Buying plants in containers, or if you prefer, colloquially in pots, has several advantages. All the more so if the plants in question are those that are being transported over longer distances, or plants sold outside the typical spring and autumn season. If you are deciding when buying between free-rooting plants and those that are listed as containerized or otherwise potted, this can be a significant feature. It determines the first harvest, the strength of the plant, but also the weight and difficulty of transport. However, in many cases a container plant is the best solution for the grower, but especially for the plant itself.
The container tree or plant is always ready
Ordering a plant, or tree, in a container has several indisputable advantages that we discover pretty much all year round. Containerized plants can be planted all year round, outside of the months with frozen ground. A plant that has been well rooted in a container and comes from a dealer will have even the finest roots intact, expanded in a suitable substrate. Fine roots are the most important for the health of the plant and the supply of nutrients. In the container, the root ball and the soil form a single unit which, if planted correctly, will result in a healthy plant. No major changes will occur to the most vital part of the plant.
There are many species that take longer to adapt when planted as free-rooted trees. For example, open-rooted mulberries and many fruit trees take longer to adapt to new soil and root formation or regeneration.
Containers can be purchased year-round
Container trees and plants are not only associated with year-round planting, but also with buying and selling them. It is also possible to buy fruit trees just outside the normal season. Not every garden and gardener wants to wait for spring or autumn if they rearrange the space. We can work in the garden even when the plants are in full growth. Leafing out, or directly fruiting, can give us a better idea of the light transmission, the suitability of certain plants for a particular place in the garden. Due to the fact that the container plant does not push you anywhere, it is not necessary to immediately proceed to planting them, or soaking and shortening the roots.
Thus, transporting the trees to the destination garden does not necessarily mean immediate preparation for planting. In fact, many plants can remain containerised for longer. Under certain conditions, such as increasing root volume and space requirements, it is possible to grow plants in a container, or in a stylish pot, for a long period of time. In any case, the choice of the plant, but also the choice of the definitive location, does not have to depend only on the season. Container trees are also a common part of deliveries throughout the year, and even at Christmas time, according to courier companies.
Other advantages of containerised plants:
- the possibility of more precise dosing of fertiliser and watering
- preventing access by pests
- better organisation or 'countability' for larger numbers of plants
- resistance, portability and associated stability
- perennial, very large relocatable trees and large evergreen trees (conifers, bonsai, olive trees, banana trees, etc.) can only be transported in containers
When is it an appropriate choice to buy free-rooting trees?
For softwood plants, other than container (pot) transfer is not suitable. Trees, shrubs, vine seedlings and other similar hard-rooted plants are commonly transported and planted without containers during the planting season. This is always done only during the spring and autumn seasons, i.e. when the plant has no foliage and is not demanding in terms of nutrient intake. Free-flowering trees at this time represent an opportunity for a larger purchase, an extraordinary saving in transport space, but also in weight.