Q: I have an umbrella tree that is beginning to send roots out of the bottom of a 15 inch pot. Is there anything I can do to keep it in a 15 inch pot or will I have to move it into a larger pot?
A: You can actually prune the roots just as you’d prune the branches. Folks who practice bonsai know that pruning roots is a good way to keep plants small. If you haven’t repotted your plant in the last couple of years, combine the root pruning with the repotting. Wash the old soil off the roots, prune them to fit in the container and get a friend to hold the tree upright while you pack new potting soil around the roots. Soak the soil, let it subside and add any more that you need to bring it to the right level. If you put the umbrella tree outdoors in a shady spot, it will recover and look better than it ever did.