Trimming Roots of Potted bulbs

Kenneth Hixson
Thu, 20 Mar 2008 09:09:25 PDT
Dear Members:
	In a current article on Pot Culture of Lilies,
one of the comments made is that the roots are trimmed
to 2 1/2 to 3 inches.  For years, the claim was made
that imported lily bulbs didn't grow well because the
roots were usually trimmed.  Well, is the claim faulty,
or is trimming the roots a bad suggestion?

	Then, I was taught that roots were only able
to absorb nutrients for-at most-an inch back of the
growing tip of the root.  Trimming roots back would
remove the part that is able to absorb nutrients.
Yes, the roots are possibly old, but any possible
new growth is being sacrificed.  Yes, lilies do make
new roots, but why not either remove the roots
completely, or not trim them at all?

	Admittedly, roots also serve to anchor the
plant, and a couple inches would be better than none,
but why injure the roots instead of potting up the
whole root system?

	There are a lot of "old wives tales" in
gardening, things that are done because that's how
it's always been done.  Is this an example?


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