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Old 01-16-2006, 11:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Pruning roots

The plants we want to keep because they are special to us for whatever reason, are called mother plants or just moms.
We take clones from them every few weeks or so whether we need them or not to prune the plant and keep it a managable size.

Eventually the roots fill the pot or cup it is in and they start to droop and get sickly looking.
When the plant is weak for whatever reason it is easier for bugs and sickness to do serious damage.

Instead of potting the mom to a larger pot, I trim the roots.
I have limited room in my mom/clone chamber so I keep my moms in cups as long as possible.

I have done a pictoral thingy showing how I do it with my moms.

I have never had a plant react badly to this treatment and I have done it well over 50 times in total to about 9 moms.
The one in the picture has been in a cup for at least 80-90 days.
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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And the finish
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Old 01-16-2006, 11:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The mom didn't need the sides cut, only the bottom.
I chose to cut her anyways for the picture.

She stopped growing for about 3 days, a week after this I took clones as per usual.
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Old 01-16-2006, 12:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I love it,, a very nice tutorial on how to keep a mother alive.
It always is a sad thing to lose a good mother.
To keep a plant like canna alive,
in a damn dixie cup for 8-9 monthes is quite an accomplishment.
This method would allow for years of life, I recognise it from
"Bonsai" tutorials, I just never thought to apply it to canna,
Very nice Dan............ Kudos!
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Do the old roots die or something? Why is this necessary?
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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at the end of the roots is an area called the mychorrizza (lol, something moderately close to that) it's like tiny tiny hair like roots, they only extend a few mm's from the root but increase the surface area by 1000-10,000x, this is where most transfer of nutes etc takes place. if a plant is root bound there is nowhere for nutrient transfer to take place, all the space is taken up. or something like that.
thanks for finding this slunt, I hadn't seen it.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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This is what Mychorrizal are. We used to use a product that upped the level of these living organisms, but making them dormant until they come inconntact with water/plant roots. To much avail. There are natural sources available, without paying for lab modified fungus.

In British Columbia, where there is alot of leaching from rain on thin soil, really makes all the plants here thirvant on this little buggers.

Mycorrhizal Fungi – Renewing an Ancient Partnership with Crops

Millions of years ago a symbiotic partnership developed between plants and mycorrhizal fungi dwelling in the soil among plant roots. Both faced many natural stresses, and to survive each needed something the other could provide. The fungi needed sugars plants could manufacture for them as food. The plants needed greater root reach and numbers to draw in more nutrients so they could grow stronger, and stronger.

Mycorrhizal fungi began to serve as a secondary root system, organizing and extending themselves far out into the soil with tubular structures that extract mineral elements and water from soil and transport them to the roots of their host plant. The fungi in turn live off the plant’s sugars translocated to them by the roots.

Trees and plants with thriving “mycorrhizal roots” systems are better able to survive and thrive in stressful environments, such as the nearly biologically sterile soil conditions modern agricultural technologies have created for crops. Mycorrhizal fungi still exist in farm soil, but their numbers have been greatly diminished over decades of tillage, fumigation, chemical applications, fertilization, and too often, drought.


The scientists who launched Plant Health Care, Inc. researched and developed environmentally sound ways to mass produce inoculants that reintroduce into the soil appropriate quantities of mycorrhizal fungi, often in tandem with other essential soil bacteria. PHC now has a growing line of natural mycorrhizal products for agriculture that restore what Mother Nature intended – a soil ecological balance that enhances crop root systems, plant health and vigor, and ultimately improves yield and quality.

Plant anatomy: http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/...PLANTANAT.html

This is a good post Dan. I think is one of the most misconstued things people see about plants. When I worked in a greenhouse people would come in and be like 'fuck yea' these have some good roots, looking at a flat of grass grown to tha table, 'Nah man, make sure you cut off some roots before you root them into a bigger pot.' You want roots to have vigour and lots of fresh white roots, most important in getting a plant to a particular pot size.

The fungi aid that process by making more water and nutrients available so the new roots aren't scared to venture out more from the root mass.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Is there a certain age that a plant must be before this can be done? Also does anyone know that if one were to do this to a plant in veg that will be flowered if that will be affected at all? Wanted to do this last time but was hesitant about doing more harm than good.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The age is immaterial- if the plant is rootbound pruning the roots is the way to go if you want to keep the plant in the same size container.

It's fine to flower the plant at some later date, the whole point is to keep mother plants in good condition.

I wouldn't advise pruning the roots of a plant in flower.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Great thread. Some info i WILL use and have really needed as to conserve space.


Question: Like the kid two posts above me asked, but im gonna ask it a little differently.

If i was to do this to a plant pre-flower, say middle of its first veg cycle, not even sure of sex... i would be afraid of stressing the plant into herming out.

I was always taught to treat the roots gently and try your best not to damage them as they are very fragile.
Then i see Dan just choppin the fuckers up with a big ass knife, keeping moms in fuckin solo cups lol.

so yeah... why wouldnt this stress the plants into becoming a hermy?
Is it different for mothers/sexed plants opposed to preflower unsexed plants?
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Pruning the roots stresses the plant less than being rootbound.

Plants are much more liable to herm in flower than veg. Also they grow new roots easier in veg.
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Old 05-05-2011, 07:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Pruning roots eh? Thats never occurred to me. I think the catnip will get that treatment, test run style. Poor thing has been rootbound for months, yet somehow still thrives.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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ok next question.

If roots are able to be pruned like this, what would stop you from being able to grow out a good sized mature plant in nothing but a solo cup.

Id love to be able to grow girls out fully in a say 2 liter bottle. Is this possible?

From seed mind you. not clones.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:26 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think that the root surface area would be too small to absorb the required nutrients and water to get to maturity. But I've been surprised before...
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:15 PM   #18 (permalink)
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^well couldnt you battle that but just using a more regular and precise regiment. Such as waterings and nutes etc etc?
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
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^well couldnt you battle that but just using a more regular and precise regiment. Such as waterings and nutes etc etc?
I dunno, never tried it. I guess it would make sense though.
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Old 05-09-2011, 06:49 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Danny boy! youre hands on experience is needed in this thread! Come back to it!
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