A Guide to Air Root Pruning

By Ember Edwards     17 December 2021 

In a plastic pot or wooden raised bed, roots reach the edge of their container and begin to circle endlessly. As these roots travel, minimal lateral branching will occur, resulting in the roots quickly becoming root-bound. This limits the plant’s ability to absorb essential water and nutrients in the soil and keeps it from reaching its full potential.

In a fabric pot, however, the roots reach the air on the outside of the pot and are naturally self-pruned, which activates the lateral branching of fibrous feeder roots. This prevents plants from becoming root-bound and encourages the development of a more robust root zone that is much more efficient in absorbing available nutrients in the soil, and in turn, improves yields and production.

Fabric pots and fabric raised beds are built to help cultivators take advantage of this natural process and maximize the growth potential of their plants.

Here’s how air pruning works:
The roots of the plant grow outward through the soil in search of water and nutrients.

As the roots reach the edges of the container, the fabric pot’s porous, non-woven geotextile fabric allows them to be exposed to dry air, causing the root tips to self-prune by drying out, stopping outward growth.

As a natural result of this self-pruning, branches of secondary and tertiary feeder roots grow, providing more surface area for nutrient uptake.

The process repeats itself, creating a more robust root system that allows for more efficient absorption of water and nutrients, vigorous growth, and bigger yields.

We hope that this simple guide demystifies the natural process of air root pruning and illustrates the ways that it can help your plants reach their full potential. GeoPot fabric pots, G-Lite fabric pots, and GeoPlanter raised beds were designed to harness the power of air root pruning to help cultivators grow bigger, healthier plants and harvest more substantial yields. Make the switch to fabric pots for better plant health and pot durability, and save yourself the headache of dealing with plastic.