Root pruning

bhvdmSeptember 20, 2013

I just started repotting some of my older Adeniums this morning, and want to get some advice on how to trim the roots.

There are some big roots which I will leave, but should I cut back the smaller roots at this stage or do I leave some of them to further develop and create additional character?

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ltran54(9)

Some people do trim the roots, but if it is my plant I don't trim roots. Healthy roots system help your plant to grow strong and fast. Only my opinion.
Other members may think differently.
Marie

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 3:23PM
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11otis

Great caudex. Do you remember when the previous re-pot was done? It has formed an impressive caudex since.
IMHO, DRs do a great job under the soil surface.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 11:46PM
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rcharles_gw(8a.)

I would not prune the roots. If you did raise it slightly the fleshy roots could have a nice look as it ages and those roots become larger. The fine feeder roots would most likely air dry and be easily removed, leaving the thicker ones.
I agree with Otis, that these Adeniums (obesum) in particular can produce very nice root systems soon to be the attractive structure when raised we call the caudex.
I wonder sometimes if we should be leaving the seedlings for a longer period of time with enough soil space to develop an extensive root system, before ever being raised up?
Something that I am trying with many of mine.
Just a thought,
Rick

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 10:01AM
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bhvdm

Thanks all. I have now raised it a bit and will see how it develops over time. If the small feeder roots continue to be distracting from the bigger caudex, I will maybe trim them but for now let's see how it develops.

Otis, I think the previous repot was probably more than 1.5 years ago. I notice that this is far too long between repotting because the caudex flattens off at the bottom where it reached the pot and that caused a somewhat unnatural look (to me).

Rick. I agree that leaving the seedling longer will cause more extensive roots, but my own experience is that this is often just an elongated caudex which for me is not particularly interesting. I am actually wondering whether using shallower pots might not give better caudex development because I want the caudex to develop thickness more than length.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 10:46AM
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bhvdm

Thanks all. I have now raised it a bit and will see how it develops over time. If the small feeder roots continue to be distracting from the bigger caudex, I will maybe trim them but for now let's see how it develops.

Otis, I think the previous repot was probably more than 1.5 years ago. I notice that this is far too long between repotting because the caudex flattens off at the bottom where it reached the pot and that caused a somewhat unnatural look (to me).

Rick. I agree that leaving the seedling longer will cause more extensive roots, but my own experience is that this is often just an elongated caudex which for me is not particularly interesting. I am actually wondering whether using shallower pots might not give better caudex development because I want the caudex to develop thickness more than length.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 12:21PM
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11otis

BHvdm: Not trying to hy-jack your thread; but while we're still on the subject of caudex shape and root development, i have been wondering the same as Rick:
""should be leaving the seedlings for a longer period of time......... before ever being raised up?"" a n d deeper.
I think I'll start a new thread on this.

""I am actually wondering whether using shallower pots might not give better caudex development because I want the caudex to develop thickness more than length.""
I'm not a scientist or anything but I'm pretty sure the roots' direction of growth is in search of water. Our dilemma with DRs is root rot, hence the fast draining medium and that's where it points to: down. I am planning to try some of my seedlings (once they're big enough to be transplanted in single pots, say after 6 true leaves) in a less fast draining medium and over a bottle cap? And maybe NOT in clay pots?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 4:08PM
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rcharles_gw(8a.)

Otis & BHvdm,
It is interesting this caudex debate and hopefully we can learn something through our trIals. I am sure answers that many top growers know already.

I think we can alter caudex size somewhat by manipulation/potting, but I truly believe that each of these plants (Obesum's) have their own characteristics (caudex/root development) genetically and "you get what you get".

I have a grafted plant that I have had for quite a few years now and I just repotted it this summer. I noticed that the plant had changed position and size over the time from initial potting. I was new to them and forgot that I had placed a layer of lava rock in the bottom of the pot.
The plant was growing in root size, but it was actually just pushing itself out of the pot and giving a slanted appearance.

I am trying the practice that Kirk spoke of called "ballooning" in a thread that he had started. I have two plants in bonsai pots and have clipped in half on them and want to see if this will work with these obesum juvenilles.
Rick

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 7:46PM
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kodom087 z9a

I agree with everyone about pruning or not. It's all an experiment for me right now so some I do and some I don't. Especially if I find the finer roots are in spots that could lead to interesting shapes I'll surely leave those alone. In my observations from this year the finer roots will fatten up.

Rick, I am experimenting with that "ballooning" as well. I just have not found out how often they trim the leaves. Seems I recall something about using a high nitrogen fert for them as well because of the constant trimming and production of leaves will use up the extra nitrogen. I haven't experimented with that part as of yet. Keep me posted on your observations.

Kirk

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:54PM
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