Planting Containerized Perennials

Prior to planting this gaillardia was potbound and need work

Prior to planting, this gaillardia was pot bound and needed work.

Pot bound shasta daisy that was loosened up before planting

Pot bound shasta daisy that was loosened up before planting.

This is the gaillardia root bound when I took it out of the one gallon container it was purchased

This is the gaillardia root bound when I took it out of the one gallon container in which it was purchased.

This is the same perennial ready to plant

This is the same perennial ready to plant.

As our spring days begin to warm up, I tend to buy bigger containerized perennials. These plants are usually in bloom and have been grown over the winter. While they are beautiful when I purchase them, I want them to be a true perennial and come back and bloom year after year. Most of the plants I am buying now are pot bound, which means their root masses are dense around the edge of the pots and/or at the bottom. Such was the case of the gaillardia I purchased a few days ago. They were very root bound, as you can see from the image above. Instead of planting them as is, I removed the bottom mass of roots and loosened the roots circling the sides of the pot (you may even have to cut them sometimes if the root mass is so dense you can’t get them to break apart from their circular pattern). Once I did this, now the plant is read to plant (see image above). Always plant where they get the proper sun and water necessary to ensure you have a long term plant instead of a one season wonder.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *