The Q&A Archives: Cutting Plant Roots

Question: I work in a greenhouse and we are trying to keep our plant containers the same size that they are now, so that we don't run into the problem of having six huge plants and no room for anything else. Can you cut the roots off the bottom of plants to keep them in the same size pot that they just came out of, without harming the plant? Or is there any plant that likes this better than others?

Answer: You can root prune most fibrous rooted plants without too much harm. Slice about one inch off the bottom and sides and repot, using fresh potting soil in the bottom and sides of the pot. Plants with tap roots won't be happy with this type of root pruning, so use this method only on fibrous rooted plants.

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