Have you ever seen a houseplant cry? Ok, well perhaps not actually weeping, but have you ever noticed that some houseplants drip a water-like substance from their leaves? If so, then you’ve witnessed a phenomenon that goes by the name of guttation.
What is root pruning?
Root-pruning is a horticultural practice used to control the size and health of certain houseplants. It involves removing a portion of the roots to encourage new growth and promote overall plant health. Root pruning is normally done when a plant has outgrown its pot and its roots have become crowded, resulting in reduced water and nutrient uptake and less overall vigour.
Before getting started, make sure that root-pruning is appropriate for your plant. Some species, particularly cacti and succulents, have shallow root systems that are adapted to dry conditions and may not respond well to root disturbance. Always research the specific needs of your plant to ensure that root pruning is an appropriate choice.
The process of root pruning involves carefully removing the plant from its pot, gently shaking off any loose soil, and cutting away approximately one-third of the root ball. This can be done with a sharp, sterilised pair of scissors or pruning shears. It’s important to remove only a portion of the roots to avoid causing undue stress to the plant.
After pruning, the plant should be replanted in a pot that is one size larger, with fresh potting mix, to provide adequate space for the roots to grow and spread. It’s also important to water the plant well to help settle the roots and reduce transplant shock.
When should I do root pruning?
Root pruning is best done in the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. This timing allows the plant to recover quickly and start growing new roots, which will be ready to absorb water and nutrients when it comes time for the next growing season.
In conclusion, root pruning is an important aspect of houseplant care that helps to promote healthy growth and prevent overcrowding of roots. By understanding when and how to prune roots, you can ensure that your houseplants are well-cared for and remain healthy for many years to come.