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How to Care for Root-Bound Plants

Updated: Mar 5, 2023


In this video, Walden Floral Design's lovely plant care expert shares her tips for a root-bound plant. Diane demonstrates a helpful technique on a peace lily, but this works just as well on any indoor plant.


Root-bound plants are a common problem faced by gardeners and indoor plant enthusiasts. This occurs when a plant has outgrown its pot and its roots have filled the entire container, leaving little room for growth. If left unaddressed, root-bound plants can suffer from stunted growth, decreased blooms, and other health problems.


Here are Diane's tips for caring for root-bound plants:

  1. Re-potting: The most effective solution for root-bound plants is re-potting them into a larger container. This will give the roots more room to grow and help prevent further root damage.

  2. Choose the Right Pot: When selecting a new pot, make sure it is at least two inches larger in diameter than the previous one, and has sufficient drainage holes.

  3. Loosen the Roots: When removing the plant from its pot, gently loosen the roots with your fingers to encourage them to spread out in the new container.

  4. Soil: Use a high-quality potting mix that is well-draining and lightweight. Avoid using heavy soils that can retain too much moisture and cause root rot.

  5. Watering: Be careful not to overwater root-bound plants as they are susceptible to root rot. Allow the soil to dry out a little between waterings, and be sure to drain any excess water that collects in the bottom of the pot.

  6. Pruning: Pruning the roots helps improve the health of root-bound plants. This can be done by gently removing a portion of the roots, and then replanting the plant in a larger container.

  7. Fertilizing: Regular fertilizing can also help root-bound plants recover from their stunted growth. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer and follow the manufacturer's instructions for application.

With these techniques, it is possible to help these plants thrive and recover from their cramped conditions. With proper care, root-bound plants continue to grow and bring beauty to your indoor or outdoor spaces.


Do you need help with your plant? Be sure to check out our free Plant Clinic for in-person advise and care of your plant.

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