The Difference Between Bare Root And Potted?

A potted or containerised plant is a plant grown in a container which can be safely planted at any time of the year and will grow on strongly provided it is not allowed to dry out before or after planting. Containerised plants are usually grown in moss peat and they require regular watering and feeding.

Plants are usually grown in plastic containers varying in capacity from about one litre to 7.5 litres.The horticultural industry is keen to start using bio degradable pots and a lot of research is currently being done on the viability of coconut fibre pots.

Bare root is the term given to plants which are grown to saleable size in the nursery field or ‘open ground’. These plants are dug or lifted in mid-winter when they are dormant (stopped growing because of cold). The clay is shaken from the roots, (no farmer wants to give away the clay) and the plant is held in cold store or ‘heeled in’ to a trench where the roots are kept moist and frost free.

These plants can be safely transplanted only in the dormant season which is from November to the end of March. Bare root plants can be either deciduous i.e. they lose their leaves in winter like oak, or evergreen like holly. Not all plants (notably holly) transplant well in the bare root state and it is better to buy these in pots.