DIY Air Pruning Pot (Large Pot)

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Introduction: DIY Air Pruning Pot (Large Pot)

About: I like fishing, boating, and gardening as well as learning interesting ways to do things. This site is perfect for me because I like to "fiddle".

What is Air Pruning?
According to the University of Washington (no affiliation - first Google result) "Air pruning happens naturally when roots are exposed to air in the absence of high humidity.  The roots are effectively “burned” off, causing the plant to constantly produce new and healthy branching roots."

What this effectively means is that you don't get the "death spiral" of roots that restrict plant growth, instead, new roots are constantly forming to effectively grab more nutrients for optimal plant growth.

So Let's get on with it now the science lesson is out of the way :)
I like the concept of Air Pruning but don't see spending 4-5 times the money on a special pot so I elected to make one myself (thanks to some ideas from friends on this Facebook Group

First things I needed were a pot and a donor plant. A Satsuma tree that my oldest son mishandled and broke because he did not want to bring it in the garage when temps dropped last week was a perfect subject...

So what do you need?
Pot, drill (to drill holes) and 2" (ish) hole bit, potting mix, landscape fabric,  - you know...the usual stuff.
Hover over the images from here as it is pretty straightforward. Also, do me a favor...if you like this instructable, click that little link at the top of the page that says "Vote" and help me out in this contest :)

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    4 Comments

    Cool stuff! Do you think one could replicate this methodology in a small scale for house plants?

    3 replies

    Absolutely. Actually, most of the research for air pruning is done in smaller (1-3 gallon) plant pots

    Can you use this for shrubs you want to keep in a pot, or would it make them outgrow the compost too quickly and hence need re-potting?

    The purpose of this method is actually to be able to allow the plant to grow bigger in a smaller space by utilizing air-pruning to force the plant to create more smaller "feeder" roots. This would allow you to get a shrub or small tree to grow in a pot without becoming rootbound (avoid trees with tap roots).