Salvaging rootbound plants

3 ways to loosen coiled roots before planting

1. It is important to loosen coiled roots before planting so they will grow into the soil. With your hands, tease the roots apart. Then cut off any extra-long roots with clippers.

2. Another method is to spray the soil away from the root ball with a strong jet of water, then loosen and uncoil the roots.

3. A third ― and more drastic ― method is to make several vertical slits in the root ball with a knife to stimulate new root growth.