Rootrainers™ Propagation System

Better Roots Mean Better Plants Every Time

Rootrainers' unique design allows air pruning for optimum root formation. The grooved cell design directs the main root to grow straight down towards the large drainage opening at the bottom. When the root tip contacts the air it dies off, and the plant then compensates by producing more branches of new root growth. The result is a healthy, fibrous root system capable of supporting superior growth.

The cells open for easy removal of plugs and damage-free roots. Perfect for nearly all plants and especially those that are sensitive to disturbance and require deep root runs. Rootrainers are reusable from year to year. Includes detailed instructions and planting tips.

Deep Rootrainers: Great for sweet peas, runner beans and all deep rooted flowers, fruits, and vegetables. 32 reusable cells, 5-inch deep, with ventilated holding tray (for air pruning) and propagating lid.

Rapid Rootrainers: Great for bedding plants, lettuce and herbs. 32 reusable cells, 3-inch deep, with ventilated holding tray (for air pruning) and propagating lid.

Item # Description Size Stock Status 1 – 1 2+ Qty
DRT900 Deep Rootrainers 5-inch deep, 32 reusable cells In Stock $19.99 $17.89

Product Information


  • 32 cells
  • Available in either 3" or 5" deep

Product Features

  • Includes holding frame and clear dome

Product Benefits

  • Grooved cells promote downward root growth so roots don't spiral; seedlings transplant better than seedlings from smaller inserts or pots that have bound-up roots
  • Growing cells hinge so it's easy to remove plants without tearing roots

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Customer Reviews

Review Summary (Based on 5 Reviews)

Overall Rating: 3/5

Write a Review

from OR

Ive used this system for years before it was sold by terra gardens


I originally bought this system BEFORE it was sold by Haxnicks, probably 8 years ago. Mine came from a company in Edmonton, Alberta by the name of Spencer Lemaire Industries. I even corresponded by email with the inventor sending him pictures of my successful experiences. Instead of being rigid frames with open sides, my frames snap together and have solid sides and unsnap to lay flat for storage purposes. I ordered 40 frames and enough books to fill them twice, not knowing whether the books were durable enough to be reused. Turned out they were. My original books are still going strong and appear to be much thicker than the current version which tends to tear when you separate them. I found that whether the new or old version of the books, they performed as advertised. If you do your initial planting in the "deep cell" Rootrainer, which mine are now called, you do not have to transplant into a deeper pot as they are the same depth as a green plastic 4 inch pot and because the little grooves in the books direct the roots down instead of allowing them to spiral. They really do work as advertised. I happen to have a farm wholesale corrugated plastic greenhouse that I have outfitted with grow lights and propagation mats. I had been using multiple cell 12x22" planting trays and humidity domes because at the time I bought my Rootrainers they did not make domes to fit. I resorted to placing my Rootrainers under the much larger humidity domes that fit the 12x22 trays or would repot into Rootrainers after starting seeds in the larger trays. I really liked this system and the way it worked. Finally this year I searched the internet to see if there were domes made to fit them and I found the Rootrainer seed starting set on Amazon which came with humidity domes. The number I had for Spencer Lemaire was out of service. I contacted Terra to see if I could buy just the domes. They told me they didn't think so because they came in sets from England. I have emailed Haxnicks twice to ask about buying just the domes but have had no response. I decided to buy a number of the sets mainly to get the domes, which BTW fit my old frames and books perfectly. I don't know why another reviewer claimed they couldn't get 8 books into the frame because it isn't that difficult and every tray I planted fit 8 just fine whether I used the old or new frames. Yes you do have to force the last book in to make them all upright and tight. As I said previously the new books are not as thick and durable as my old ones. However, that may be the very reason that the company in Edmonton went out of business--the product was originally TOO DURABLE and there were likely few if any repeat "book" sales. After all, I hadn't bought any new ones in 8 years. That issue has apparently been remedied as I saw on Amazon that book "refills" are available since they are no longer as durable as the old ones. Another difference between the old and new is that the older thicker "books" will spring apart instead of staying closed like the newer thinner ones do. So I just invested in a bag of rubber bands to hold the old ones shut until I take the plants out. My old books go to the utility sink for washing to be ready for next years plantings. I would give this product 5 stars if I could get just enough of the humidity domes to fit my old sets. I like this product so much I recently bought 20 sets from Amazon and today bought 14 more from a local dealer. I do not use the humidity domes for bottom watering. I just wish I could get 40 more domes for my old frames and books. I really like this system because you don't have to repot into a deeper pot because the roots are directed downward and just keep getting thicker and more healthy.

from UT

Root Trainers


Rather disappointing, not as sturdy as I expected. Trays are smaller than standard trays, so waste space on heat mat as well as it would be nice to have a little larger cell for each plant. Also trays could have been made to stand taller so we could use a waterproof tray under it and still allow for air pruning. I am still looking forward to seeing how well they perform.

from IL

Deep root trainer


I have to disagree with the first one. Yes they are flimsy but I will be able to use them again this year and have started some of my seeds. An extra tray would be helpful for watering as I have to find a tray to put them after watering if I want to use the cover till they sprout.

from MI

You get what you pay for!


I would give it a ZERO but not on the rating chart. Flimsy as could be. Maybe get one season out of it. Could not get 8 books in the tray. No water reservoir base unless you use the dome which defeats its purpose for seedlings since there would be no heat or moisture retention without a dome cover. I would not recommend this product. Very disappointed.

Gardener's Edge responds:
Thank you for taking the time to communicate to us why our Rootrainers did not meet your expectations. We have every desire to address your needs and provide the best solution available to resolve your issue as soon as possible.

The Rootrainers are designed to allow for air pruning for optimal root formation. For this reason, the books should not stand in water for too long as the roots can grow in the water and prevent the air pruning process. It is recommended that the lid be removed for watering and placed under the tray to catch excess water. After the water has drained adequately the lid should be flipped over and used as the lid again. This method will provide the best results for optimizing your seedlings root system.

We appreciate you expressing your thoughts on this product and will look at how we can better illustrate the details of these products so customers are better aware of how they work and what to expect.

At Gardener’s Edge we want our gardening friends to be happy with their purchase. If this product does not meet your satisfaction we would be happy to make arrangements for a return and a full refund.

Best regards,
Your Gardener’s Edge Team

from PA

Little Flimsy but does a great job


These are great for starting Swamp, Common, and Poke Milkweed as they tend to have a long taproot even as seedlings. With these Rootrainers little disturbance to that root will be a plus. They are a little flimsy so care will be needed to get a long life from them.