Tips: Always Check Fall Shrubs For Root Problems

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I know I’m not the only one of you who finds themselves making impulse purchases this time of year at the local garden center. ┬áMy most recent purchase was a tiny English Boxwood on sale for a couple dollars. The plant is adorable, and a cute if unexpected addition to the garden.

Why You Should Always Check The Roots of Fall Shrubs:

As the racks of fall plants roll into the garden stores, keep in mind that these, especially the slower growing varieties, have been kept in greenhouses specifically until this moment.  Most of these plants have been raised in relatively small containers for up to several years to save space in the greenhouses, and beneath what may look like a healthy growth of roots may be a container-bound root system.

If you feel the soil around your new plant flaking off in small sheets, pull back a section of the roots to do a quick check on the health of the original root system. This Boxwood displays what was once a very container-bound root system, and a few quick scores with a gardening knife will ensure that the plant suffers no ill effects from this condition, stimulating new root growth away from the center of the plant.