Should You Loosen Roots Before Planting

May 14, 2022
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You may be wondering whether it is necessary to loosen the roots of your plants before planting them into the ground. This can be a messy process and often involves breaking some of the roots, so do you need to do it, or not?

You should always loosen plant roots before you put a plant into a new container or the ground. This is because the roots have grown to the shape of their previous container, and may continue growing in that shape even once they have more space. Loosening them encourages them to branch out.

Loosening the roots has quite a few benefits for your plants, so let’s find out more!

Should You Loosen Roots Before Planting?

It is important to loosen the roots of your plant before you put the plant in the ground. You should do this for all plants except seedlings. You may occasionally see advice against this because it damages the roots, but it is still generally agreed that it’s beneficial overall.

It is true that when you break the roots, you are damaging the plant and reducing its ability to soak up water and nutrients in the short term. You may also cause some stress. However, this is generally considered worth doing, because it encourages the plant to adapt to the new environment.

Loosening the roots serves several different purposes, including:

  • The roots are encouraged to spread throughout the pot because they have more space
  • The roots will shape themselves to the new container, rather than conforming to the old one
  • More oxygen and soil can get to the roots in the center, making them more efficient

The most important of these is that the roots start spreading into the available space, because this will ensure that your plant is well anchored and