Bought some root-bound plants

Cleburne, TX(Zone 8a)

I couldn't resist some "bargain" coneflowers that were being closed out at the big box store. They were terribly rootbound in very small pots. Should I just plant them in the ground with roots all wound up tight, or try to loosen the roots as I recently read recommended for trees and some other plants?


Baltimore, MD

Yes, yes, you must loosen the rots, but be careful not to break the central "tap" root, if you find one.

Long Branch, NJ(Zone 7a)

Anything you plant - ANYTHING - it is best to tease or loosen up the roots especially when they are root bound.

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

I agree. And if they are in that awful soil that's just tree bark shake that off. I had to do that to save my Echinacea "Meringue."

Southeast, MA(Zone 6b)

Yep I agree . Loosen the roots and remove as much of the crummy soil as possible without disturbing small feeder roots. It was no doubt long ago spent of anything remotely resembling nourishment for the plant. Good luck with your bargain find.

Hamilton, OH

I always loosen.. but in a gardening magazine months back (hort, fine, etc... don't remember which)... from what i remember is that they did a test on a variety of perennials. Some they loosened the roots... and some they left as is. After a season, the results showed that loosening the roots didn't help any. Does anyone remember reading this article?

Southeast, MA(Zone 6b)

Very interesting. I the beginning of the season I don't usually mess with the roots but if a plant is root bound I have even cut off the bottom inch of roots. I don't think it makes it grow better, just helps it to grow at all at that stage.

(Carisa) Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

I loosen everything and my best friend loosens nothing. I do know that she has lost more perennials than I have from new plantings, but who knows if that has anything to do with it. I agree with everyone else, though, I would definately loosen.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

I found me a nice little Prairie Splendor for $3.98 at Lowes so I bought it and ripped out & trashed Harvest Moon. They had Meringue & Coconut Lime on the 50% off table but I just am not that crazy them.

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

I love hearing about the destruction of Harvest Moon. I've burned one of those before. LOL.

Southeast, MA(Zone 6b)

Mine is growing but still small after I moved it this spring. It may commit suicide over the winter months. Already have something picked out to put there if it doesn't do a bit better next year..

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

The plant looked great but the flowers looked like *bleep*! I saw no bees or anything attracted to it and that is why I want echinaceas...for the butterflies, bees and birds to eat the seeds!

Ft Lauderdale, FL(Zone 10a)

No complaints from me on "Harvest Moon". It's been blooming non stop since early May and bloomed all the way through late November last year.

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Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

Mine had those nasty small quilled petals...

(Lynn) Paris, TX(Zone 7b)

My early blooms on Summer Sky started out with a lot of quilled petals, but the later blooms were just fine.

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