As your cannabis plants develop, their root structure continuously grows straight down into the ground as it searches for new fertile substrate instead of branching off. The result is a thick concentration of roots in a smaller area where your plant cannot efficiently gather nutrients. This is especially the case when plants are in solid containers; separating the plant from its pot will reveal root bounding at the bottom of the soil, coiling around because the roots have nowhere to go. To prevent this, you will need to air prune your roots so that it stops growing downwards and spreads outwards instead. But what is air pruning?
What is Air Pruning?
When roots meet open air, the tips die (pruned and dried up) and the root structure is forced to grow more root branches to develop a fibrous mass. New roots sprout from old ones, creating a wider network of roots that have coverage over your entire soil supply in your pot. By developing more roots, your cannabis plants can soak up more water and nutrients to increase yields that result in fatter buds. Air pruning is a passive process that simply involves making the open air available for your roots to meet. As soon as it does, your roots shrivel up and sprouts new roots without your further intervention.
What do I Use to Air Prune?
To air prune your marijuana plant’s roots, you must use planters with openings or those that are breathable. This is so the roots can easily penetrate the soil and walls of your planters to reach their limits. While you have many options, we recommend using a fabric smart pot for your plants to air prune. Not only do they come in multipacks but are also lightweight and easy to work with. Fabric pots come in dark colors, usually black, so they are discreet and color neutral, visually fitting in most grow spaces. Most importantly, they are permeable which allows roots to penetrate their walls and excess water to drain. Fabric pots by AC Infinity have the bonus of built-in rings which enables you to perform low-stress training, gently bending your cannabis plants to expose more of your plant to light.
Air pruning can be done whether you are indoor growing or outdoor growing and is a valuable cultivation technique for producing bigger yields. Simply using a container with breathability can make a huge difference in how your cannabis plant grows. Switch out your clay or plastic pots with a fabric smart pot to see the results for yourself.