Hello, my name is Ms. Kate and welcome to my series called, “Gardening with Ms. Kate!”
This series is about teaching us how to keep our plants (indoor and outdoor) happy and healthy. Today, we will be talking about plants being rootbound; what it means, what it can do, and how to solve it.
Rootbound is when the roots of a plant wind around each other, causing them to bind. This can cause the plant itself to suffer; when its roots are bound like this, they are unable to get enough nutrients or water. You can identify if your plant is rootbound when it does not respond to water. To confirm our diagnosis, we will carefully take our plant out of its pot by flipping the pot upside down (into a trash can or sink for the soil that is about to spill out) with our hands holding onto the plant, we will carefully pry it out of the soil. If the roots are wrapped around the whole plant, it is indeed rootbound.
Now that we have effectively identified that the plant is rootbound, how do we solve this issue? You can fix the problem in two ways; repotting the plant in a larger plant to let the roots expand or, unwind the roots, kind of like a necklace that has a lot of knots in it. Depending on how twisted the roots are, you may need to prune them.