Try to avoid potting tress with high growth potential, advises Swathi.V

Potting is not always a pleasurable experience, especially for the plant. In some cases, it is a sort of inevitable bane of urban living marked by clumsy, congested households and premises. This is particularly true of plants that have the potential to grow into trees, but have to be in pots for lack of space.

With terrace gardens becoming the in thing on the gardening front, the potting trend is also here to stay.

Not all trees can be potted though. Experts rule out potting of trees such as Mimusops, and Peltophorum, even while promoting Adeniums and Baobabs.

“Most of the palms and cycads can be and are being potted widely. Pachycauls are particularly suited because their stem assumes more elegant shape in a pot rather than on the ground. The hundreds of varieties in Plumeria survive beautifully when potted,” says an government horticulturist .

He advocates potting as harmless for lime, mango, custard apple and also guava. However, beyond a point, the growth of the tree will either stagnate or the tree will wilt, he cautions.

Nutrients

B.R.Kurdukar, a horticultural expert feels that potting is bad for trees with good growth potential. “Over a period of time, the roots get restricted and start coiling within the pot. Insufficient availability of nutrients due to the limited medium confines the growth of the plant,” he says. To contain the growth, he suggests application of fertilizers through spraying and not by mixing in the soil. “One should ready the pot with at least 150 cubic feet of soil. Ideal time to plan a terrace garden is before the construction of the house, because much depends on the strength of the roof to stand the weight of the soil and planters,” Mr. Kurdukar advises.Watering and use of fertilizers should be regulated for the potted trees, says the BPP officer, while cautioning to check for proper drainage outlet underneath the pot.