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BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 943
I'm aware of 'teasing' roots but it feels like 'ripping' when I do it :o 

How much would you disturb the roots of this trollius europaeus, for example?

And would the rootbound nature of the plant be the reason it looks like this or is it just dying back?


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,347
    It's just dying back. Geraniums can cope with any abuse  :)
    It probably could be put into a bigger pot though.
    I'd be quite rough with the first one. It's very pot bound.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,759
    You do need to free those roots or they’ll just keep growing round and round,  the plants dying off anyway.  It won’t matter if you break some, plenty there. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,759
    I think you could plant it out in the garden now, there’s plenty of root, but see what others think. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • The new growth looks very pale but despite that, the roots are extremely congested.
    If it normally dies down over winter it may be better to leave it it til Spring.
    I'd be a bit rough with that - get hold of it at the bottom and pull it apart.  Once you've done that, tease out the 2 halves and break the roots which are presumably well concentrated at the base.The other alternative is to cut all the droopy leaves off and spread the root ball out, trim the roots and re pot.
    A lot of those roots won't be doing much as they have no compost to get in to. 

  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 943
    Thanks folks!

    The roots have been assaulted and I've put it in a bigger pot for the winter (the planned planted destination won't be ready for a while @Lyn), which was always the plan once I saw the roots coming through the bottom of the pot.

    I guess the extent of the root formation in that small pot is the reason it was included in a cheap-as-chips, lucky dip, dozen perennials offer @fairygirl ;)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,347
    Ah - I see. If it's filling that pot it might benefit from a bit more room, even though it's fairly dormant now. If you have somewhere to plant it out, you could do that though.  :)  
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,528
    Too late for this time, @Biglad, I see you've done it.  I always used to wonder how we're supposed to "tease apart" a rootball; if I tried to pick the roots with my fingers, they just broke off.  Then I had the idea of using a handfork, and it often works well.  Push the fork into the side of the rootball, about half way down it, and wiggle the fork towards the bottom.  Turn the rootball round and repeat, two or three times.
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 943
    Thanks @josusa47 I've got another half dozen new plants to inspect tomorrow. None of them seem to be filling their pots quite like the pictured trollius was, but I'll try your method if I find any teasing is required ;)
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