The process of root pruning involves slicing through the plant roots to encourage and encourage healthier growth. But do you know that root pruning can increase your plants' yields as well?
While there are several gardening techniques, pruning is relatively more common than others. According to several experts, hydroponics is an essential practice in gardening. Plants that are grown in soil need their roots pruned sometimes.
Keep reading the article to know more about root pruning, why it is essential, what it entails, how one must execute it, and much more!
Root Pruning – What is it?
Root pruning, like its name, is about pruning the roots. Do you know it is possible for the plant foliage sometimes to become a significant problem – so can your roots.
Let's first go over some of the advantages of root pruning before we get into the specifics of how to prune your plants.
Benefits of Plant Root Pruning
When it comes to root pruning, it's not a necessity for your plants. However, we highly recommend you do it as it can save your plants from being root-bound. If the plants ever become root bound, they will not have access to the water and nutrients required for optimal growth and stay healthy throughout the cycle.
It may be a routine task for you when it comes to hydroponic systems. However, if you're growing without soil, you might be well aware of how explosive the root growth can be in a DWC, ebb-and-flow system, or aeroponic.
In some cases, the mass of your root can become so productive it starts impeding the overall performance. In situations such as these, root trimming is a task necessary for your plants. Here are some other benefits of pruning your roots.
Increase the small branching and lateral growth of your root by pruning runner or apical roots.
To prevent issues faced by plants that are grown hydroponically, such as interference with system performance.
To prevent root circles/root binding in plants grown through traditional means. It ensures plants have sufficient moisture uptake and optimal nutrient reception.
When you prune your plants properly, it ensures optimal yield and plant growth. It prevents all potential issues that might take place with overgrown roots. Now let's discuss some techniques for pruning your plants.
Plant Pruning Techniques for Hydroponic Plants
Plant pruning techniques for hydroponic plants differ from plants grown through traditional means. In fact, for hydroponic plants, it is considered more of a routine procedure for plant maintenance.
With easy access to roots, root pruning is possible without worrying about stressing the plants or any troubles during the process.
For different growth stages of your plants, you need to follow other protocols as well. Some plant growers recommend that plant pruning can be more suitable when hydroponic plants' develops roots completely.
Root pruning in the early stages is as easy as snipping the apical roots that dominate the root mass. Reducing their length and turning them around to face the nearby roots will do.
You can periodically continue to prone the most conspicuous roots for creating an even ball of the root during your vegetation growth.
Note: you need to ensure only 10-15% of the roots are pruned, not more than that, or will stress your plant, resulting in stunted growth.
Root pruning should cease once the flowering begins, as you do not want to take all the energy and stress out the plant from bud development. However, it becomes necessary, and you can start pruning the outer roots (again, not using more than 10-15% total root mass).
As with all the other forms of plant training or plant care, don't forget to sterilize the pruning tools and use disinfectant when cutting portions of your plants.
Plant Pruning Techniques for Plants Grown on Traditional Soil
Pruning soil plants are different from pruning hydroponic plants. The process is much more involving as your plants' roots are in the soil, and you cannot check the roots out by simply lifting the lid.
Instead, you only want to prune the root when the plants become root-bound. According to experts, this is one of the most effective ways to solve the problem and prevent it from ever retaking place.
You will also need to remove the plant from the growing pot and get rid of as much soil as possible to have better roots access. Next, you have to cut the lower third portion of the root ball and try detangling the plant roots as much as you can.
To help your plants not get stressed out, we recommend proper feeding and healthy watering.
Air Pruning – What Is It?
Why water the plants manually? Prevent your root balls from ever taking place in the first place by using the technique called air pruning.
You need to remember that it can only occur in some pots, such as fabric pots or smart pots. Because of how porous these pots are, air can reach the plant roots through them.
After you prune the roots, you reduce the change of growing tangled roots at once so that your plant can continue healthy growth.
Growing in Air Pots
Air pots are a different kind of garden pot and very different from the ones discussed above. Air pots encourage air pruning using the holes on the sides of the air pots. These pots prevent root binding and circling and help with the healthier growth of the roots.
If you are already growing in an air pot, then you no longer need to prune the roots manually. These pots are expensive because of these features, but they are worth the investment if you're looking to save both your time and money. They also help with better cultivation and high-quality plantation.
Suppose you prefer to keep the mother plant for cloning purposes. In that case, chances are you are more likely to need continuous pruning for her.
If you don't regularly prune the plant, the roots will keep on growing. While most growers keep mother plants in an extensive hydroponic system and large garden pots, odds are the roots will someday outgrow the pot.
Therefore, if you have been keeping a mother plant for nearly 3-6 months or even longer, you need to check the roots for pruning.
Root Pruning – Final Thoughts
All in all, root pruning is not something you need to do with every growth cycle or all soil-grown plants.
Rather, keep checking the root health, and if you sense any kind of biding in the roots, tangling, or circling, try pruning your roots and transplanting them into a large container.
We hope you find these techniques and practices useful. Further, you can grab your supplies and tools at GroIndoor.com to make your root pruning easier and efficient.