All About Roots
The health of a plant’s roots is an important aspect of successful gardening. Growing a small tree
in a container or planting a mixed herb garden, the roots of the plants must be taken into account
for best performance. For more information or questions about a specific plant, please consult one
of Swanson’s nursery professionals.
Plants in containers must have adequate room for the roots to grow and thrive. Growing large
shrubs or small trees in containers will require root pruning over time. Carefully remove the plant
from its pot. Place it on the ground and remove the outer 3-4 inches of roots from around the root
ball. Cut any circling roots. Remove the bottom 6-8 inches of the root ball. Repot into the same
container with Dr. Earth All Purpose Organic Fertilizer. Water well until established.
DIVIDING PERENNIALS AND GRASSES
Perennials and ornamental grasses are divided in spring or fall. The entire plant should be lifted out
of the soil, placed on the ground and split with a shape spade, ax or pruning saw. The inner, less
vibrant portions of the plant should be discarded and the remaining outer portions replanted so
they may continue to grow. Water well until established.
PLANTING IN AREAS WITH ROOT COMPETITION FROM OTHER PLANTS
Select the best plants for the sun/shade requirements of the site and those that are best
capable of competing with the root system. Surface rooting plants, like groundcovers, tend to do
best. Next best are plants with spreading roots like Japanese Anemone or Wood Spurge.
Determine the extent of the root mass to be planted into and carefully dig out sufficient area for
the roots of the new plant to get established. Add additional compost and Dr. Earth All Purpose
Organic Fertilizer. Water well until established.
SOIL BORNE MICROBES: MYCORRHIZAE
The word “mycorrhizae” from the Greek words: mykes, meaning fungus and rhiza, meaning root.
Mycorrhizae are specialized, beneficial fungi that form symbiotic relationships with plant roots.
It is estimated that up to 90% of land plants develop some kind of symbiosis with mycorrhizae.
Adding Dr. Earth All Purpose Organic Fertilizer with mycorrhizae will greatly enhance the ability of
the plant to get established by increasing the quantity of the roots.