Difference Between Tap Root and Fibrous Root

You can adopt gardening as a hobby or a profession but you have to get the knowledge about the different types of plants and their needs. Every plant needs certain types of nutrition for growing and thriving properly. It is known by all that plants take nutrients from the soil through their roots and it is extremely important for you to know what type of root system your plants have, so you can provide them proper nutrition. The two main types of roots systems are tap root and fibrous root. Both of these systems contribute directly to the growth and health of the plants.

Tap roots generally sprout from a centre point and grow downwards. These sorts of plants are large in size and are relatively difficult to transplant. Tap roots grow deep downwards in the ground and that is why dandelions are very hard to uproot. You can pull the top portion of such plants but the tap roots remain in the ground for later re-sprouting.

Fibrous roots are quite the opposite to the tap roots, as they are thin, moderately branching from the stem. Most trees grow up with tap roots but once few initial years pass, they tend to develop wide-spreading fibrous root system, with merely few tap roots going deep in the ground.


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    Tap Root

    Tap root system consist of a main root, with smaller auxiliary roots growing laterally around it. This root system goes deep inside the ground and its path is merely blocked with rocks or any other hard debris in the soil. Carrot, reddish and parsnip are the examples of tap roots which are relatively shorter in length and not quite like the typically long tap roots. This root system tends to break up the subsoil and this brings the unconsumed soil nutrients closer up to the surface, making the soil more fertile for other plants to grow.

    Image Courtesy: gapphotos.com

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    Fibrous Root

    Fibrous roots are actually a cluster of thin, small roots, looking just like fibre or a bird’s nest. Their length reaches merely few inches and branch frequently. These roots grown merely few inches under the surface and it is because of this reason that fibrous roots need more water to thrive properly. Since fibrous roots are present in the top most layer of soil, they tend to hold the soil together and prevent corrosion by the action of water and wind.

    Image Courtesy: etc.usf.edu

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