Stir the dirt

“Plants resent root disturbance.”

I nearly laughed out loud right there in the library. According to the magazine Horticulture, “plants resent root disturbance.”

Well don’t we all.

Whether we’re a campanula lactiflora or a middle-aged (old-aged) human, we don’t like change. Indeed, we resent it.
The familiar is comfortable, comforting, secure.  We like the pot we’re in.  It fits like our favorite t-shirt, even when it really doesn’t fit anymore.

My begonias were blooming all over themselves last summer until they outgrew the pots in which we had started them. I hated to repot them, but I knew they had gone as far as they could where they were. To have any hope of growing bigger, they needed a change of homes, a new home, a bigger home.

To make matters worse, the original pots were these cute little May Day containers the children and I had painted that spring.

I didn’t want to change pots. I liked the old ones.

Day after day, the flowers started to look a little worse; the leaves began to change from deep green to a purplish-brown.

So, like it or not, I started to wiggle them out of their pots. By this time, though, those begonias were  very comfortable in their pots. When they finally came free, all I could see was a tangled web of roots. I had nearly waited too long. In their declining state of health, I unintentionally broke off blooms and leaves. It took a few days for the flowers to get over their “resentment” about being disturbed, but today, they’re beautiful.

If we’re ever to grow beyond where we are right now,  we need to get repotted. We need to be disturbed . . .all the way down to our roots.

Don’t be satisfied accepting where you are when where you could be is beautiful.


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"Don’t be satisfied accepting where you are when where you could be is beautiful."
Judy Mae
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Judy Mae Bingman
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