Why pot-planted plants do so well....
Well, it's time to start bringing in the plants and cutting leaves as there's a huge cold front sweeping across the Eastern US. Hate to say it.
I like to remove 'most' of the leaves before I spray down the plants with pesticide and move them indoors. Depending on the variety, I may have to use pruners (below), or I can just bend down the leaves and they snap off. Doesn't work as easily on all varieties, though.
But what I really wanted to demonstrate was just how extensive the root system becomes when you 'pot plant' these things over the summer (sink the pots in garden soil). As we all know, the healthier the root system, the healthier the plants will be and the more likely they are to bloom.
Here is a photo of the plant when I pulled it up. You can see incredibly healthy roots growing out of the drainage holes.
Of course, most of the roots broke off when I pulled them. What you don't see is HOW EXTENSIVE the root system became.
Here I'm pointing to some of the roots from the pot in the back. Note how these roots have really filled the area around it. I'd have needed at least a 15 gallon pot to contain them all.
Besides building up the extensive root system, pot planting has other advantages. It keeps the roots cool and it provides better drainage as the perched water table is all but eliminated. The moisture is pulled down into the soil. And the feeder roots outside the pot will be sitting in perfectly draining garden soil. The roots also anchor the plants keeping them upright in late summer storms. Plants may need some staking initially.
Have fun bringing those plants in!