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Why poor top, but strong root growth?

Posted by feijoas New Zealand (My Page) on
Mon, May 6, 13 at 0:30

I have a 'brunoro black' that's several years old, but only 3-4 ft tall.
I've headed it back a few times, mainly in an attempt to get the thing to bush out a bit. It's pruned to an open centre.
It has produced some (not loads) fruit right from it's first season, but is a very weak grower.
I'm not all that familiar with figs, but they generally seem to put on a lot of wood every season, even in less than ideal conditions.
It was in a 15 gallon pot, and I decided to put it, and its pot in the ground last season, basically in an attempt to restrict its size and stop it getting into the old ceramic water pipes. Well, that was a bit too effective: it barely grew last season.
I'd seriously root-pruned it before I repotted it, and expected poor root growth to match the top, but the pot was full of healthy roots, and they had escaped out through the extra holes I'd drilled.
I heavily root pruned it again, headed back the growing tips, changed the medium (composted bark fines, compost, perlite, a little soil) and replanted it.
I'd usually do this kind of thing in early spring, but it had to happen now. The coldest I get is a bit of a frost, so I'm not too worried.
Maybe I should just get rid of it and get another?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Why poor top, but strong root growth?

Your Potting soil is poor,and the plant is developing multiple roots to squise out the last of every nutrient in that pot,and the moisture for that matter.
At last if it can't find enough nutrients inside pot ,it looks outside the pot in the soil to get what it needs.

RE: Why poor top, but strong root growth?

Thanks. I'll see how I can improve the potting soil without using artificial fertilisers.
I have read many threads re potting media and organic growing, so I'm aware that it's problematic!

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