Fockea edulis ....caudex shape(s)
From what I've read, the shape of the caudex can be influenced by container size, and container shape....even to a lesser extent, the texture of the growing medium, and how much it compacts as the caudex expands. Low, wide pots usually will give you a ball shaped caudex, and narrow, but deep pots, will give you a longer, narrower caudex.
In your experiences...do you find this to be generally true. I ask because I would like to influence the caudex shape of my young F.edulis, and cause it to grow into a trunk-like, as opposed to a ball-like, shape. Eventually, I will expose the caudex and trim the vines to look like a Baobab tree. That's the plan for the future.
Right now, the Idaho-potato sized caudex is buried in a straight-sided pot that is about 9" in diameter by 14" deep...(the "pot" is really a plastic, bathroom trash basket, that was drilled for drainage). Probably within the next few years, as the caudex increases in size, and because of the restriction from expansion, it will begin to take the shape of the narrow container... unless it cracks the container wall from compression of the growing media. I was even thinking about cutting out the bottom of this strait-sided pot and placing it on top of a larger, wider, shallower container so that just the roots can grow into the wider pot. The caudex will remain within the confines of the much narrower cylindrical pot, and the bottom roots can do their thing in the bigger, shallower pot. Double-potting with a purpose. Hopefully I will get a caudex that is relatively straight sided, thick across, and cylindrical in shape, with spreading roots at the bottom. Of course while this training is going on, I will also select and grow the vines to resemble "branches".
They grow square watermelons in plastic, training-boxes...why can't I try to grow a Fockea caudex with a specific shape, in a plastic, straight-sided, training pot?