 8:30AM
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jodik_gw

Frank, I think plants produce the type of root needed, at the cellular level, based upon their environment and what is either present or not present, as we provide for them in their containers. Al could tell you a lot more from a scientific perspective.

What I do know is that when their environment is constanly saturated and takes a long time to dry out, roots tend to drown and die, and then regenerate once the substrate dries enough to make the space habitable again. And as I'm sure you know, this saps a plant's energy.

I know Al will have the correct answers you seek, but it's my belief that medium is far more important than pot. And that taking care of a plant's roots by checking them when re-potting, and pruning if necessary, getting rid of any decaying dead roots is fairly important. This is one reason I don't usually go beyond the two year mark before re-potting, though a well made Gritty Mix can stand up to about three years, structurally speaking.

Hippeastrums and other similar plants tend to produce a lot of thicker, fleshy roots, as indicated nicely in Kristi's photo. It is believed that some seasonally die during the resting or dormant period, which is why it's wise not to go too long between re-pottings, whether you bump the pot size or not. You want to get in there every couple of years and see what's going on.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 10:13AM
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kaboehm (zone 9a, TX USA)

I repot every 1-2 years, if not to increase pot size, to replenish/refresh media.
Kristi

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 10:29AM
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jodik_gw

Exactly, Kristi... and even though a more gritty, inorganic medium will hold its structure longer, the bark portion... or whatever other organic ingredients are used... is organic, and will eventually break down, or decompose. It will need freshening after a certain amount of time, and that's the perfect opportunity to give the roots a good look, ridding the plant or bulb of any that are dead.

By re-pot, I mean removing as much of the old medium from the root system as possible, bare-rooting the plant to inspect the roots... and in the case of a bulb, the basal plate, as well. I would snip off any dead roots, using sterile snips or scissors, and dusting lightly with an anti-fungal such as Captan... or cinnamon, if Captan isn't available.

Al actually has a thread on root pruning in the Container Gardening Forum... it deals more with trees and woody plant material, but it does contain some good tips and information.

I have gone as long as three years between a re-pot, but I don't like to... two years would be closer to prudent, and once a year even more so... if one has the time and can do so.

I don't know... I just see all these new fangled pot ideas as trying to reinvent the wheel for the sake of profit... and I just don't think it's necessary. However, I'm all for learning new things, and should it be something viable, I'd certainly not dissuade someone from giving it a try.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 6:50PM
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bronxfigs

Great answers, complete with useful information, growing tips, and, arguments, either, pro, or con...

I never fail to learn from you more experienced growers.

Thank-you for sharing your thoughts .

Frank

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 5:15AM
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jodik_gw

It's our pleasure, Frank! If not to share, what is it all for? :-)

I'm certainly no expert, and I have my weak areas in growing knowledge, but I have learned many things over the years... and the best thing I learned is that it's all much more enjoyable when we share it, so others can experience that same level of success and joy! :-)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 12:03PM
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joshy46013

Frank et al;

It's suggested that clay pots are healthier for plants considering the gas exchange rate is higher, wouldn't these "Air Pots" create an even higher amount of gas exchange for the roots?

While clay pots create a great environment for plants they're heavy, I think these pots would weigh much loss but offer the same advantage (if not better) for an easier lift.

Reading on the Container Forum it's suggested that these "Air" pots can result in a healthier plant. Frank, scroll to the bottom and use the search box to find topics regarding this issue, there are TONS!

I'm going to give these pots a try, I don't see how the would be ineffective, I think they'd really contribute to the success of growing if used properly.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 1:16PM
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