Root mass to plant size ratio what should it be?

Thing is i’m growing, using hydroton and fabric pots in an ebb and flow system. Its a 3 gallon fabric pot and now roots have started to grow through the fabric pot. The side roots do get air pruned themselves but what about the ones that grow vertically downward into the tub seem to find the little water about ( 2 inches ) and sit submersed for long periods of time. I believe this will be root rot problem in the long run, so what should i do? The 2 inches remain cuz of im using a pump system. Ive lifted the fabric pot using a stand but the roots have come out of the bottom and sit in the water.

Question being should i manually prune the roots coming out the bottom and what should the ratio be of root mass to plant size? ( Hydroponics generally doesn’t need a large root mass because of the ready availability of nutrients in the water, but does it specify a minimum?).

What does your experience say?

Perhaps a product like Botanicare Hydroguard to prevent root rot and just let them drink.
Since you have an air gap oxygen should not be a problem. Kinda like a dwc system.

I’m just a bit skeptical about the 24/7 submerged roots, if they get root rot, wont the infection spread to the healthier roots?

I mean if my hand gets gangrene, wont it spread to the rest of the arm if left un-attended.

Then again i’m concerned about the root mass, a bigger plant would need a bigger root mass, i wouldnt want to kill its potential by restricting root growth?

I’m thinking about moving it to a larger pot filled with more hydroton, but i fear the roots will still pop out of that fabric pot also ( 5 gals )

Not my plant, this was copied from @Retiredoldguy post. Credit to his skills!

Roots can go on for miles, it seems!



No reason to be. If they’re getting oxygen, they’ll be fine.


if your roots are sitting in stagnant water, water that is not moving or having air pumped into it then you run the chance of getting problems…Thanks @Spudgunner for shoot out …most ebb and flow systems have roots sitting in water without air bubbles but because they circulate the water every so often this keeps the roots from drowning …just like us they need oxygen to survive


I am not sure I believe this statement…I am a believer the bigger the root ball the better the plant grows…


Absolutely. The stronger and healthier the roots, the stronger and healthier the plant. Just like strong lungs make for a generally healthier human. There’s a whole lot going on in plant anatomy, but it’s sort of like the roots are the “inhale” and the leaves are the “exhale” - the better you can inhale, the better you can exhale, it’s invariably connected.


I bottom feed my clones in large trays, So I disagree that pots sitting in water have issues. I’ve grown 10 clones per tray like this for awhile. I fill each tray up 2 inches deep every three days throughout flowering.

More roots mean more buds. Outdoors the roots stretch as wide as they do deep. The wide fabric pots in 10 gallon will make some serious dank bud indoor.

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The water does circulate every now and then about 7 times in a day to be exact and that only for 15 mins. ( Thats the feeding time and duration in all).

TBH the roots are looking health and white, but i still chopped them off, maybe ill let the roots grow to their hearts content now. Lets see what happens.

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I mean i wouldn’t mess with the root mass if i didn’t, think it would cause problems. Ill let the roots grow though lets see.

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