10 Plants With Taproots That You Can Grow In Your Garden

palnts with taproots

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The root system is very important for the health and growth of the plant. Taproots are the parts of the roots that go straight down into the ground. Unlike fibrous roots they’re strong, hard to pull out, and can be long. In this article, we identify 10 plants with taproots.

What Is A Taproot:

A taproot is the primary root in most plants. It branches out to secondary and tertiary roots. Taproots are the thickest root of a plant and usually appear immediately after germination. It runs deep into the soil, and collects water and nutrients for the plant.

Carrots for example have a taproot system. The edible part of a carrot is the taproot. I am sure you have noticed smaller roots all along the carrots, well these are lateral roots, they initially branch out from the taproot.

In a plant with the taproot system the central taproot is the largest part and it burrows down into the soil the most.

Taproot systems anchor plants firmly in the ground. Taproots descend deeply and draw water and nutrients from the surrounding earth to sustain the plant. They may also be used for storage of food and other materials.

Types of Taproots:

Taproots are mostly found in dicotyledons and can be of several shapes depending on the nature of the plant which bears them.

There are many kinds of taproots — conical, fusiform, and napiform — each with its own characteristic shape. 

A Conical taproot is widest at the top and tapering steadily towards the bottom. A typical example would be carrots.

A Fusiform taproot on the other hand, is widest in the middle and not at the top. They start tapering towards the top and the bottom. Radishes are a common example of taproot that becomes fusiform in shape.

Napiform taproots such as turnips are unique, it is very wide at the top and tapers suddenly into a tail at the bottom. 

Although taproots can be of many types, they all serve the same function: to keep the root deep enough in the soil to access water and nutrients.

Plants With Taproot System:

Plants with a taproot system are one of the most common forms of plants on earth. These plants have strong roots that reach deeper down the ground to the source of water. There are many different types of plants with this root system. Here in this list we have picked 10 plants that have taproots.

10 Plants With Taproots

Mango:

Mango trees feature a tap root, like other plants but in mangoes it is extremely invasive and quickly grows far deeper and spreads out farther.

Mango tree, also known as the King of Fruit tree. This plant has a well-defined Tap root system which can extend up to 20 feet (6 meters ). The taproot doesn’t just push deep into the soil, but its other roots branch out to absorb moisture and nutrients from the soil surface. 

The root system of a mango tree gives great support to the upper part of the tree and helps to stabilize it in strong winds and storms. 

If you want to grow mangoes in your own house see this guide here.

Papaya:

Papaya plants are vigorous, fast-growing, woody perennials that are native to tropical climates. The papaya tree’s tap root system has a single main root from which secondary and tertiary roots arise.

From the secondary and tertiary roots smaller roots grow out. The papaya root is  predominantly a non-axial, fibrous system, composed of one or two 0.5–1.0 m long tap roots. 

As the papaya plants can grow quite large, up to 7 feet tall, the tap root system is essential to give support to the plant. 

Read more about how you can easily grow papaya plants in your home.

Carrot:

The taproot of a carrot is the primary root that grows straight down into the ground. The shape of the taproot varies from carrot to carrot, and some varieties produce more complex shapes.

It has a wide top that narrows gradually toward the bottom. There are many secondary roots developed from the sides of the taproot.

Factors such as genetics, the soil type, soil preparation, plant spacing, temperatures and soil nutrients play a role in shaping the carrots. 

Although you can eat stems and leaves of a carrot plant, the taproot is by far the mostly consumed part. 

Here at Gardening ABC we have quite a bit of articles on carrots. Do check them for more interesting ideas.

Turnip:

Turnips are edible taproots and it is grown worldwide for its white, fleshy taproot. The taproot of a turnip is the main root of the plant, appearing at the tip of the young turnip. This root develops from the hypocotyl, or swollen part of the turnip. 

Pines:

Taproot systems are common in evergreen trees like pines. The taproot provides strong anchoring points and stabilizes the tree against wind pressure. A lateral taproot section can aid in mineral and water absorption. 

You have to plant them properly, the taproot of the tree must be in deep soil or it won’t survive. This is why you should not plant them in sandy soil. 

Parsnip:

Edible taproot of parsnip resembles a pale carrot. The taproot is thick and fleshy and can grow between 10 and 23 cm (4–9 in) in length.

Radish:

Radish is a fusiform tap root. Here the taproot is bulged at the center and tapers deliberately at both ends forming a spindle-shaped structure. Radishes are annual or biennial brassicaceous crops.

You can have both red radish as well as white radish or daikon radish. You can read more about the difference between the two types of radish in this post.

Dandelion:

The taproot of the dandelion is deep, twisted, and brittle which makes it difficult to dig out. Also, it usually extends about 6 to 18 inches underground where the soil is hard and dry. 

The taproot is thick and fleshy as well as branched with many crowns and buds sprout from the upper part of the root.

Beetroot:

The red taproot of the beet plant is an edible root vegetable consumed around the world. A deep colored beet, with it’s bright texture, makes an interesting meal. It’s versatile and pairs well with various sauces.

The taproot in beets vary in shape from globular to long and tapered. They are usually dark purplish red, though some are nearly white. These taproots are a good source of riboflavin as well as folate, manganese, and the antioxidant betaine.

Oaks:

The oak tree has an extensive root system spread horizontally. The initial root is the taproot, which grows deep underground whilst seeking a dependable supply of moisture. The taproot will soon be surpassed by an expansive root system spreading outwards. 

Advantages of Taproots:

Plants with a taproot system can survive in extreme conditions. They can send their roots down very deep into the soil and store extra food and water. This makes them resilient in harsh climates like drought. 

Challenges Of Working With Taproot Plants:

As the taproot goes much deeper into the soil than fibrous roots when you start working with a plant with a tap root system, you need to be prepared for a lot of digging and to be ready for any surprises.

Check out some basic difference between the taproot and the fibrous root. 

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prasenjit

Hi there! My name is Prasenjit and I’m an avid gardener and someone who has grown a passion for growing plants. From my hands-on experience, I have learned what works and what doesn't. Here I share everything I have learned.

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