Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Root bound

Define: Root Bound
"When a plant grows for too long in its container, it generally becomes root bound. With no room for additional growth, roots become tangled, matted, and grow in circles. Root-bound plants placed in the ground without having their roots untangled often fail to overcome their choked condition. This results in stunting the plant's growth and potential."

This is a split-leaf philodendron that we got in 1975. It was a tiny thing, delivered by the florist when my father-in-law died. A year later, we moved to Germany and obviously couldn't take live plants, so we gave this to my sister and brother-in-law. They live on the same island as my mother whom I have been visiting for the past week and a half.

Sis and BIL planted it outdoors since they live in a climate conducive to plants like this. You can tell from the photo that it reaches nearly to the roofline of their house and the trunk has split off into multiple branches. Our baby has grown up even with several severe prunings. I was amazed.
I've come to the conclusion my writing had become root bound last year. It was sorta tangled and matted and I was going in circles. Jumping into NaNoWriMo was the equivalent of re-potting me. I had room to spread out. I had room to grow. The most I'd ever written before was 30-something thousand words on a fanfiction piece. My manuscript ended up at just over 61,000 words.
I think the new pot worked, don't you?
Have you ever felt root bound? Stifled? Frustrated because you don't have any wiggle room?
P.S. I'm back home now and my mom is doing good. I won't tell how old she is since she DOES read the blog. *g* We had a great visit, did a little shopping in the village and ate out a couple times. Of course now I have to catch up on all the things that piled up while I was gone.


Problem Child said...

We made you a list, PM, of all the things to do! (I know, we're far too kind.) We're glad you're back.

I think the biggest way to get root bound is to worry about what you "should" be writing. Too many "oughtas" will tangle anyone up.

As for plants, mine are probably all root-bound and half-dead, but my mom is back in town now, so maybe she'll be able to save them.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Root bound. I like that metaphor. :)

Yes, worrying about what you should be writing, worrying about the market, and/or chasing trends will definitely make you root bound. Sometimes a challenge is just what it takes. :)

OTOH, I am amazed to see that plant thriving and alive like that. I have no green thumb. I can kill a plant so easily it'd make your head spin.

And yet I have one triumph. An orchid. Everyone says orchids are fussy, but I think that's a lie. I ignore mine, forget to water it half the time, and the darn thing blooms and blooms. It's just put out a second shoot, and both branches (shoots?) are blooming now. Deep pink orchids everywhere.

I could kill a cactus, and this thing thrives. I'm not complaining.

Sherry Werth said...

Well PM, you just gave me a sign. I have the very same plant and I was looking at it yesterday through the kitchen window thinking I really need to re-pot that poor plant. It outgrew it's pot about two years ago and I've just been too lazy to re-pot it. Just as I've been too lazy to work on my book. But things are changing all around me and I guess it's about time for me to change too.
My son is closing on his house tomorrow and will be moving on with his life. That will be a big adjustment for me but it in turn will open up a room of the house for me to call my own. Hubby has already flipped through a few remodeling mags scoping out home office designs. He's probably not all that interested in giving me my own space, just that he gets to build something! So it looks like there will be a couple of re-potting projects going on around my house.

I'm glad your Mom is doing well. I enjoy her post. They're always so entertaining!

Angel said...

I'll second PC's idea: I'm often stifled by the "shoulds" and "oughtas". But I'm getting over it pretty well, I think. :)

Today, I'm busy with a sick child at home and tired. Ugh! Not fun.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back PM. Glad to mom is ok. Yes, it's so easy to get "root bound" with things.
ps, hopefully 3 weeks from today I should close on my home...yeah!

Smarty Pants said...

If I start thinking too hard about rules and lines and trends I just stop writing. I have to write and make revisions later to fit, as needed.

As for real plants, I have a big brown thumb.