so you’ve taken your plant out of its pot, only to find that its roots are so tightly bound that you can barely move them. don’t worry, many plant owners have been in your predicament, myself included. here’s how I personally deal with extremely root-bound plants:
1. squeeze the root ball gently to try and loosen it up. massage the roots with your hands to loosen them, taking care not to pull on the roots, as they are very delicate and prone to breakage (especially if they are small and fine like the ones on the sediveria, pictured below).
2. using an old, fine-bristled toothbrush, gently brush in between the roots. the fine bristles of the toothbrush will help remove some of the soil in between the roots and help them become less tightly bound. try to get into the spots that seem to be giving way the most easily and work to the tighter spots from there, as it will help improve your chances at fixing those when you get to them.
note: you will almost certainly get some root breakage when repotting a tightly bound plant, so don’t stress! as long as the majority of the plant’s roots are undamaged and healthy, your plant should be fine!
3. once you’ve loosened most of the roots and gotten the majority of the soil off, it’s time to pot up! put a small amount of soil in the base of the pot, then fill up the pot around your plants roots carefully. care is needed here as the plant could have sustained some root damage. if it’s a succulent, once potted up let it sit for a few days before watering it in.
and you’re done! this is a general guide based on my personal experience dealing with root-bound plants, so if you’re unsure make sure to do your research and feel free to ask questions!
if any followers have some advice for dealing with this issue, feel free to add on to this post!