You may have heard the term rhizome thrown around here and there, but exactly what is a rhizome? Not to be confused with the root part of a plant, a rhizome is something entirely different. In fact, there are several parts of a plant that can grow underground, and it’s not all roots! Learn the difference between root and rhizome, and keep reading to find out what is a rhizome!

So What is a Rhizome?

rhizome diagram

Technically speaking, a rhizome is a stem that grows underground. Growing just below the surface of the soil, rhizomes will usually grow horizontally. Because a rhizome is a stem, its able to produce other stems and nodes which can grow straight up and come above ground. If you see many different rhizomes, it’s more possible that it’s actually just the one rhizome giving off different shoots!

Usually you’ll see many cold weather perennials with rhizomes. This is because plants use the rhizomes to store energy, especially more so in the winter because they are protected underground.

Unfortunately, often times, rhizomes can be the source of weeds. This is because even the smallest fragment of a rhizome can produce plants and can therefore make it hard to control. But, growing rhizomes can also be very beneficial, especially if you’re looking for a lasting and spreading groundcover in the garden.

Which Plants Have Rhizomes?

ginger rhizome

While there are many plants that have rhizomes, these are some of the most common ones:

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What is a Rhizome