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Can you say Rootbound?

Posted by puglvr1 9a Central FL (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 11, 10 at 15:39

These were un-rooted cuttings of H. polyneura I was given appx. two years ago.I guess I let this one go a little longer than I should have. Its been in a 6" pot for almost a year now when I noticed the plant was drying out so fast. This is what I saw when I went to check the roots. I decided to pot it up in a 8" EA hanging basket I had laying around. I wanted a 7" but they are hard to come by. I'm not a believer that a hoya must be rootbound to flower and obviously in this case its true. This polyneura has never bloomed for me yet and look how rootbound it is,lol...
I normally would have potted it up a few months ago had I known it was this bad. Looking forward to blooms soon.

I know that the question has come up once in a while about how do you know when a hoya is root bound...this picture should answer that question :o)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

WOW!!!! what a root ball! I occasionally find them like that in the gh. I periodically check mine though so they don't get quite that tight!!

I potted up one like that a about 2 years ago that was in a hanging basket and the plant was wrapped all around the gh rafters so I could not take it down. I ended up loosening the wire hangers and removing the pot while leaving the plant suspended in mid air. I then attached a new larger pot to the wires and filled in around the roots with soil. Quite the task considering that it was hanging at least 6ft off the ground!!..


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Wow! I've yet to have one that rootbound. :) I'm sure it will happen, sooner or later.

Carolyn


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Pug, polynueura is an aggressive, fast grower and it doesn't surprise me that it became potbound that fast. I cut my mother plant up last summer and made pots full of cuttings that I moved up to 5" hanging pots this year to sell at my C&S club's show/sale. I was surprised when I only sold a couple - the leaves are so extraordinary, I was sure it would go like hotcakes. So here I am, with these pots of polyneura, getting more potbound by the minute! Think I'll go check my "keeper" plant and make sure it isn't in dire need of a move-up...

David, I have a few that are in the same boat as yours. I haven't potted up in years - I just top dress now and then. But they have to be watered very routinely because they dry so fast. So far, they maintain as long as I'm careful not to let them dry too much.

Denise in Omaha


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Hi Pug - your post is so timely!! When I watered my polyneura last night I was looking at all the roots laying on top of the soil (and was kinda wondering why they weren't growing down into the soil ... lol). I just topped him off with more soil, but now I will check to see if he's also rootbound. Do you keep yours outside? This one is new for me, so I'm still trying to figure him out.

Thanks.

Jennifer


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

David, I can just imagine what it must have been like potting
up that hoya especially at 6 ft off the ground, lol...wish you had someone record it, that would have been fun to watch on You Tube!

Denise, I really didn't realize that they grew this fast, I will keep a better eye on them now. The leaves are really pretty, I just wish it would bloom already.

Carolyn, I'm sure its just a matter of time for you :o)

Jennifer, yes this one lives outside 350+ days a year. Only comes in during very cold nights and hurricanes. I'm actually surprised that its doing as well as it is considering its had issues when I first got it...yellow leaves, then snails ate part of it. I also read that they preferred cooler climate...which I cannot provide this hoya for 6-7 months a year. I figured it was survival of the fittest. It either acclimated to FL weather or I wouldn't have it long.Let us know if yours is rootbound too.


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Pug it was an experience especially trying to do it by myself. I had a 20 gallon plastic tub full of soil sitting on top of a 6ft step ladder ,trying to keep it and myself from falling off the ladder,while attempting to fill a basket with soil!!!

I have a much easier way to pot up large hoyas with long vines though. First off get yourself a plastic shopping bag. Tear or cut a hole in the bottom of the bag just large enough to drop the root ball through. If you're doing this right you should have the plant in the bag and the root ball hanging out the bottom of the bag. I then hang the bag on a hook attached to the potting bench,sit my new pot under the root ball and fill it in. This is the easiest way i've found yet to pot up a large,long vined hoya. Once you've got it all potted up just cut the bag from around the plant and let it fall back into place.


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Um, Denise? I know of a place you can send one of your extra polyneuras to...


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

I think that roots tell an important story of a plants health and this one is obviously in great shape. Great growing Pug!

Mike


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

What a great mass of roots! ;)
It speaks to a superior soil-mix, as well...

Josh


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

David, thanks for the great potting technique/advise. I will have to give that a try on one of my larger hoyas next time.
Sounds so much easier!

Thanks Mike, this one seems happy now...it just won't bloom!

Josh, yes I use Al's mix and I just LOVE it and so does my all my Hoyas and other plants! Thanks.


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Pug, what, pray tell, is Al's mix?

Carolyn


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

yes, what's Al's mix? I've seen a couple recipes on other gw forums, but which one specifically do you use with Hoyas? Also, any advice on repotting Hoya? Do they hate having their roots disturbed? I'm still trying to figure out why my chelsea is so unhappy after repotting. :(


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Pug, I hate to break it to you, but you may have missed the blooms on polyneura. Back when I first found flowers on my polyneura, it was quite by accident. The flowers hide under the very pendulant leaves. I had taken mine down to give it a VF-11 bath and, lo and behold!! - there the very pretty flowers were! Have you noticed that they get peduncle-nubbins at pretty much every node? I watch them pretty closely now!!

T-dawn, e-mail me...

Denise in Omaha


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Carolyn and Knitty, actually its called Al's Gritty mix its a combination of equal parts of several ingredients that you mix together to make a free draining , porous potting mix. Something that doesn't keep my hoyas/plants too wet...moist but not wet. I use it to grow all my Hoyas/Container plants...I tweek the ingredients according to how much moisture they prefer. I do NOT use any store bought potting mix...I make my own. Its a soil-less potting mix.

If you do a search on the Container forum and type in Al's Gritty Mix in the search box you will pull up hundreds of post, unfortunately they are all pretty long...so be prepared to do a lot of reading,lol...

I'm not talking anyone into using this mix...I'm only mentioning it because you asked. There are many different potting mixes for hoyas that work very well. This one just happens to work very well for me.
Below is a short post...

Denise, I wish that was the case, but believe me when I say I haven't missed them, they just haven't ever bloomed. I check this plant underneath the leaves all the time to see if I see any hint of a peduncle. After I purchased this plant I did some research and found articles and old posts that mentioned how they love to hide underneath the leaves...so I started checking them regularly. Its kind of sad really since the plant seems to be large/mature enough to bloom.

Here is a link that might be useful: Al's Gritty Mix


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Thank you, Pug! I put it in my "clippings" for later use. :)

Carolyn


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Thanks pug. I've done all the reading before on his mixes and I think they're very good. Unfortunately, I imagine they'd dry out fast for me. One of the plants I purchased came in a similar mix and it dries out very fast. I think I'm leaning toward a slightly more forgiving mix, probably something like bark+peat. I've been looking for some good options. Right now, I'm using a variety including some hydromixx plants, bark orchids, coco chip orchids, and lots of prime agra (leca). I thought I'd like the leca more, but it's really needy with the watering. If I neglect my plants for a week, I want them to be OK! The plants from Gardino's come in a weird mix that seems pretty gritty to me. They dry out very fast though, which I know is good, but for me maybe not so much? But then again, those plants aren't dying, so... :)


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Knitty,
it sounds like you might benefit from Al's 5-1-1 mix. Bark, Perlite, and Peat-moss (or Turface).
The only downside is that it needs to be replaced more often than the Gritty Mix, proper.
The upside is that the bark-based mix is loose and clean and easily falls away from the roots,
just like the formal Gritty Mix. The 5-1-1, however, tends to be lighter in weight, in
case heavy hanging pots are an issue.

Pug grows in a very humid region, and I grow in a fairly dry region. These mixes give us control,
throughout the year, so that we don't rot the roots of our plants.

Josh


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Pug, that is one rootbound plant! It'll be sometime before I can say my plants are that rootbound! I think the only rootbound plant I do have is an EA lacunosa. I've never repotted mine since getting it at Lowe's over a year ago.
Keep your fingers crossed for blooms!

Brad AKA Moonwolf


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

My current favorite mix for hoyas that like it dry is equal parts decomposed granite, pearlite, and Green Country Pine Mulch (it is very decomposed and almost soil-like). For moisture loving plants, I tend to go with straight pine mulch.


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Thanks Josh. When you say "or turface", is that for the peat moss? That seems like a strange substitute for peat moss to me. :)

I'll look it up. What type of bark have folks had good experience with? I have some bark, but I don't think it's good. Also, I really like the coco chips that came with an orchid I purchased. And, I do like the Gardino's mix too, it just panics me every now and then because it gets so dry. But deeper down, I bet it's wetter than it seems. Does anyone know what they generally use? It's very gravelly, at least on top.


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Pug, your polyneura is beautiful. Even if it won't bloom.

I've used Al's gritty mix. Just a note of warning, it is heavy. So, yes, if you are using it in hanging pots, just keep that in mind. The only major downfall to Al's gritty mix, for me, is that the ingredients are not that easy to come by if you don't drive. And due to the weight of it, shipping the ingredients isn't the cheapest thing either.

I am quite fond of coco husk chunks. It seems to work well for me. It dries out pretty well, but not too fast. I have it mixed with Al's mix, for my australis, and I'm using it straight with no mixers for a bunch of hoyas now. They seem to like it.


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

That is a splendid specimen, Pug! Obviously extremely happy and healthy.

Denise, my condolences on your surfeit of polyneura. If you need any help with that problem... :)


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Thanks for the compliments...I'm happy the plant is doing well, just happier if if blooms :o)

Knitty, I posted this pic on the other thread also, but I'll post it here too. I sift it first to remove the fines so it doesn't retain too much moisture. I bought one of those strainers from Target in the housewares dept.

Quinn, so very true, it took me several months to gather up all the ingredients, finally know where to get everything now. I would have never used it if I had to buy the ingredients on line. I would have to sell my car to afford the shipping,lol...


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RE: Can you say Rootbound?

Bingo! Thanks, Pug!

Yes, I screen out the fine bark dust to reduce the moisture in the mix.

Josh


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