Pot Size

I like to spend time over at Dave’s Garden learning about plants and planting. I never learned much about either growing up, but I adore plants. I wanted to make sure I was getting the right size pots for my plants and I knew that pot size is an issue with plants in soil.

Tapla is one of those knowledgeable individuals I am privileged to have met over at Dave’s Garden. This is what he had to say about pot size in hydroculture when I asked how to determine mature plant size in order to pick a large enough pot:

“In hydroculture, there would be no upper limit to pot size. Plants adapt to hydroculture by forming roots that are considerably different than the roots in solid media. Parenchyma cells primarily make up the root cortex of plants grown in soils or other solid media that are well aerated, but a different type of cell groupings called aerenchyma forms in roots that are subject to periods of anoxia (w/o air) when they are submerged. Aerenchyma tissue has elongated air channels that allow the oxygen roots need for function/metabolism/growth to diffuse (move) from the foliage to the roots. This difference in tissue is why rooting plants in water you will eventually move to soil is not as productive as rooting in a well-aerated solid medium.

Plants don’t really have a mature size. We, like plants, go through several life stages – embryonic, juvenile, adolescent (intermediate in plants), and sexually mature – all stages roughly shared by humans and plants. Where we vary greatly is in the way our cells age. Plants must grow to live. A plant that is not growing is dying, so your plants will always be growing, even after reaching a ‘mature’ size. Depending on what types of plants you are tending, you can keep most them at the size you prefer by judicious pruning of both the top and roots. Call it hydro-bonsai, if you would like to coin a term. ;o)

Don’t be concerned about having to “pot-up” plants in hydroculture – it’s no big deal. Just be sure you select pots w/o constrictions at the throat or reverse tapers, so they will allow you to easily lift the plant from the pot for root pruning.”

Thank you, Tapla!

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