How do mycorrhizal fungi benefit plants?
In its simplest sense mycorrhizal fungi do everything plants roots do just BETTER.
When new plants are planted with rootgrow it takes only 2-4 weeks under normal conditions for these fungi to start benefiting plants. In that time they attach themselves to the plant's root system and grow out rapidly into the soil, searching for nutrients and water. They essentially become part of the plant's own root system.
The benefits to plants are;
Better nutrient uptake
These fungi are so much thinner and finer than the plant's own roots they can therefore find nutrients in the soil far more efficiently that the plant's own course roots. They are especially good at finding nutrients responsible for flowering and fruiting such as Phosphorous and Potassium. As they can explore a much greater amount of soil than the plant's own roots they are also far more likely to find trace elements and the rare nutrients that all plants need to grow well.
Mycorrhizal fungi are an essential part of a plants ability to combat drought. Leaves and stems have developed mechanisms to combat drought such as silver leaves, waxy leaves and hairy leaves but these adaptations on their own aren’t enough if the plant doesn’t have its friendly fungal partner on its roots.
Mycorrhizal fungi hold onto water in soils like a sponge.
Benefits to roses
Over the last few years the benefits of treating roses with rootgrow at planting time has been well documented. Using rootgrow with roses will not just help them to establish well and produce a good show of flowers but it will also enable gardeners to grow roses in soil that has previously had roses growing in it.
Now established throughout the UK as a standard treatment for roses rootgrow has reported to be successful in combating the problem of rose replant disease or rose soil sickness.
Establishment in difficult soils
Mycorrhizal fungi will enable plants to establish and thrive even in difficult soils. In poor sandy soils the mycorrhizal fungi will be able to find scarce nutrients and hold onto water. In clay soils these fungi will be able to unlock nutrients from the soil acting like a clay breaker.