DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A potbound plant of Buddleja globosa, the Orange Ball tree, a native of Chile and Argentina. The roots of pot-grown plants at first grow downwards, due to geotropism. When they reach the bottom of the pot, they turn horizontal, and encircle the available space, eventually producing a tangle of roots growing in all directions. Good horticultural practice involves repotting plants into larger containers before this occurs, as the encircling pattern of growth may be retained when the plant is eventually put into open ground, resulting in poor growth due to water stress. The picture shows a plant grown in 3 litre pot for 6 months. The pattern of horizontal encircling root growth is clearly visible. This plant should be repotted or planted out.
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