House plants root pruning
Root pruning is an important aspect of houseplant care that involves removing a portion of the roots to encourage new growth and promote overall plant health. This is an alternative to repotting the plant into larger pot every time the plant becomes it
Root pruning is necessary when a plant has outgrown its pot and its roots have become crowded, resulting in reduced water and nutrient uptake and stunted growth.
This technique can be applied to your house plants that do not grow rhizomes or other underground structures than roots, like rhizomes, tubers or bulbs.
How to prune
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.
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, clean 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.
Root pruning is NOT recommended for all houseplants.
Some plants, such as cacti and succulents, have shallow root systems that are adapted to arid conditions and may not respond well to root pruning. Also, plants that have underground structures like rhizomes, tubers or bulbs.
These plants cannot be root pruned and attempting this may result in the plant being irreversibly damaged. In these situations, it’s best to look into dividing the plants, based on specific methods for that plant.
It’s important to research the specific needs of your plant before pruning its roots to ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps for its care.
After pruning, the plant should be replanted in a the same pot or 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.