Thursday, January 13, 2011

Improve Plant Growth with Healthy Bare Root

Sorbet Peony grown from bare root

Improve plant growth by examining the bare roots.  A healthy bare root that does not have gray mold or root breakage will grow into a strong and healthy plant, tree, or shrub.  

Many gardeners order bare root plants and shrubs from magazines and online nurseries.  
These bare roots are plants that do not have soil surrounding them and the seller can ship them easily to the customer because the shipping is not hard on the plant, they do not require moisture and can be packed easily in peat moss.

Every year I will start to plan my spring and summer garden and I will take advantage of the late winter sales that are offered at the online and mail order nurseries.  

I find that these companies offer a good good selection of bare root plants and shrubs and that the prices are fair.  I like to order rose bushes, flowering shrubs and trees. 

 Over the years I have had better luck growing a bare root plants then planting a seedling that has been packed and shipped in the mail. I think my success in growing bare root plants is because I examine the root very carefully.

Bare root plants and shrubs are shipped when they are in a dormant state and depending on the time of the season, some of the bare roots may be wakening up and you will view new growth on the stems or branches. When you receive your bare root plants it is important that you inspect them.

Examine the root by checking for gray mold on the surface of the roots. If the mold coverage is light and does not cover the entire root then clean the mold off with a white cloth.  Dip the cloth in warm water and then gently wipe the gray mold from the roots.  (Use care to not break the roots.)   

If the mold is covering all of the roots and the roots feel soft then the plant is dead or close to being dead.

You also need to check the bare root for damage. The roots may have been damaged in shipping. Look for broken roots or bends in the root. Cut off the bend with a sharp garden scissors

 The root will then have the energy to grow well.  Remember a healthy bare-root will grow into a strong and healthy plant, tree or shrub.

Note: If your bare root is dead, or is in poor quality, take a picture of the bare root and contact the seller. Inform them of the poor quality and offer to send a copy of the invoice and a picture of the dead root. 

 Most sellers will accommodate the customer by offering a replacement or will refund your money.

Here is a YouTube video on how to plant bare root roses:




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