What to do with roots that have grown too long?

The plants that we have in a pot with the passage of time are running out of enough space for their roots. These grow adapting to the container, and when they can no longer do so, they come out through the drainage holes.

Although it is not a problem in itself, if we did nothing, there would come a time when it would be quite difficult to extract the plant. Knowing this, what to do with roots that have overgrown?


  • 1 Extract the plant carefully
  • 2 Trim the roots

Extract the plant carefully

Roots coming out of drainage holes

Transplantation is the most recommended option. When the roots have grown so much, it is because the plant urgently needs a somewhat larger pot. The question is, how to get it out? Very easy, as follows:

  1. The first thing to do is to tap the pot so that the root ball “detaches” from it.
  2. Then, we take the pot and tilt the plant down a little, putting a hand on the base of it.
  3. Finally, we carefully pull it out.

If we see that the roots are very tangled, before carrying out these steps we have to patiently untangle them. It may be necessary to break the pot, which we can do with scissors or a serrated knife.

Afterwards, all that remains is to plant it in a new container with a new substrate and give it a good watering.

trim the roots

bonsai mom

When we have, for example, a bonsai or a hard plant like a rosebush, we can (and in fact, we must do it in the first case) cut the roots. This task will be carried out with scissors previously disinfected with alcohol at the end of winter .

We have to take it out of the pot, and with a stick or a small rake we will comb the roots to untangle them. To make it easier for us, we can put the root ball in a bowl of water. Then, we will cut those that have grown excessively, and we will remove those that look black.

Finally, we will plant them in a new pot.

Has it been useful to you?

What to do with roots that have grown too long?

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