We know that plant care can be a bit time-consuming at the best of times. If you lead a particularly busy lifestyle, you might be avoiding buying new plants for fear that you won’t have enough time to look after them.
Certain steps such as repotting your plant can seem like a bit of an effort. And we get it. Not everyone has the time or means to look after their plants in this way.
But what if some plants were happy to sit in the same pot for years at a time?
Well, you’re in luck, because there are! This is what we call a root bound (or pot bound) plant.
Plants become rootbound when their roots outgrow the pot they are in. When the roots have no more space to grow, they become tangled and densely packed within the pot.
Some plants struggle when root bound, while others thrive on it.
Why do plants like to be root bound?
Flowering plants such as the Linear Hoya will only bloom when they feel stressed and keeping them root bound encourages this!
Some drought-tolerant plants don’t require much moisture to survive. This means that they are better at tolerating overgrown roots than other types of plants.
Many plants dislike being transported. In fact, in some cases, transporting your plant is more likely to kill it than just leaving it in its pot.
Signs that your plant is root bound
There are a few signs of a root bound plant that you can look out for:
- If your plant is root bound, one of the first things you will notice is that it dries out more quickly. You might find that you are having to water your plant more than usual.
- Your plant may also become top-heavy when root bound. This means that it will topple over easily. (This will be less common with short indoor plants.)
- Roots may start growing and peeking through the pot’s drainage holes if your plant is root bound.
- You may also notice mineral, and salt build up on your plant.
- Overgrown roots may push your plant up and out of its pot.
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12 Easy-going Plants That You Won’t Need to Repot Every Year
We’ve picked out a selection of easy-going plants that will only require a new pot every few years or so. Check them out below.
1. Blue Star Fern (Phlebodium aureum)
First on the list is the Blue Star Fern. This epiphytic plant draws moisture and nutrients from the air as well as from its roots.
The Blue Star Fern loves being rootbound and will only need repotting when it has completely outgrown its pot (this will be obvious!)
2. Linear Hoya (Hoya linearis)
Next up is the Linear Hoya. This flowering beauty loves to trail and cascade in a hanging pot.
The Linear Hoya prefers to stay nice and snug in its pot. The more root-bound your Hoya is, the more likely it is to bloom and produce flowers!
3. Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)
The Panda Plant is a particularly slow-grower and will only require repotting once every 2 years.
4. Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides)
Another easy-going plant is the Chinese Money Plant. Also known as the Pancake Plant, this little guy boasts flat, round leaves that are extremely vibrant in colour.
The Chinese Money Plant will only need repotting every 2 years or so. When it is time to re-pot, make sure you do so during the growing season (spring to summer.)
5. Hawaiian Palm (Brighmia insignis)
The Hawaiian Palm is another great option when it comes to root bound plants.
The Hawaiian Palm enjoys sitting in its pot and can be left to do its thing for 2-3 years at a time before it needs to be repotted.
6. Umbrella Plant Luseana (Schefflera arboricola 'Luseana')
Another fantastic choice is the Umbrella Plant Luseana (arboricola). This tropical number will stick by your side for years to come.
The Umbrella Plant only needs to be repotted every 2 years. Be sure to hydrate your plant a day before transporting it to a new pot to prevent it from going into shock!
7. Philodendron Imperial Red
The Philodendron Imperial Red is an unusual hybrid that has been bred for its robust, hardy qualities.
This Philodendron is more than happy to be root bound. Repot it when it becomes top-heavy. This should be around every 2-3 years.
8. Dragon Tree ‘Magenta’ (Dracaena marginata ‘Magenta’)
Next, we have the beloved Dragon Tree ‘Magenta’. This evergreen shrub has long, red-edged leaves and looks right at home in hallways or office spaces.
The Dragon Tree is pretty low-maintenance and is more than happy to sit in the corner without kicking up much of a fuss. Transfer your Dragon Tree to a larger pot every 2-3 years.
9. Snake Plant Zeylanica (Sansevieria zeylanica)
Snake Plants very rarely need repotting and will sit for years on end in the same pot that they came in. This makes them perfect for office spaces!
10. Raven Plant (Zamioculcas raven)
The Raven Plant is a fabulous choice for those looking for an easy-going plant companion. This cultivar is far from fussy and is perfect for the more forgetful plant owners out there.
The Raven Plant loves being pot bound, so don’t worry if its roots start poking out of the bottom of its pot!
11. Candelabra Cactus (Euphorbia eritrea)
The Candelabra Cactus only requires repotting every 3-4 years, so you can leave it to do its own thing in the meantime!
12. Banyan Tree (Ficus benghalensis Audrey)
The Banyan tree is one of the largest trees in the world and has great benefits as an indoor plant. Not only is it extremely easy to care for, but it also thrives when pot bound. This plant should only need repotting every 2-3 years.
Looking to expand your plant family? Then why not check out our blog post on propagating indoor plants?
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