Root Washing Your New Plants

Root Washing Your New Plants

Why is root washing your new plants a good idea? Have you heard of root washing before? It is a way of ‘washing’ the roots of new trees, shrubs, and perennials before you plant them in their new position in your garden. It is an exciting concept that has become more popular recently to help your new plants establish after planting. It might seem odd at first, but if the process is undertaken correctly, root washing can give your plants a better chance of thriving. 

Why Start Root Washing Your New Plants 

Often plants don’t establish after transplanting, or even die because the roots don’t correctly establish themselves. This could be for various reasons, but you’ll usually notice leaves and flowers continue to grow just fine, and that is because the roots haven’t been disturbed. But under the soil, the roots may not be adequately established to keep the plant thriving long-term. The difference with container-grown, as opposed to bare-root plants, is that bare roots put their energy into establishing the roots first, which gives the plant a better chance of survival. So, to allow roots contact with the soil they are being planted in, they could be ‘washed’ to grow similarly to bare roots.

How to Start Root Washing Your New Plants

When you purchase a container plant, ideally in its dormant stage (because this reduces stress), here's how to start:

  1. Remove the plant from the container.

  2. Shake or gently tap away any loose compost, any weeds, and anything else.

  3. Now you are left with the plant and the root ball with the growing medium intact.

  4. If you have a wheelbarrow or a large container, this can be ideal for root washing.

  5. Fill the wheelbarrow with water high enough to cover the ball completely.

  6. It is crucial never to let the root ball dry out, so it must be fully submerged.

  7. Remove as much of the compost as you possibly can with your hands. 

What Next When You Start Root Washing Your New Plants 

When you get to the point of seeing the entire root system, gently tease them, so they begin to spread outwards rather than in a circle. Poor root structure can impede root establishment and, therefore, plant growth, so prune away woody roots and straighten out other roots as much as you can. 

When You Have Finished Root Washing Your New Plants 

When you are happy with the root structure, plant out by digging a hole with enough space around it for the roots to spread. Backfill with soil and water in well. Mulching will also help to retain moisture. 

Get your plants, tools, and wheelbarrow ready to root wash from our in-store options. 

You might also be interested in:

Cutting houseplants - Is it really necessary?

In the world of indoor gardening, the topic of cutting or pruning houseplants often raises questions and uncertainties. Do our leafy companions truly benefit from the occasional trim, or is it an unnecessary intervention? In this exploration, we'll unravel the mysteries surrounding cutting houseplants, understanding the reasons behind this practice and discovering the potential benefits it can bring to the health and aesthetics of our indoor greenery.

...

Read more...
Room design with indoor plants for a green jungle

Transforming your living space into a lush green jungle is not just a design choice; it's a commitment to infusing vitality and tranquillity into your home. In this guide, we'll embark on a journey to create a botanical haven within your four walls. From selecting the right plants to arranging them in harmonious clusters, let's explore how room design with indoor plants can turn your home into a vibrant and refreshing oasis.

...

Read more...
3 Fabulous Flower Seeds to Sow in February

Here are some of our favourite flowers that can all be sown in February.

Read more...
What Is a Hardy Plant?

How can you tell whether a plant is hardy or not? Here's how.

Read more...