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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are mycorrhizae?
    The associations between roots and fungi are called mycorrhizae. These symbiotic arrangements have been found in about 90% of all land plants, and have been around for approximately 400 million years. Plant roots are hospitable sites for the fungi to anchor and produce their threads (hyphae). The roots provide essential nutrients for the growth of the fungi. In return, the large mass of fungal hyphae acts as a virtual root system for the plants, increasing the amount of water and nutrients that the plant may obtain from the surrounding soil. A plant that forms an association benefiting both the fungus and the plant is a "host." Large numbers of native desert plants are hosts to these fungi and would not survive without them.
  • What are the differences between endomycorrhizae and ectomycorrhizae?
    The diverse group of mycorrhizae is broken up into two larger groups based off of their morphology: endomycorrhizae, ectomycorrhizae. Endomycorrhizae, also known as arbuscular mycorrhizae, forms along the outer surface of the root and exchanges nutrients with the plant by inserting itself inside the plant cells. The complex the mycorrhizae forms with the root cell is called an arbuscule. Ectomycorrhizae form on the external surface of the root and exchange nutrients through the cell walls of the root cells staying outside of the cells. The ectomycorrhizae forms a complex with the root cells called a Hartig net. Mycorrhizae are extremely important to the overall function of many species of plants it is a symbiotic relationship that not only helps run ecosystems but helps to power our agriculture.
  • What does mycorrhizae do for my plants?
    Nutrients and water Mycorrhizae are essential in areas where soils are deficient in water and certain nutrients - conditions that are found in the desert. Even when there is an ample amount of a nutrient, it may not be readily accessible to the plant. A dramatically larger root system (or mycorrhizae) permits the plant to obtain additional moisture and nutrients. This is particularly important in uptake of phosphorus, one of the major nutrients required by plants. When mycorrhizae are present, plants are less susceptible to water stress. Not only do the fungal threads help to bring water and nutrition into the plant, but they also can store them for use when rainfall is sparse and temperatures are high. When organic matter (compost) is added to improve a soil, mycorrhizae are important in making its nutrients available. The residual organic matter and the hyphae improve the structure of the soil. Recent research indicates that the fungi even help break down rock, increasing availability of the essential nutrients within, such as potassium, calcium, zinc and magnesium. Disease resistance Mycorrhizae also help the plant resist infection by other fungi and even bacteria. This may be because the plant, being better nourished, is healthier and has better resistance to the invader. It may also be that the large physical presence of one fungus impedes infection by others. Another possibility is that either the plant or the fungus produces compounds that prevent infection by pathogens. Interaction with other soil microbes — a cycle of benefit Desert plants interact with other organisms in the soil. Many of these microorganisms fertilize plants by "fixing" nitrogen, which is then available for plant growth. When mycorrhizae are present, the number and vitality of these nitrogen fixers increase. As a result, the plant‘s health and vigor improves, as does the health and vigor of the beneficial fungi.
  • What are active spores and why are they important?
    Propagules are an average count of colony-forming inoculants called hyphae, root fragments, and spores: Hyphae is the fungal body that grows out of spores. They act as an extension of the plant's root system. They are short-lived and more vulnerable to stress. Root fragments are tiny root pieces that contain various fungal structures (hyphae, spores, and vesicles) that can be an effective means of fungal propagation and help re-establish the symbiosis with plant roots. Meanwhile, spores act as a mycorrhizal seed that will germinate in the presence of a host plant. They are more resistant and live longer than other propagules. Spores can be viable or non-viable. Non-viable spores are lipid-free spores and are not able to germinate the fungi. On the other hand, viable or "active spores" are capable of germinating or colonizing a plant efficiently. They form symbiotic relationships with plants and play an important role in the inoculation of plants by mycorrhizae. RootMax contains 245 active spores per gram of glomus mycorrhizal fungi, which is more than 1500 propagules per gram
  • What about concentration or potency?
    In order to get a stronger and more effective reaction, the product needs to be concentrated. RootMax is 50x more potent than any rooting powder or rooting hormone brand available anywhere in the USA. Use it for transplanting cuttings, mixing with organic fertilizer for preparing planting soil or basically growing anything indoors or outdoors. We give you the same potency that we supply to commercial farms globally as we believe gardeners deserve no lesser than farmers.
  • If there are already natural mycorrhizal fungi in the soil, why inoculate?
    It is difficult to obtain data regarding natural mycorrhizal fungi already in the soil without specialized testing to identify relevant species, amounts and ratios, as well as the most beneficial mycorrhizal fungi's location relative to the roots of your plants. Making decisions based on unknowns may cause your plants to miss beneficial developmental opportunities during key times throughout the year, thereby delaying the formation of mycorrhizae with the plant roots. In addition, there is no guarantee that the mycorrhizal fungi in your native soil form symbiotic relationships with your plant species. The fungi in RootMax, however, engage in proven symbiotic relationships with our customers' plants and are the best way to guarantee inoculation. The sooner mycorrhizae form, the sooner they start to benefit plants, and as any grower knows, the first days of the plant’s life cycle can be critical to success. Growing necessitates getting plants off to the best start possible. With short life cycles of only a few months, plants need all the help they can get at an early stage so that they can focus on flowering rather than vegetative growth.
  • Can I use too much mycorrhizae in my plants?
    No! However, we don't want good fungi to go to waste. Don’t worry about over-application; each plant autoregulates its mycorrhization and maintains ideal levels of the fungi.
  • How often can I use mycorrhizae on my plants?
    Early and often. You can apply all our mycorrhizaes every 2 to 3 weeks. Often it takes about 10 days for the mycorrhizae to start colonizing.
  • Can I use mycorrhizae with edible plants?
    Yes! Mycorrhizal fungus works with your plant’s roots to increase the nutrients and water your fruits and veggies receive. Your plants will be hardier and more drought-tolerant with a mycorrhizal-inoculated rootbed.
  • Why choose RootMax over other products?
    We are the manufacturers and not any white label brand. After years of research RootMax has been developed by our scientists using a carefully curated strain of Rhizophagus Intraradices, which is able to colonise the roots of over 98% of plant species and as a result develop a secondary root system which draws greater water and nutrients from the soil. More reasons to choose RootMax: Increase root size by 3x to 5x Enhanced pathogenic resistance Better absorption of nutrients Overcome adverse conditions Get a bountiful harvest Reduce usage of fertilizers & plant feed Safe for children, pets & pollinators Trusted by farmers & gardeners Compatible with other feeds & fertilizers Easy to use: twist, scoop & mix
  • What types of mycorrhizal fungi are in RootMax?
    RootMax is the product of fourty years of research on carefully curated strain of Rhizophagus Intraradices. The species and strains that make up its active ingredients were carefully screened specifically for RootMax customer needs. Glomus intraradices, the active ingredients in Super Microbes mycorrhizal inoculants, are naturally-occurring arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) that have been identified and well-researched as powerful and effective plant symbionts that enhance nutrient uptake, water absorption and plant resistance to stress. RootMax contains an especially vigorous strain of Glomus intraradices that was originally isolated from the harsh conditions of the Israeli Negev desert, to ensure quick acclimation to other soil and media types and climates. The combination of these two mycorrhizal species provide the following benefits: Increased Phosphorus (P) uptake Increased Nitrogen (N) uptake Increased micro-nutrient uptake Improved plant establishment Increased flowering Increased crop yields Drought protection Drought tolerance Healthier root systems Disease suppression Salinity tolerance  
  • Are the RootMax products compatible with all plant species?
    It is revealed in research that more than 90% of all plant species, from liverworts to angiosperms are involved in the mycorrhizal association. Only a few are not receptive, and those will not be negatively affected if they come into contact with mycorrhizae.
  • When will I see the benefits of effective mycorrhizal inoculation?
    Depending on the growing protocol and operation, the results of effective RootMax inoculation will likely become apparent within two to six weeks (though we have even seen improvements within just a few days). Visual differences may include faster plant growth, larger flowers, richer plant color, more lush and dark, healthier leaves, more potent scent, bushier looking plants and fewer signs of stress compared to non-inoculated plants. Other beneficial differences between inoculated to non-inoculated plants may include a healthier root system and root structure (noticeable when transplanting), as well as reduced transplant shock.
  • Can RootMax products be used for organic production?
    Yes. Our products are made with 100% natural components and have not undergone any processing, unlike chemical fertilizers. They are also listed for organic production by OF&G.
  • Is RootMax safe for children and animals?
    Yes, RootMax is certified by UK's leading organic body – OF&G, and can be used in any organic farm or garden. Feel free to use RootMax in your garden without any fear of it harming your pets, children or any beneficial insects or pollinators.
  • Is RootMax compatible with other feeds and fertilizers?
    Yes, it is compatible with other feeds and fertilizers. Although, using Rootmax will reduce the need for additional fertilizers and plant feed in your garden. RootMax contains 245 viable spores per gram, which is the highest in the market. Some brands share the potency of their mycorrhizae in propagules per gram which includes root fragments and hyphae that are dead organic matter and do not inoculate the roots of your plants.
  • Can I apply pesticides and fungicides with RootMax?
    We recommend asking us before using fungicides together with RootMax inoculants. As a rule of thumb, non-systemic fungicides, herbicides and insecticides are generally compatible with RootMax inoculants, while many systemic fungicides are incompatible. When drenching soil with fungicide, we recommend doing so at least two weeks prior to mycorrhizal inoculation or at least four weeks after planting. When in doubt, we are always available to help. In general, we recommend against using synthetic pesticides or fungicides – there are lots of natural products that will have the same effect and that are better for both you and your plant’s health. We support organic and natural farming practices, especially when it comes to plants used by medical patients.
  • Since the fungi in RootMax enable the plant to absorb more P, should I reduce the amount I feed the plants?
    Initially, we suggest you add RootMax into your growing media and stick to your growing protocol. After you’ve gotten comfortable using RootMax and are seeing its benefits, you can begin to change your feeding rates. We’ve seen yield increases with both growers who have reduced their P inputs and growers who have maintained the same input amounts.
  • Can RootMax be applied to established plants with beneficial effects?
    RootMax mycorrhizal inoculant must be in direct contact with inoculable roots, which is easier to do during the seeding, cloning, planting and transplanting stages. However, if mature plants show signs of stress, then an application of RootMax by root-ball dusting or transplanting into a new pot with inoculated soil can help greatly. An additional way of applying RootMax to established plants is to poke 4-5 holes around the plant, making sure that the holes are deep enough to reach the roots (this can vary depending on the size and depth of the pot or soil), and use a funnel to pour RootMax into each one of the holes. Make sure RootMax gets to the youngest roots, which are at the bottom, as these are softest and easiest for the fungi to penetrate (older roots harden up as they mature, becoming impenetrable).
  • What if my plants are already planted and their roots underground? Will RootMax still work?
    Yes. Trees can take several years to find ideal mycorrhizae partners in the soil. So, up to 3 years after planting, the application of RootMax will certainly help most plants. For plants whose roots have been growing for more than 3 years there may still be a benefit - especially if there has been activity on the site that adds to root stress (such as compaction, cultivation, construction or an application of synthetic products). You can never over-apply RootMax; its all-natural formulation will never ‘burn’ roots.
  • What is RootMax's shelf life?
    RootMax has a two-year shelf life at the concentrations stated on the label. After two years, the fungi may begin to degrade. Each product has a “best if used by” date on the packaging.
  • What are the ideal timing and amount requirements for applying RootMax?
    RootMax requires direct contact with the roots of your plants to achieve maximum effect. It can be applied by mixing into the growing media, applying directly in the planting hole or as a root-ball coating. Therefore, it is best to apply directly to seedlings and clones, and with every transplantation into larger containers. The standard rate of application is 5 grams per seedling/clone, and thereafter, 5 grams of RootMax for every gallon of soil (1.25 grams per liter). See product label for more detailed instructions. Note that application of RootMax mycorrhizal inoculants requires no additional adjustments to your cultivation process.
  • When should RootMax be reapplied?
    Since mycorrhizae generally survive only as long as their host plants, RootMax should be reapplied with every grow cycle. If you are using new growing media, then adding RootMax is essential for enriching the new soil with microbial life. If you are planting in reused soil, you will want to inoculate the soil again in order to support the plant's early growth stages with fungi. RootMax should be reapplied with each transplantation into larger containers to ensure that the newly formed root tips will also enjoy the benefits of mycorrhizae.
  • Will RootMax change the pH balance of my soil?
    RootMax products have a pH of around 6.5 and won’t affect your soil’s pH by any measurable amount.
  • Can I apply RootMax any time of the year?
    Almost: The roots of your plant must be actively growing for the symbiosis with RootMax's mycorrhizal fungi to occur. So unless the roots of your plants are actively growing, the mycorrhizae won’t “hook-up” to their roots. So, the best time of year is spring, summer or fall. However, you can still apply RootMax when roots are dormant. The fungi in the package are dormant too and completely frost-proof. So even if you apply RootMax during winter or late fall, the fungal spores will simply wait to become active when the roots of your plants ‘wake-up’ the following spring. But generally, it's best to apply RootMax when the roots of your plants are actively growing.
  • I want to know more about RootMax products.
    For more details, please email us at biosolutions@indogulfgroup.com Or use the Contact tab to get started.
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