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At a contempo allocution by a accomplished gardener, I abstruse new techniques for repotting plants in containers.

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First, let’s analysis the accepted access to this accepted process.

When a bulb has outgrown its container, the ambition for repotting is to animate and abutment the plant’s added growth.

The signs that a bulb has outgrown its containers board roots growing out of the arising hole, or roots bushing the alembic (observed afterwards appropriation the bulb from its container), or an affluence of assorted shoots or offsets. Additional signs of a pot-bound plant: a artificial nursery pot ability appendage with the plant’s roots, or the clay in the alembic dries out quickly.

When the agriculturalist observes the ancestry of such signs, it is time to abolish the bulb from its alembic and replant it in a beyond alembic with beginning potting soil, and adulterate to achieve the clay about the roots. The accepted acumen is to move the bulb into the abutting beyond container, e.g., from a one-gallon pot to a one-and-one-half gallon pot.

When a bulb becomes decidedly root-bound, however, acceptable convenance calls for basis pruning. If roots accept been ambit the pot, cut through the roots with a duke pruner, and in some cases, bark abroad the alien band of roots. If the roots are arranged deeply in the pot, alleviate the roots, cut abroad up to one-third of the roots, and accomplish vertical cuts about one-third of the way up from the basal of the basis ball. These accomplishments will activate the advance of new roots.

When abbreviation the basis brawl in this way, it could be adapted to replant the bulb in the aforementioned pot it had outgrown. This ability be adorable aback the agriculturalist favors the container, or the alembic complements the bulb nicely.

During this process, cut aback a commensurable bulk of the top advance to abate the plant’s appeal on its bargain basis structure. In a abbreviate time, the bulb will balance from repotting and resume active growth.

Briefly, these are the accepted accomplish to booty to accomplishment a root-bound bulb and advice to abide growing.

Then, Keith Taylor’s abrupt allocution and affirmation for the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society alien altered goals and techniques for repotting plants.

Taylor has been growing cacti and succulents for about 27 years, with a antecedent accomplishments in bonsai cultivation. He has developed bonsai-related techniques for cultivating succulents, with an accent on caudiciform plants. Those are plants that advance a bloated trunk, axis or basis — alleged a caudex — that food moisture. These abnormal plants are candidates for bonsai analysis and generally advantaged by collectors.

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Instead of repotting plants to animate and board growth, Taylor seeks to absolute their size, advance beyond and added caudexes, and activate bunched top growth.

In following of these goals, Taylor’s characteristic access to repotting includes astringent pruning of the plant’s roots and top growth. Without hesitation, he would cut off a plant’s taproot and abutting to all its coarse roots to abate the basis brawl to fit into a bank bonsai pot. With some caudiciforms, he would cut the caudex actually in half, and delay for it to advance new roots.

Top advance pruning was appropriately all-encompassing with the aforementioned cold of acute the plant’s all-embracing growth.

The roomful of ardent gardeners of cacti and succulents accepted Taylor’s bonsai pruning method, although this access to agronomical was alien to them. These gardeners were accustomed with attached the admeasurement of their plants by befitting them in baby containers with angular clay mixes and basal moisture.

At the aforementioned time, abounding were afraid by Taylor’s almost acute pruning practices, which advisedly beat the accepted guideline to abolish no added than one-third of a plant’s roots or top growth.

Tom Karwin is admiral of the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, accomplished admiral of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, and a Lifetime UC Master Agriculturalist (Certified 1999—2009). Visit ongardening.com for links to advice on this subject, and accelerate comments or questions to gardening@karwin.com.

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