Root dip – how to prepare your own root dip

Barrel of root dip with protect shrub roots.

Root-dipping means to bathe and coat the roots of a rose tree, tree or shrub with a special mix – called root dip – that will speed up root growth during the planting.

Perform this step just after purchasing the plant and before it has even prepared buds.

What is root dip made of

It’s a kind of mud, easily produced through mixing soil mix, horse manure, garden soil and water.

You can also add cow manure, too, it will make your root dip even better.

There are also many other additives that will make your root dip even more effective:

  • mychorrizae will provide essential root fungus to help the plant start off
  • fermented tea will share nutrients and repel basic underground root predators
  • water crystals will soak up excess water and give it back when the plant needs it
  • rooting hormones help trigger root development

Additionally, you can also purchase ready-made root dip in horticulture stores.

How to perform root dip

  • Cut wounded, broken and excessively long roots (meaning they can’t be spread about the planting hole without being bent or running in circles).
  • Let the roots sit in the root dip for several hours (ideally 24 hours). The mud must “stick” to the roots and coat them.
  • You can be sure root development and settling in will succeed. Nothing to fret about!

When to use root dip

Root dip is a precious ally in a wide range of circumstances. Every time roots are bare, using root dip will make life easier on the plant and will increase survival and vigor.

Root dip used for planting

First and foremost, root dip is used to plant trees and shrubs.

  • Directly when buying “bare roots” trees and shrubs, meaning not in a container and without any soil, either.
  • But even when purchasing a container-grown tree, root dip is great for those long roots that extend out of the mound.

The world’s most iconic flower shrub, the rose tree, also loves root dip upon planting. Here is how to plant roses.

Although they need a slightly different soil, heath plants can make do with any root dip that you prepare for other plants. Learn how to plant heath plants, along with the most beautiful heath-loving shrubs and plants.

Root tip for transplanting

When moving a plant from one place to the next, root dip will help minimize transplant shock.

Smart tip about root dip

When finished, spread your root dip around your favorite plants. Make small splotches instead of large puddles so that water can still penetrate around it!

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Preparing root dip by Wise Mandarine under © CC BY-SA 2.0