Air roots vs water roots

Plants that are grown in soil and granular or fibrous growing mediums that maintain a high percentage of air to water develop air roots (below left). The tiny root hairs serve to steer growth in the direction of water and food. Note that plants grown with their roots completely submerged in water develop "water roots" (shown below right). Observe the absence of root hairs, which are unnecessary in this situation. While air rooted plants can easily be transplanted to a hydroponic system, water roots usually will not survive the move to soil or a drier medium.

Water Roots Soil Roots Air Roots
Growing Soilless

Growing Soilless

This is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to growing organic, healthy vegetable, herbs and house plants without soil. Clearly illustrated with black and white line drawings, the book covers every aspect of home hydroponic gardening.

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