How To Transplant Overgrown Pot And Tub Perennials

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How To Transplant Overgrown Pot And Tub Perennials
How To Transplant Overgrown Pot And Tub Perennials
Video: How To Transplant Overgrown Pot And Tub Perennials
Video: ENORMOUS PLANT REPOTTING | Design Time 2023, February

Along with bright annuals, herbaceous perennials are increasingly planted in potted gardens and decorative containers. Long-lasting, highly decorative, with beautiful foliage, they allow you to add the beauty of completely inimitable massive soloists to the usual accents. It is more difficult to care for herbaceous plants in containers than for competitors growing in soil. But the most unpleasant surprise is the difficulty of the transplant. Indeed, thanks to the powerful roots, plants often grow so that it can be very difficult to change the container for them.

Transplanting an aquilegia from a container
Transplanting an aquilegia from a container


  • Basic principles of transplanting overgrown tub plants
  • Extraction of overgrown plants
  • Splitting or cutting off roots
  • Planting in new containers and initial care

Lush, colorful and irreplaceable herbaceous perennials are the basis for any garden design. They are planted not only in flower beds and flower beds, but also used in various other roles. One of them - growing in tubs and pots - allows you to use your favorite perennials as spectacular accents or grow especially capricious species. On the path, as green "guards", at the entrance to a house or a gate, where there is a lack of decor, accessories or an interesting vertical accent, herbaceous perennials allow you to add unusual, bright and eye-catching elements. They differ from summer or tubular shrubs with trees, expanding the palette of textures and colors and expressing style in garden design.

The main advantage of pot and tub perennials is not their high decorative effect, but their durability. After all, herbaceous perennials retain their beauty for many years, they do not need to be planted annually and constantly grow seedlings. For the winter, it is enough to clean the plants in a cool room or insulate the tubs and containers, and in the spring, as soon as the weather permits, take them out to the garden again. These are beautiful accents for decoration for years to come.

It is in the durability that the main problem of growing herbaceous perennials in containers lies. The limited amount of soil does not change the rate of root growth and development of the plant itself. Even the most modest in volume perennials quickly fill the entire available volume with roots and create such a dense root ball that you cannot see the substrate in it.

Basic principles of transplanting overgrown tub plants

Container perennials have to be divided quite often, focusing on the signals of the plant itself. Usually, the fact that he does not have enough resources and needs to be transplanted is evidenced by the blanching of the leaves and the lack of free space on the sides of the sods and bushes, the deterioration of flowering and the accelerated drying of the leaves. Planned transplants and divisions for perennials are quite problematic, because plants usually bloom only after high-quality rooting, which means that too frequent division may not allow them to reveal all their beauty. Therefore, container perennials are divided when it really becomes necessary.

The need for transplanting plants means that the roots have completely filled the earthen ball. And in the case of overgrown herbaceous perennials, this is almost always associated with the difficulties of removing from the pot, removing from the old container, problems that always arise during the transplantation process. If a perennial has remained in one container for several years, then it almost grows into the walls, sits so tightly that the work will require considerable effort.

The timing for the transplant can be chosen at your discretion. Despite the fact that this procedure is not prohibited to be carried out in the summer (if necessary urgently), it is best to cope with it in the spring, at the beginning of active growth or in the fall, leaving sufficient time for high-quality rooting before harvesting for the winter.

Soil, containers and everything you need for transplanting container perennials

Before starting the actual process of transplanting overgrown herbaceous stars, you need to prepare all the necessary tools and materials. And it's not just about dredges or new containers, but about all the accessories that will help you cope with the work easier.

First, decide on the capacity itself. If the plant was in a medium-sized pot or tub, then an increase in its volume can be envisaged. But if your perennial already grows in a very large container, more than which is difficult to find (or in the case when an increase in capacity is impractical from the point of view of convenience, beauty, transportation features, etc.), it is not at all necessary to change the capacity. When transplanting, you will have to take measures to reduce the volume of the root system and divide it, but leave the container intact. In this case, in addition to the old one, several more containers are selected into which the delenki can be transplanted.New pots must be thoroughly cleaned, washed, and disinfected. If you are leaving an old pot, prepare brushes, sponges, and whatever you need to clean them so that you can get the job done quickly during transplanting. Herbaceous perennials are best grown in tubs or pots made from natural materials - wood, ceramics, and not plastic. Such plants are more sensitive to air exchange and do not thrive in isolated pots.

The substrate for growing container perennials should not only be of high quality, but one of the most nutritious. Loose and fertile, not too heavy, but not ultra-light soil containing organic and mineral fertilizers, will provide plants with the opportunity to develop normally. For perennials, you can use independently compiled substrates based on garden soil, but sand, compost, organic matter must be added to it, and if necessary, the characteristics and structure are adjusted. It is best to use ready-made substrates with proven characteristics. Saving on substrates for perennials can be a nuisance.

Also useful in the transplant:

  1. A comfortable large table, an upside-down stool, or small construction trestles on which to turn heavy pots.
  2. Sharp knives, hand saws or hacksaws, hammer, scissors and other tools that can help you in your work.
  3. Tanks for soil and water.
  4. Protective foil for covering the work area and preventing contamination of coatings.
  5. Comfortable gloves and a few sponges and pieces of old fabric that can also be used in work.

But the main thing that you should think about if you need to plant large tub perennials is an assistant. When separating sods and bushes, removing them from old containers, you cannot do without additional support.

We take out the overgrown plant, and separate the roots
We take out the overgrown plant, and separate the roots

Extraction of overgrown plants

The process of getting large perennials that have filled the entire space from tubs and pots is not an easy task. To begin with, you should grab the whole plant with your hands, securely holding the stem, try to pull slightly and see how firmly the roots sit in the container. Before proceeding further, clean the plant of dry leaves, prune if necessary.

Pulling plants up is the most traumatic of the options. It is best to carry out work on the extraction of the plant by turning the container upside down: free and contaminated soil from above will crumble, and it will be possible to "pull out" the container, not the plant, reducing the likelihood of injury. You can install inverted pots on trestles, an inverted stool, or even a stepladder laid horizontally on a solid support. If the container allows, squeeze the walls. If the materials are hard, use a knife or spatula to gently run along the walls and try to remove the container from the root ball.

If the container has become unusable or the plant cannot be removed by any of the methods, then it is better to destroy the tub or pot itself, using a hammer, saw, or other construction tools: part by part, break off the walls of the container until you can get the perennial out of it.

When the plant is removed from the pot, do not rush to turn it over. So, upside down, it is much easier to inspect. To understand the condition of the plant and the real volume of the root system, straighten all the roots, disassemble the tangled and twisted roots. If the root ball is very dense and the roots are strong, this work can be done with a hand rake or houseplant tools.

Splitting or cutting off roots

Shortening the volume of the root system, pruning too large rhizomes is a procedure well known to all owners of indoor bonsai, which can also be carried out for garden plants. But not for herbaceous perennials. You can shorten the roots in tub bushes and trees, but not in herbaceous stars. Trimming the roots of the latter can lead to their death. And shortening is carried out only in one case - when the plant is affected by soil pests or rot, and sanitary cleaning of the roots with pruning and treatment of wounds is carried out.

Separating overgrown perennials is the optimal strategy. Usually herbaceous perennials grown in separate containers are divided into two parts (three is the largest number of divisions). By dividing the bushes in half, you can reduce the volume of the plant and at the same time get such pot or tub plants, the maximum decorative effect of which does not have to wait too long.

Overgrown perennials can rarely be divided manually. The easiest way to reduce root trauma and get quality cut is to cut the rhizome from the bottom (from the bottom of the pot) to the base of the stems with a sharp hacksaw or hand saw. If the plant is not large, the separation can be done with a shovel or a sharp knife.

Cuts or injuries on the roots of each cut are allowed to dry; if possible, the wounds are treated with wood ash. Perennials with low resistance to diseases are best etched in a fungicide solution.

Drainage in the transplant container
Drainage in the transplant container
We fall asleep fertile soil
We fall asleep fertile soil
We transplant the plant into a new container
We transplant the plant into a new container

Planting in new containers and initial care

Perennial plots are planted in containers, setting them so as to maintain the same level of burial. When planting, the rules for carrying out this procedure, characteristic of certain species, are observed. Usually, for container perennials, a drainage layer is necessarily laid on the bottom of the tanks. It is better to cover it not immediately with a substrate, but with a thin layer of sand. The containers and the voids between the roots are filled with soil carefully, and the roots themselves are straightened as carefully as possible.

After planting, mandatory watering is carried out, but the following procedure is carried out only when the soil is thoroughly dry. If the division was carried out in the spring, the plants should be protected from direct sunlight. Top dressing cannot be carried out for a month after transplanting. When dividing in the fall, plants are exhibited in quarantine or a buffer zone, and then carried away to their usual conditions and closely watched, be sure to give time to adapt before harvesting for the winter.

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