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Spiral roots problem

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by Weednuts on September 07, 2006 11:20 PM
Hey gang, nice site here! New to plant care here and I have a question.

I have recently repaired a plant in hopes of rejuvenating it. I pruned and cut away dead leaves and leaf material. I don't know what it is. Right now it's only a few inches tall and has many little stalk like leaves that protrude from the center. Lot of little leaves. Could be a viny type of plant.

Anyway, I decided to replant it in a larger pot while I was fixing it up. I noticed that the roots, although not unhealthy, have wrapped many, many times around the bottom of the pot at the inside edges. Weird looking. Now I went ahead and replanted it anyway since I had everything ready to go. Did I do the right thing? The structure of roots was so wrapped around I didn't know what to do in fear of doing the wrong thing. Can I cut away the exessive root structure? Will the plant take if I do that. I fear that the massive roots will cause something bad at some point.

It's not that this is an important plant, just a learning experience. Thanks in advance for any responses.

by Weednuts on September 08, 2006 12:25 AM
Ahh, nevermind. I checked out the repotting how to and decided to cut away the excess and replant. Everything is in now, we'll see how it goes.
by tkhooper on September 08, 2006 12:58 AM
Many plants like to be root bound and that's what you were describing about the roots being wrapped around and around the bottom of the pot.

There are bunches and bunches of different plants and they can require very very different care depending on the type they are. So the first thing to do is try to identify what you have. If you have a digital camera and can get a picture of the plant. Posting it in Mystery plants is the easiest way to get it identified. If you can't get a picture describe it to the best of your ability in that section. Sometimes it can still be identified quickly with only a discription.

Most plants bloom for a certain amount of time and then go dormant or die depending on whether it is an annual or a perennial. So your plant may just be preparing for fall. Or it may have been summer dormant. My miniature roses did that this summer.

So always the most important thing to do is identify your plant.

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by joclyn on September 08, 2006 12:50 PM
yes, some plants do like to be root-bound (spider plant is one).

most times, when the roots do what you are describing, it's an indication that the plant has outgrown the pot.

a picture of it would be the best way for it to be identified...i don't have a digital camera and i just get the film developed and put on a disc so that i can upload the pics to my photobucket account and then display them in my posts.

a really good description of the leaves, stems and flowers can do it...we've got some REALLY good people here!!

make sure to describe size, color, growth pattern.
by Star Dancer on October 11, 2006 05:38 PM
Most indoor do best when rootbound. A good rule of thumb is 80% roots to 20% soil. Doesn't sound like much soil, however that ratio is optimum for most indoor plants. Anything less and it isn't necessary to repot.

Root pruning won't harm the plant. It is often done when a plant has outgrown its pot but you don't want to repot to a larger size. Prune the outer 1/2-1" of the bottom and sides of the roots, depending on the rootball size, add a comparable amount of soil mix to the bottom of the origianl pot and repot the plant at the same height it was originally, filling in the sides with soil mix.


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