What is air root pruning?

Pruning is a good way to remove dead or overgrown branches and stems on a growing plant to help it increase growth and improve yield. This is done on an easily seen and accessible part of the plant, and most gardeners incorporate it as a regular part of their garden maintenance. For potted plants, root pruning is just as important to their ability to flourish, and the way this task is performed has evolved markedly.

Pruning Sheras

Roots are meant to grow out as the plant develops, allowing them to supply more nutrients and equip the ever-growing plant with a strong support structure. Since plants are not meant to live in containers, the roots they produce will have nowhere to go and end up circling around the inside of the pot they’re in, creating a dense web of roots. When the grower goes to transplant or repot the plant is it’s difficult to remove from the pot, and oftentimes has taken the shape of it. This means that the roots have replaced most of the potting soil, and this web of roots can cause stress for the plant as well as deprive it of much needed nutrients and water. The solution is generally to loosen the root ball and move the plant to a larger pot, keeping the plant well-watered in the following weeks to help encourage the roots to start to branch outwards so the plant can recover from the strain of being transplanted. The best way to avoid this trauma to the plant is by starting it in a pot that supports air root pruning.

Trees in air root pruning pots

Early air root pruning was performed by having a container with holes in the sides which the roots would grow towards. As the roots grow out of the hole and encounter dry air, the tip of the root becomes desiccated – or ‘pruned’ – causing a series of secondary roots to grow in order to replace it. This process will continue to happen as the plant grows, creating a root system with bountiful, vigorous roots.

Regular roots vs. GeoPot roots

GeoPot Fabric Pots are based on this practice of air root pruning, but instead of holes, GeoPot Fabric Pots feature a long-lasting geotextile fabric that takes care of the air root pruning wherever the roots are growing. When the root tips reach the side, they’re trapped by the porous fabric, and then they encounter the air on the outside of the pot where they are then naturally pruned. This pruning process forces the branching out of secondary roots, which are more productive in the uptake of water and nutrients, resulting in a hearty, more robust plant that utilizes the entire root zone for optimum plant growth.

Besides the air root pruning, GeoPot Fabric Pots have additional benefits for the roots of the developing plant. The geotextile fabric allows air to enter the root zone from all surfaces of the container, providing aeration which creates a healthy environment for the roots as well as the beneficial microorganisms and bacteria surrounding them. This aeration also provides oxygen to the roots, which is essential for the metabolic process in absorbing minerals and nutrients. Roots without adequate access to oxygen will result in weak plants that exhibit slow growth that are susceptible to pests and diseases.

Air flow in a GeoPot

Air root pruning is a practical way to make sure your potted plant can prosper, with all the hard work being done by the pot. GeoPot Fabric Pots take care of the whole root system, supplying far more than just the air root pruning – making it an excellent choice for any grower who’s interested in how well their potted plants are growing!

Have a hydroponic or garden supply store? Left Coast Wholesale has you covered with wholesale pricing available on the GeoPot Fabric Pots. If you’re looking for GeoPot Fabric Pots near you, call 800.681.1757 today to find a local GeoPot Fabric Pots retailer!


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