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Re: not damaging the roots

On Thu, 3 Feb 2000, Steve Pushak wrote:

> I think there are certain plants that do suffer a set back in growth
> whenever they are replanted. It takes them several weeks before they are
> able to grow enough root hairs to replace those lost when uprooting and
> during this time, the plant is not getting as many nutrients as it might
> otherwise from the substrate.

I think a little delay in apparent growth is pretty normal after a
transplant.  This may be because growth really is slower or it may be just
that the readily evident growth of stems and leaves is slower because the
plant is putting energy and material into replacing the damaged root mass.

But I agree with Karen; I've never had a healthy plant fail after it was
transplanted under good growing conditions.

You don't have very many options when you're moving plants around a
heavily planted tank and find that some of your plants have 3-foot long
roots. There's no way to get those roots back into the substrate.  The
worst thing I ever did when transplanting plants was ball up the long
roots of a sword plant and stick them back in the substrate.  After a few
months without much progress I uprooted the plant to find a ball of dead
roots below the plant and a whole new network of roots that the plant was
growing to replace the ones I balled up.

I've had far better results trimming the roots to a manageable length and
replanting the plant with a bit of a fertilizer stick embedded nearby.

Transplanting weak or near-dormant plants is another thing entirely.  B.
longifolia is a good example.  If the plant isn't in an active growth
phase it tends to go dormant after it's disturbed.  On the other hand,
transplanting a dormant rhizome may wake it up.

Roger Miller