Skip to Content

Carrot Root System: How Deep Do Carrots Grow? (Explained)

Carrots are one of the best sources of vitamin A, but can carrots cause hustle by their invasive roots? Do they have invasive roots? How deep do their roots grow? This article will explain all the necessary information you may need about carrots and their roots.

Carrot root system explained

Carrots have tap roots that they use to store food for them. They do not become invasive, and their roots grow about 12-14 inches if they grow long. However, wild carrots can be invasive and take over your garden if you do not take any steps to remove them. Wild carrots spread and grow very fast.

I still remember the episodes of “Courage the Cowardly Dog,” where they grow giant carrots. The creepy carrots get huge and take over their house. (I don’t remember well). Of course, carrots can not take over your house like that, but can they become invasive in other ways?

Well, this is an easy yet tricky question to answer (because I am not sure about your intent). However, let’s go simple and explain the carrot roots and other related stuff you may need to know.

Carrots can not become invasive as they have fragile roots. They are also too small to do that. Longer species of carrots grow only about 12 inches in general. Carrots are also not among the strong root club. You can literally eat the carrot plant root raw (sounds a bit weird).

Now let’s go deeper with carrots. Carrots have one large tap root. Tap roots are the central roots that go deep and store food for difficult periods. Carrots took the food storing idea too seriously. They have some fibrous secondary roots but are so small in number.

Carrots modified their roots to store food. Other plants with tap roots have many feeder roots that will help get the nutrient and water for the tree. But carrots do not have many feeder roots; they mostly have to get all the nutrients from their tap root and store food in them.

Have you ever wondered how carrots grow large eatable roots? Like most other plants, carrots make their food through photosynthesis with sunlight and carbon-di-oxide. They get different materials and nutrients from the soil. Most trees use energy to grow, but carrots are like ants. They believe in saving. They store the food in their roots.

Some carrots trees may have branches in their tap root, but those traits are inherited. Branched carrots are bad traits of carrots. Who wants his carrot branched! Maybe a bunny wouldn’t mind.

Carrots use most of their energy to grow their one big root. Wait, it’s not the only carrot. More specifically, we humans designed the carrots to have the best attributes so we can eat most of them.

Only the tap root is eatable for humans. And the secondary roots are a waste of energy from a human perspective. So, we selectively breed carrots with giant tap roots with fewer secondary roots. Also, there are some genetically modified carrot species.

But none of them can cause any harm to our house or property. The growth of carrot roots is susceptible. You must do everything right to get the perfect carrots over 10 inches. The soil should not be too tight if you want large carrots.

Even if there are small stones in the carrot soil, that can negatively impact carrot growth. Moreover, carrots need a cold temperature to grow best. Below 20 degrees celsius stimulates the carrots to start storing food, making them think winter will arrive soon.

So, as you can see, there are many requirements for growing large carrots. Farmers grow healthy carrots with proper care and fertilizers. So, there is no way that carrots near your house will lift your house slub with their roots in a few months. That can only happen in fiction.

It was a generalized overview of carrot trees; let’s talk in more detail in the following sections of the articles.

Does Carrot have deep roots?

Carrots do not have deep roots. But compared to the other vegetables, carrots have average root depth. They usually grow from the seeds but do not have carrot-like roots at first. They grow like any other plants, and after one month, they start to invest in their tap roots.

Carrots have many species, and there are also variations in the size of carrots. However, if you pick the carrot species that grows the largest, they will produce 12 inches in general.

If the soil is vibrant and the carrots get proper sunlight, They can grow more than 12 inches. Sometimes that happens by luck, but carrots generally do not extend deeper than one foot.

The temperature has a significant effect on carrots. They need colder temperatures for proper growth. In warm temperatures, the carrots do not grow long.

Did you know how long the world’s longest carrot was? It was  20 feet 5.9 inches, grown by a guy named Joe Atherton. How can that be possible? Well, the guy used special plastic tubes to grow his gigantic carrot. The heaviest carrot in the world is above 10 kg. But it was also specially produced to make it large.

Are carrots invasive?

Regular carrots that we eat are not invasive in any way. They have no large roots that can cause issues for any structure. They have just only solid roots in general, but you can literally eat that with your salad.

They do not require a lot of space either. 12-18 inches is enough to spend their whole life. However, carrots are diurnal. That means they live only two years. So, should you keep your carrot plant for two years? Generally, you should not. In the springs, they grow flowers; after that, they become too woody to eat. However, you can keep the carrots if you have no plan to plant other crops and are willing to harvest seed, although you can get high-quality seeds in the market.

There are other wild species of carrot named wild carrot or Daucus carota L. It belongs to the same family of carrots, but it can be highly invasive. The roots of wild carrots are not invasive, but they spread super fast and grow faster than native grass.

When it starts to grow in your garden, you should take steps soon, or it will become uncontrollable once it spreads seeds. You can call professionals to help you out with wild carrots. It’s also possible to uproot a small number of wild carrot plants by yourself.

The wild carrots are not toxic, but you should never eat wild carrots as hemlock roots look pretty similar to the wild carrots. Yes, the same hemlock Socrates used to end his life.

Can Carrot roots damage foundation or pipes?

Carrot’s roots can not damage any foundations and pipes. They are too fragile to do so. They also grow downwards and usually do not grow wide. Moreover, they do not typically produce more than 12 inches. So there is no need to worry about the roots of carrots.

If you are growing carrots in your garden, try to provide every plant with one foot to 18 inches of space so that they can grow and thrive easily. Also, provide partial shade, proper drainage, and soft, loose soil for optimum growth. Carrots grow better in soil with high organic matter.

Make sure there are no hard particles such as rock and brick pieces in the soil. Solid stuff in the carrot growing path will make the carrot grow in weird shapes. They can not even cross a piece of stone in the soil, let alone damage foundations and pipes.

Do Carrot spread or multiply?

The carrots we grow and eat do not spread and multiply, but there is a wild species of carrot called Daucus carota L. that can become very invasive.

Those wild carrots spread and multiply so quickly that if you do not take timely steps, the wild carrot plants can easily take over your garden. They are pretty hard to control as they spread their seed too fast. They also suck the nutrients out of your garden soil and leave nutrition-less soil for your following corps.

Regular carrots do not spread that easily, and grow flowers and seeds in the spring. You can collect the seeds for planting them in the next carrot planting season.

Final Thoughts

Carrots can become about 12 inches long, while shorter carrots are more typical. Carrots are almost harmless to your house and property, and they do not have any invasive nature. But be careful about the wild carrots as they can infest your whole garden and cause a lot of hustle.