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How to Prevent Root Circling and Overwatering in Container Growing

Updated on May 18, 2013

Tired of having roots circle around your plant's pot? Tired of droopy overwatered plants? If you haven't heard of Superoots Air-Pots it's time to listen up!

Superoots Air Pot
Superoots Air Pot | Source
Close-up of the Superoots Air-Pot root system
Close-up of the Superoots Air-Pot root system | Source
Bottom of the Superoots Air-Pot
Bottom of the Superoots Air-Pot | Source

Those of you who plant in containers are fully aware of how the roots can circle around the inside of the pot. Even the most expert grower can over-water a plant. The guys over at Caledonian Tree Company, located in Scotland, came up with the solution! The Superoots Air-Pot utilizes air pruning to keep the root growth constant and prevent root circling. With the constant exposure to oxygen you no longer need to worry about over-watering either.

The unique design wall design of the Air-Pot is what does the magic. The design is very much like the shape of an egg carton with dimples pointing in and out. The outer dimples have the ends cut off, effectively exposing the growing roots to fresh air. The fresh air prunes the tip of the roots which causes them to branch off, creating an even healthier root system.

The great thing about Air-Pots is that you can get them in any size you need. From a .3 gallon (1 Liter) pot up to 479 gallons (1800 Liter), and that doesn't even count the material rolls to make your own! Superoots Air-Pots walls are made of 100% recycled HDPE and can be reused countless times, unlike some of the fabric grow bags sold. The fact that they are made of recycled materials is a real plus in our book.

As you can see from the pictures there really isn't any root circling besides where the wall meets the base. For those of you who might think the plant hasn't been in the Air-Pot long enough - the pictured plant was in the same Air-Pot for roughly four months. The constant air pruning means that you can go longer in between container transplants. In fact you can use slightly smaller pot sizes than traditional pots, allowing you to save space. For example, you can use a 3.4 or 4.3 gallon Air-Pot instead of a 5 gallon bucket. We all know how much room a 5 gallon bucket can take up!

The only downfall we have found is when you are using a soil medium and hand watering. After the plant has been in the Air-Pot for a couple of months it may need to be watered daily. We suggest you setup some type of reservoir and dripper system, that way you aren't spending time watering everyday.

Another interesting fact we would like to point out is that Air-Pots can also be used for hydroponic setups, like an ebb and flow or top drip irrigation. To prepare your Air-Pot for a ebb and flow flood table all you need to do is lower the base to the very bottom groove. This allows more water to reach your roots. Fill it with your medium of choice and you're good to go! Air-Pots can be filled with most any medium you prefer. The only medium we suggest not using would be a perlite/vermiculite mix, but it would be possible if you covered the base in coco coir and used coarse perlite.

We really hope we've helped you discover something new! Superoots Air-Pots are truly a remarkable product. We are currently testing some Root Routing pots to see how they stack up but we have our reservations. Make sure you follow us for more of our product review and articles!


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    • roguehydro profile image

      roguehydro 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Yeah, it really is a great idea. Most people haven't heard of these before. They really do make a difference.

    • CWanamaker profile image

      CWanamaker 6 years ago from Arizona

      That's a pretty cool idea. I learned something knew today, thanks.