Should I Break Up The Root Ball When Planting?

Possibly. It depends on the plant. 

It depends upon the type of root a plant has. To avoid getting really technical I’ll tell you an easy trick that works most of the time. I’m going to show my age here, but some of you will remember Mr. Whipple saying “don’t squeeze the Charmin”. That saying helps me decide whether or not to break up the root ball.


For those of you too young to know Mr. Whipple check him out on YouTube! Pretty funny. He was the store clerk that became very irritated when customers came in and squeezed the Charmin bathroom tissue. Never was sure why he was so bothered by this.

Anyway, if I can “squeeze the Charmin” then I do not break up the root ball. The root ball is soft and doesn’t require breaking up. If I cannot “squeeze the Charmin” then I break up the root ball. This means the root ball is hard and needs to be broken up so the roots can grow into your soil faster.

Just remember, if you can “squeeze the Charmin” you don’t need to break up the root ball!

Check out the YouTube video of Mr. Whipple here.

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