The Q&A Archives: Root Bound Annuals

Question: What is the best way to treat the root system of root-bound annuals before planting?

Answer: In some cases, severely root bound plants have already become so stressed that they will not thrive no matter what you do. But in general, moderately root bound transplants do just fine. In fact, a strong root system will make a strong plant. The best thing to do is to try to loosen the roots somewhat so that they are directed outward, and loosen the soil around the planting hole so that the roots can move into it easily. You might also pay special attention to those plants at watering time since they will have suffered some root damage in the process. Finally, they will establish fastest in moist but well drained soil with a high level of organic matter and adequate fertility.

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