How to improve root growth

madferret(UK 8b-9a)March 3, 2014

I've got a grapefruit tree that's started to comeback quite well after having severe root rot, but the current root system looks a bit weak the plant is about 4-5ft high but the roots probably wouldn't fill a 6inch pot.

Has anyone tried these fungus root improvers? Or has any other method they use to improve a root system in a pot?

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norwoodn

I have a big batch of mycorrhizae, which is fungus that forms a symbiotic relationship with the roots. It works better in ground though, not containers.
There's a name brand called great white.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 3:03PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I would use a larger pot with really excellent drainage / porosity. The more oxygen in the root-zone, the better the roots. The trade-off, of course, is that you'll need to water thoroughly and regularly.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 6:31PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Yes, Josh brings up a great point...The more oxygen your roots get, they will thrive with time.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 6:37PM
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madferret(UK 8b-9a)

Thanks guys.

It's in a really big pot for the amount of roots and the mix is a very rough one with shredded pine tree, peat, perlite and vermiculite. Top dressed with some fancy looking gravel.

Maybe it's just a time thing.

Here's a pic of it now. I've just put it outside to get some sun.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:28AM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Hey, that looks very nice..

But the ingredients you expressed worry we so...It may be porous at the moment, but all the ingredients you mentioned except that of perlite are bound to decay, compact, and clog your air spore spaces that you need for good root healthy root function sooner than later..

I give it about 3 months or so, just in time to give you drainage issues in the fall to winter when it's too late to repot..I would consider another mix for the spring so you don't have to worry of such a thing come next fall.

Have a wonderful day_-)

MIke

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 7:39AM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

All my citrus trees are in containers with about 200 drain holes in the bottom and about 100 aeration holes around the sides. I use a 1/8 inch drill bit. A 16 penny nail heated up will work fine as will an electronics soldering iron.


sweetlee tangerine tree grown from seed is in a bucket with around 300 small hole for drainage and aeration. Notice the smaller bucket under the root container with the vacuum cleaner hose in its side. I use this to pull the excess water out after a though flushing. m This also aerates the roots. The trees are grown with this under them to keep the bottom holes available for aeration as well as the sides.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 8:27AM
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madferret(UK 8b-9a)

Thanks for the advice Mike I'll be sure to get it into something coarser as soon as weather permits.

It's not quite as bad as it looks as the top few inches is a bit less mixed than the rest as I dumped that on top of some roots that we're showing.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:49AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Like Mike said, I would eliminate the vermiculite completely.
Bark and perlite are great, as long as there's not too much peat. In the UK, superior drainage is going to be essential.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 11:10AM
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