If you’ve been following us for a while, you might remember a post from August 2009 when I got cranky about a pot of lavenders with horrendous root systems. I intervened with my Felcos and planted out the patients, hoping for the best.
Lavender #2 before root pruning
In July of 2010, I gave an update on their progress. At that point, one of the lavenders had died but the other four were perking along. And now it’s time to show them in their floral glory:
Root washing is still controversial, as is corrective root pruning. However, all five of these plants would have died had I not corrected the spiraling root systems. Published and ongoing research at several places around the country continues to support the practice of bare-rooting and correcting root flaws of woody plants.
Is this a practice that the landscape industry will adopt? Probably not on a large scale: it is time intensive and requires careful work. But home gardeners can do this themselves and have done so successfully.
If you’re interested in more information on how to do this, you can download this fact sheet. Until production nurseries change their practices to avoid these fatal root flaws, it will be up to home gardeners and a handful of landscapers to repair the damage.