Make your own root pruning container

I haven’t used root pruning containers but it sounds like a good idea. I know Rootmaker pots are available: The RootMaker System | ROOTMAKER

What was interesting to me was a technique to make your own out of plastic pots. Anyone try it? There is a Youtube video showing the DIY technique. I would add more holes than shown in the video.

I haven’t tried this before, but if you look at the design of most of the plastic root pruning pots, the sidewall geometry is designed to guide roots toward a hole regardless of where the root hits. In a regular pot with some holes like this one, the vast majority of roots would hit the wall and just circle like they would with a regular pot. My guess is doing it this way with a standard pot would require a very large percentage of the sidewall surface area to be a hole since you’d have to rely on chance for a root to grow towards a hole to get air pruned.

I guess the screws make the tapering hole, but it seems to me a drill bit would be a lot easier to work with Also people still use Phillips screw heads? Man the star head is 10 times better! I have been using them for years now.

I saw a video where the guy used a drill bit that makes holes for door knobs on doors. He put as many large holes as possible then lined the pot with landscape fabric. My guess, is this would work and truly function as an air pot.


Air- pots look to me like someone took a black plug tray and made a circle of it. The roots on these pots definitely would head towards the hole. I wonder if they really work?


I use fabric pots, and yes they work. Sometimes you get a few circling roots, but most do not, and the root mass is always impressive. Very cheap too. I would not use regular pots except I got a couple hundred for free as people like to throw out perfectly fine containers. big ones too. I only take big ones. 5 gallons or more. I obtained many perfect 20 gallon pots just driving around on trash day, a few times a year. Spring and fall is when most throw pots out.


Are your fabric pots home-made or store-bought? My favorite local nursery has a bin where people on return trips bring their pots from previous purchases for re-use by others. It is amazing to me what ends up in there.

Store bought

I have decided which i like better? The brown ones seem thicker, but a bit more.
17 bucks for 100 gallon which will last 4 years. of course it would be impossible to move without a high-low! I use 10,15 and 20. I have a few 30 too, my limit for moving (with a dolly). I use the 30’s for tomato plants and don’t move the bags at all, they sit out all winter. They are lasting 4 years too, kinda beat up by then though.

The air pots look cool, i would consider using them, but 10 gallon for 4 bucks is a hard price to beat. Last 4 years, so a buck a year. Any pot does not last that long, something happens, I have found plastics get brittle, stucco falls apart, and clay cracks. Ceramics are the only pots (if glazed well) that last a long time.


i like the fabric pots too. i got mine off amazon and eBay. i like the heavy white ones because the sun doesn’t heat the pots drying the roots. they’re cheap to replace and fold up making it easy to store.

I made myself 4 of these and put my citrus in them, they needed to be potted up. I used the trays with smaller cells because they felt sturdier, and next time I will even go smaller, maybe the 288 plug trays. I made sure to overlap the cells where they join and it holds well. I used plastic twine wrapped once around the top and bottom for insurance but next time I think I will just snap an elastic around or use a small bungee cord. Thanks for the link.

Does anyone who has made the plastic root pruning containers have a report about how the use of them turned out?