Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Big Roots in Texas?


Big roots or big hair? We are NOT in Texas, oh wait, I'm just having flashbacks to the well known and loved television show Dallas. Snap out of it Tina! You live in Tennessee, NOT Texas!

Okay, then why is the root on this gaura so darned big?

I recently dug some gauras from one of my gardens, with the intent of tossing them in the compost bin. These plants are not long lived in my garden and a bit messy, so I decided they had to go.

Well just look at what I found when I dug the plants? This root ball is at least six inches deep and one solid mass of root. It is not root bound. I equate this root to a tap root and had a difficult time getting it out of the ground. Anyone else seen such big roots? On perennials?

P.S. I found a home for the gauras as that massive root ball convinced me I needed to keep them. Though I sure can't remember where I put them:)

in the garden....

38 comments:

  1. Hi Tina, glad you didn't throw the gaura out, they just need a place where they can sprawl to their heart's content and look good. I moved mine from a tidier bed to the big island in the middle of the street plantings, with the messy grasses, thorny the rose, crazy lamb's ear and the three large green chamaecyparis. I have even left the stems over the winter to seed about, the whole bed might end up with them, a good thing. They are like a big dog, they need room to move! :-)
    Frances

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good morning,

    I find that it grows best where it seeds itself...if you can live with that~~mine seems to be happiest in the cedar glade bed where it has very good drainage, mind you it is not where I planted it! I like Frances' analogy...they are like big dogs and need room to move. I wonder where you did plant it!

    Gail

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amazing how some plants like to be a big root ball! I'm sure you will find it shortly!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That lantana I dug up had pretty big roots. I thought I would never get it out of the ground!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like a plant I should be growing--drought tolerant;)

    I just looked it up and some of the cultivars look really nice:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow that is a big root! I think Frances is right that the need a place to sprawl. They are nice looking plants!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gauras are one of my favorite plants in the garden! From a distance they look like little moths fluttering around and I think they add a light, airy texture that is sometimes hard to come by.

    ReplyDelete
  8. For some reason, I've never had luck with this plant and I've tried it several times. I'm impressed by the root system!

    ReplyDelete
  9. ... forgot where you planted it....
    I can relate to that. Spring is full of surprises here, fall too.

    Digging holes for lily bulbs the other day, I picked up a hyacinth bulb with a fat sprout on the top. Fortunately the post hole diggers I used hit it square in the middle, not slicing. Whew! I could have sworn the hyacinths were closer to the front. I already feared I planted the pansies on top of them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good morning all! Still nursing blisters from planting bulbs and I still have another 150 to go! Short day for me as I have exams tonight.

    Frances, This big dog is a pain because as nice as he looks in the spring-too much sprawling. You are right, he'd look great with the grasses. Maybe that is where he went. Hmmmm

    Gail, Big dog it is! Yours self seeds? I may have pulled mine out thinking they were weeds:( I have done cuttings of it but it is a pain. I'll look for them and if they self seed they can stay. Glad they do well at your Chez.

    Dawn, It might not be until spring as I truly can't remember where I put it. Says something huh?

    Linda, Those lantanas are great aren't they? So drought tolerant. Glad you got it out!

    Marnie, It is a nice plant, but site it carefully-maybe a meadow garden? It is good for bugs.

    Dave, It sure does like to sprawl-all over the other plants:( Do you have it?

    Sheila, Welcome! Love your garden blog as even though you are in Cali, we post on many of the same things. Too super cool. I do like the whirling 'butterflies' but it gets so messy. I wonder if I cut back if that would help. I should try it-when I finally find it:)

    Phillip, It is a short lived perennial and I think it does not like our southern summers, yours being even worse than mine, though you are not so far away. With all those stunning STUNNING plants in your gardens, you will not miss gaura at all. I'll trade you anyday.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Jean, We posted at nearly the same time and when I saw your name and the fact you forget where you put things I thought-my mother (also Jean), then I realized I was talking with another blogger. A very good blogger too! That hyacinth bulb was a lucky gal. You plant bulbs with a post hole digger? What a great idea. My blisters are attesting to the fact I need to try an alternative method besides the spade. I too have that problem-plants on top of plants! In fact, I have a post on it coming at some point. So many posts, not enough time I guess.

    Going to the garden now all....

    ReplyDelete
  12. Well if you don't remember where you planted it, it will show up and then you'll know. Funny.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh darn, I forgot but Lola, I did smile. Those were great! Did you send them to Skeeter? I am sure she would also enjoy them.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It looks like the gaura captured heart and lived another day. I've done that.
    Donna

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've not been impressed with the cultivars found here in FL at local nurseries. I'll probably have to look for some from Wayside or a similar supplier again. They are lovely, and the butterflies do seem to favor them. So you remember those big hair days too? I don't miss them at all!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've never planted guara, but those are some big roots! Glad you found a home for them--anything that persistent deserves a place to grow.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Tina - Would dividing them help? That's what I sometimes do when my roots get too big and clumpy.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Mom, I hope so:)

    Donna, It is easy to do. Who can really throw away good plants? Not me or you I guess:)

    Walk2Write, Yup, how can I forget Dallas and everything is bigger in Texas? That is what made me think of it. My hair is kind of big now, that is what a perm will do for you. Glad you are back in sunny Florida.

    Rose, Yes, it was telling me-no way am I going to your compost!

    JGH, These have woody stems, and so I don't think they'd divide well. But it is okay for now that it has a new home.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I never watched Dallas when it was first aired but if they would rerun them now I know I would probably be hooked. ---As I write this to snow is really coming down - hopefully not to accumulate. I'm sorry I digress, about your root ball, it obviously wanted to stay so I'm glad you are finding a home for it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi, Tina! I've never moved my gaura, so I don't know how big the root balls might be--mine stay fairly compact and I haven't known them to self seed, so I'm jealous. I look forward to seeing where yours end up.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Good Afternoon All,
    I've never planted this plant. If it sprawls very much I would have to pass on it. I can't imagine you loosing it. lol spring will tell you where it is.
    Yes, Jean, I sent it to Skeeter. I know she loves animals & would get a kick out of it. I thought it was cute.
    Later all.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Those are some big roots Tina! Not sure I have seen any such as this before.

    Busy day again....

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've had no luck with Gaura in the past. I didn't realize it had such a large rootball, glad you kept it. It probably just needed a sturdy neighbor to lean on. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Tina,
    I love my gaura. I have just 2--a pink one and a white one. Over the summer one of them got really big, so I split it down the middle. It did NOT have a huge root ball like yours! Anyway, I put half of it back in the ground and the other half into a bucket of water. It stayed in there almost a week...and finally I put it in the ground in another spot. It looked dead, but wasn't...just 'stunned'. It will most likely come up again next year. As fragile as they look, they are somewhat hardy (at least in my experience:). Jan

    ReplyDelete
  25. I agree with you. Any plant that's managed to get roots that big needs to be there! Survival of the fittest!
    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
  26. Jean, the kitty in the toilet was my favorite! lol.....

    ReplyDelete
  27. Those are big roots! I had some growing too close to the sidewalk in my church bed. I must have dug them, but I can't remember how big the roots were, or whether I replanted them or threw them away. I am getting too forgetful.

    ReplyDelete
  28. yep, that's a guara root ball. They get big. Lantana does the same thing here. I think that guara looks good interplanted among ornamental grasses like gulf muhley or miscanthus.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Cindy, I do hope you don't get a big accumulation of snow. I know it is cold up there and the winter long. Spring will be here before you know it:)

    Cosmo, Thanks-I want to know where I put it too. Gail's self seeds at her place, I hope mine does someday-if it comes back that is.

    Lola, It is for sure a spreader and leaner-a bit much but nice for the bloom.

    Skeeter, Very big!

    Racquel, That is why I was getting rid of it-too much work. Not sure the secret, but if you find it on sale somewhere maybe give it a try again. Neighbors are good to lean on.

    Jan, Stunned is a pretty good term for totally traumatized-yikes! Glad it came back and you like it. You must be an excellent gardener!

    Brenda, Yup, I love that ole Darwin-survival of the fittest for sure.

    Sue, I am so glad I am not the only forgetful one-urrr at times, but such is life. You'll find it in the spring.

    Aunt Debbi/Kurts Mom, Loved the post on how you got your name on the blog btw. And, I must say, you, Brenda, Linda (MT) and all the Texas bloggers are who I had in mind when I posted Texas-everything is bigger right?:)

    ReplyDelete
  30. LOL! Big roots--that's great! :-)

    I grew the white flowering gaura just fine at my previous house (with lots of deer). However, my gorgeous magenta ones have bloomed so little that I think they must be on the menu of some critter. I did finally shovel-prune mine this fall for want of the space for the prolific flowering agastache.

    Cameron

    ReplyDelete
  31. That is one big root mass or rhizomes in the case of this plant. I planted one of these a few years ago and it rotted over the winter. The front perennial border does not drain very well and it is good at doing in anything that likes drier soil.

    I have been putting in some fence post for the last few days and I have been digging up gooseneck loostripe runners all over the place. I am going to have a mess in the spring when all the broken bits pop up. yikes!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I haven't ever grown Gaura so this root ball is very impressive. I've had delphiniums with similar roots but they were the Pacific Giants. It must have been a beautiful plant in bloom. Hope it does well in its new spot.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Cameron, Glad you liked my big roots. What is shovel prune? I picture chopping the plant up.

    Dan, I do think it needs great drainage. Ha! That is a funny story about the gooseneck! Yes you know you will be pulling it out and what a pain!

    Kathleen, Thanks! Delphiniums with massive rootballs must be very nice. I like delphiniums very much and hope my little one overwinters.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Wow, Tina...that's Huge! I've never even heard of this plant but quickly googled some pics and the blooms are pretty!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Earlier this summer I repotted my banana plants. They had root balls at least 18 inches wide and 24 inches tall.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi again Tina, I wanted to add that mine have self seeded all over the place, another reason that I moved them to the wilder bed. I also had to get rid of the pink and reds, they did not do well at all. Also, they respond better to not being cut down at the end of the season, leave the red stems blowin' in the wind! They were native to Texas, I think. Used heavily in our Houston area, so they love the heat, but need good drainage and no pruning, they are wild and free, cannot be tamed!
    Frances

    ReplyDelete
  37. Fern, Welcome and thanks-it is a bit one for sure.

    Kanak, It is pretty, loves the heat and is drought tolerant, it should grow over there.

    Parsec, Hats off to you! I couldn't imagine repotting bananas and I bet that was a pretty big chore.

    Frances, I will watch for seedlings but I bet my cutting it down would be the problem here. Seedlings would be better because the mother plant gets so woody and leggy after a while. I'll leave it standing if it comes back-too late for this one. I wish I knew how you got EVERYTHING to self seed at Faire Gardens!

    ReplyDelete

ALL SPAM WILL BE PROMPTLY FRIED. PLEASE DO NOT LIFT PHOTOS OR WORDS. THANKS!