Root barrier for miscanthus plants - these methods help

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Miscanthus - Miscanthus purpurascens

To prevent roots from spreading, so-called root barriers are used. These provide local limitation of rooting.
The miscanthus from the plant genus Miscanthus, is one of the less spur-forming plants. However, under certain circumstances, they can spread rapidly and cause damage especially in specific locations. How to prevent it with a rhizome and how to proceed should be explained in the following instructions.


Miscanthus is an extremely robust plant that adorns the gardens for many years. With increasing age and growth, the root system also grows. This digs its way through the earth in a length and / or width of a few meters. Depending on the constitution of the miscanthus, these roots may appear concentrated and damage within four to five meters.
In particular, miscanthus, in the vicinity of which there is a pond with foil, a well-tended lawn, paved paths, electrical lines or water and sewer pipes, should, as a precaution, be provided with a rhizome. The growth power and the amount of roots are able to damage insulation, metals and plastics and clog pipes or pipes.
They can push up cobblestone paths and even ruin the foundations of buildings, leading to costly repairs in the worst case scenario. It is therefore essential that, in particular, miscanthus is surrounded by a rhizome blockade if it is in the immediate vicinity of the site with already mentioned or similar risk factors.


The root barrier for miscanthus is ideally already planted with the planting. This saves work, time and effort. In addition, it provides immediate protection and the roots can spread from the beginning, in a predetermined size. Anyone who has already planted this reed species can also add rhizo blocks retrospectively. However, this requires exposing or even digging up the plant, so that the soil can be optimally equipped with the root barrier. This is much more difficult and costly than immediately planting a barrier for roots.
Since the planting, transplanting and planting of a miscanthus is only advisable in spring or late summer, the period in which rhizome barriers should be used is also here.
In addition, it is advisable to pick a dry, sunny day for the insertion of root blocking devices. Especially when working with glue, it dries better in these weather conditions. This minimizes the risk of adhesive flaws and the subsequent penetration of dirt and / or soil.


In order to achieve the perfect functionality in the long term, the quality of the material must be taken into account when choosing a rhizome barrier. Among other things, this is due to the robustness of the material, which has to withstand the pressure of the roots. The insides should be designed so that the root ends can not settle there, as this increases the pressure on the material over time again. In addition, it should be weather-resistant, tolerate frost, not rust and consequently have a long life.


Optimal is a material made of fleece. Many professional gardeners rely more on fleece, because it can be easily processed, reliable roots prevents their uncontrolled spread and is neither sensitive to frost, nor rusting. The special fleece in high-quality execution consists on the inside of a fairly smooth structure, so that the root ends can not dock there. But especially the water permeability of nonwoven is advantageous. This can drain excess water in all directions, which is not the case with some other materials, increasing the risk of waterlogging.
However, the so-called root fleece or spunbond is called, usually only sold by the meter. This means that the two ends must be joined together to form a weak point that may not withstand the pressure of the roots in the long term. In addition, the special root barrier fleece in comparison to other methods is quite expensive to buy.


Specialist dealers mainly offer root barriers made of high-pressure polyethylene. Depending on the material thickness, these are the most robust versions. These are usually sold by the meter and glued at the ends. Thus, there is also a potential vulnerability here. You can strengthen the end connections a bit by purchasing a HDPE set with locking or clamping rails. The ends are each provided with a rail, which are then connected by screws. In this way, a firm rounding, which has significantly more pressure potential than glued together ends.

Miscanthus - Miscanthus sinensis

TIP: When buying rhizome barriers made of HDPE with sealing rails, make sure that the latter is made of rust-resistant material such as aluminum. Likewise with the screws you should pay attention to ensure a long durability in the moist earth.


While special roof sheeting, such as that used for flat roofs, is by no means suitable for bamboos with severe root failure, it is a good alternative for the less bulging miasa roots. Theoretically, this roof foil could also be provided with clamp rails, as these are also separately supplied buy there. However, there is a risk here that, due to the film thickness, the clamping rails could not be perfectly mounted and gaps could be created through which the roots are forced. A better alternative here would be the welding of the roof foil ends.
You can work around the problem with the weak links at the end connections, for example by using a rain barrel, a mortar bucket or a similarly functioning plastic or concrete tank. These are reasonably priced in every well stocked hardware store for little money. The plastic should take into account that it is polypropylene, so that sufficient material robustness is given and this can withstand the pressure of the growing root. For buckets, barrels and vats, simply cut out the soil and put it in the planting hole.


A commercial barrier for root growth is usually a material thickness of two millimeters and a height of at least 70 centimeters. Although the roots of the miscanthus do not protrude very far into the depths, but who still wants to play it safe, should choose a width of 100 centimeters. The required length of the root barrier results from the plant hole diameter, in which the miscanthus is implanted.
This diameter is multiplied by three and the result is the lock length. In the subsequent setting of a root control, the size of the Erdaushubs depends primarily on the size of the plant. Here, experts advise to take the outer edge of the plant as the basis for calculation.
Do the following:
  • Place four opposing points on the outermost reed sides
  • Pull a two to three meter straight line from the plant away from the points
  • Set marker points here again
  • Now connect the outer points together to define the edge of the upcoming excavation
  • Alternatively to the diameter marking, you can set the points with spade cuts as well as connect
  • Measure the diameter
  • The required length results from: diameter x 3
In principle, you should keep in mind when determining the length that the miscanthus needs sufficient space for the roots and soil to provide nutrients and moisture. In addition, it is important to consider whether China's shrimp would like to be slowed down or promoted during growth. Of course, if it gets bigger, the root will have more space to expand and the root block will need to be larger in diameter. But it should never be below the length that the diameter calculation gives, as described above.


Miscanthus - Miscanthus purpurascens

Whether you want to use a barrier for the roots of a miscanthus at the first planting or later, is irrelevant. In principle, they occur in both cases in the same work steps, whereby, of course, you must first lift the reed during the subsequent insertion.


  • Dig out the planting hole to the required diameter
  • Planting depth is about three to four inches less than the height of the root barrier measures
  • Free planting hole from root residues and shoots
  • Place rhizome blockade in the planting hole and adjust in length
  • Depending on the type of root barrier, connect the ends if necessary
  • Important: always stick to the minimum drying time for bonding!
  • Rhizome barrier must protrude about three to five centimeters above the surface of the earth
  • Insert reed plant
  • Fill the inner blocking circle with earth
  • Fill any gaps between the outer barrier area with earth or sand
  • Rope the earth, pour - done!
TIP: Pay special attention to root shoots, which show up in the subsequent lock insert. These should all be removed and not just tapped, as this does not hit any foothills and there is a risk of spreading new shoots here, despite the reed root barrier.

installation risks

If the soil and / or the humidity is too high, the bonding of the ends in the hole may lead to delays in the drying time. If you do not work cleanly, even small pieces of earth may get onto the sealing surface, so that root barriers do not close perfectly. For this reason, it is important to pay close attention to clean sealing surfaces and to extend the drying time by a few minutes during the bonding process. Only when you are absolutely sure that the closure of the ends without gaps and dirt particles is, you should continue with the steps as already described.
If the minimum distance of one to two meters between the rhizome barriers and neighboring plants is not met, it may happen that the roots of other plants are severely damaged during the removal and the cutting off of roots in the excavated plant hole. Depending on the sensitivity of the plant species, this can lead to growth disorders or lower inflorescence.
If the miscanthus is not planted in the center after inserting the barrier, one side of the reed may be less developed than the other, because the roots have less space to spread on one side than on the other side.
The insertion of a root locking device is not absolutely necessary with the Chinese Miscarriage, but nevertheless recommended, if the otherwise small root sprouts should take up more space than expected. If the Chinese reed is planted again, the lock insertion takes only a few minutes. Adding them later is a bit more cumbersome, but worth the work especially if there are pipes, pipes, ponds, house walls and paving stones in the immediate vicinity.
To set up a root barrier, you do not need special expertise, just good, professional guidance like this that will guide you step by step through what to do and what to look for. The latter refers primarily to the material, its nature and various risk factors that can bring an installation with it.

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