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Somerset, United Kingdom Gb

Every year I grow many annual flowers. I start some of them of inside and plant them out when they are big enough. My question is why some of them seem to grow so big in the pots and then not really grow any more? The produce one or two flowers when I am hoping for buckets full. I usually start the seeds off in a pot and then prick them out into modules or pots, harden off and plant out after frosts.



It sounds as if they are being held back by something once you plant them in the ground. Make sure that the soil is well dug and add extra compost for good structure. They may not be making a good root system if the soil is clay or hard lower down. Water every few days and feed well. Newly planted plants are still effectively in a 'pot' until their roots have had time to grow out into moist soil so they are reliant on the gardener for water and nutrients for a few weeks. Are they being planted in the right situation? Sun/shade etc? What sort do you grow?

18 Mar, 2011


Also, if they are blooming when you plant them, they may send all their energy into seed, or a few more flowers, rather into the roots that will support a larger plant, with even more flowers. If you can stand it, it is better to pick off all blooms and visible buds when planting. Another common mistake people make is to plant their flowers too deep--about 1/2 cm of the original root ball should be showing when you are done planting. "Plant it high, and it won't die. Plant it low, and it won't grow."

19 Mar, 2011


Thanks. I had not heard of the idea of planting high. I don't plant really deep though. I do pinch out when plants are young. I may not be digging well enough or maybe I'm letting them get pot bound.

19 Mar, 2011


Well, it only takes a half centimeter of soil against the stem to stunt or kill some types of annuals. As for pot bound, that would be visible when you plant them out: lots of white roots winding 'round and 'round the rootball. it can be treated by pruning both the roots and the top when you plant, but that will slow the plants temporarily.

19 Mar, 2011


you could also test the ph level of your soil, if it is too acid this could prevent nutrients from being taken up by the plants. i had the same problem a couple of years ago and solved it by liming

19 Mar, 2011

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