If you’ve ever tended a garden or potted a plant, you know a few simple truths about green things — they require water and nutrients to survive and their roots are good indicators of their overall health. So we water on a regular schedule, provide for root growth and add nutrient-rich soils to ensure a balanced diet.

In nature, plants don’t get that kind of care — it may not rain often enough, the earth may lack specific nutrients and there’s a lot of other vegetation vying for the same resources. While leaves and branches reach skyward to capture the sun’s energy, the roots are hard at work, scrounging for those vital water and nutrient sources.

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