Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pulling Up Roots

As a general rule, you will get better results from plants if you start them from seeds in the place where you want them to grow.  However, this is not always possible: seeds don't always breed true, your growing season is too short, etc.  In these cases, it is important not to let the plant become pot bound, where the roots hit the sides and start circling around.  These roots can end up killing the plant -- imagine putting a solid piece of wood around a child's neck and leaving it there as the child grows.  What was ample room at first becomes impossible to get food and air through by adulthood.

What appears to work best is treating the pots with a copper hydroxide solution ahead of time.  This kills the roots as they touch the pot, so they never start circling.  If that is not done first, you may want to remove all the soil from potted plants and cut crooked roots before transplanting.  This should work well when the plant is dormant; it is the way most plants are shipped by mail.  I'm not so sure how good your results would be for an actively growing plant, however.  For those, you may want to use slicing, butterfly pruning, or teasing to get more fibrous root growth.

No comments:

Post a Comment