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root bound seedlings

peteSpeteS Posts: 927

Can anyone tell me if it is possible to save root bound seedlings. When they arrived by post a couple of weeks ago, they looked very leggy and root bound. I potted them up immediately, but unfortunately there hasn't been any sign of root expansion into the surrounding compost since and are beginning to look a bit worse for wear.


  • peteSpeteS Posts: 927

    I didn't tease the roots out, because although they were tightly wrapped around, they were very brittle and fragile and I probably would have done more harm than good. Plants in a 2 or 3ltr pot maybe, but didn't fancy doing it with little plants like these. Regarding size of pot, they were transplanted into 10cm pots, about 2 or 3 times the size of the root ball.

  • Mary370Mary370 Posts: 2,003

    I read a very interesting article during the week about 'root washing', it was on an American gardening website.  The advise was, when repotting, particularly trees and shrubs, but including seedlings, that the roots should be gently swilled in water to remove all the earth, in order to check for any sign of grubs/insects, to avoid infecting own soil with contaminated soil, and to trim roots if necessary.  It is particularly effective for root bound plants I gather, a they can be more easily teased apart when all the soil is removed.

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