Pot Bound: Too Many Pots?

When it comes to plants I’m prone to excess: I have a surfeit of plants in pots. And that can be both a joy and a vexing problem. Pot bound often leads directly to root bound, which tends to make it hard to keep your potted treasure healthy.

balloon flower

Balloon Flower Platycoden grandiflorous

Appropriately chosen for the climate and micro conditions (and happily ensconced in the ground) most plants are self-sufficient after starting out in pots. On the other hand, potted plants suffering from neglect are often lost causes bound for the compost heap, rather than bound for glory in the landscape.

Some, like the balloon flower at left, consigned (happily) to the same pot now for four years, carry on, provided that during the growing season their water and nutrient needs are met. But now and then after a long winter, I’m bound to forget where I stashed the deciduous ones languishing in ubiquitous black plastic containers dotting my yard.


Bamboo (fargesia nitida) in foreground, grasses in black plastic pots behind


Echeveria with Hens and Chicks & Rose ‘Hot ‘N Spicy’

kenilworth ivy grouping



grape arbor

Agapanthus, Cherry Tomato and Fletcher

Agapanthus, Cherry Tomato and Fletcher

Antidote to Lethargy…

…AKA, garden variety inactivity.

First of my 50 Lewisia cotyledon crosses to bloom.

First of my 50 Lewisia cotyledon crosses to bloom.

In January and February I hardly posted. I wish I could say that I spent hours pouring over seed catalogs and botany books, but that wasn’t case.

The local Northwest Flower & Garden extravaganza at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle inspired me to finally begin working in the garden regularly.

The show featured vendors selling plants, seeds and garden tools; inspiring lectures and the opportunity to network with fellow plantaholics; and a host of business, craftspeople and artists hawking their garden-related (at times a rather dubious connection) wares.

Among the plant vendors, blooming Hellebores seemed to dominate. Their popularity seems to be surging.  With a our mild winters in the northwest, it’s no surprise the Lenten Rose was everywhere. Growers are producing increasingly upright facing blooms, which is no mean feat since the plant has a drooping habit.

hellebore hellebore

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And as promised to the Puyallup gardener and her husband at the dwarf conifer vendor. Here’s a picture of my Dwarf Hinoki Cypress ‘Chirimin’ (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Chirimen’). It’s been in the ground about two-and-a-half years, is waist high when I stand next to it, which makes it a little less than three feet tall.

Hinoki cypress chirimen

When purchased four years ago  in a gallon pot it was just over a foot tall.  It’s habit is quite irregular and, so far, I haven’t pruned it at all. I hope that helps confirm your choice and helps you site your purchase.