Salvaging rootbound plants

3 ways to loosen coiled roots before planting

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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.

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