how to repot an orchid with lots of roots

This is also an indication that it is time to repot your orchid. Orchid roots do not need to be bright green all of the time. Once you understand the layers of an orchid’s roots and how they work, you will have a much better understanding of why and how they can become compromised.

There’s a good chance you’ll harm the plant or introduce a dangerous virus.

Many orchid potting mixes are made from fir bark or chipped coconut husk in fine, medium or coarse grade.

Containers such as plastic pots or clay pots with open side slats allow water to drain quickly. It is crucial to remove the infected, rotting roots and any areas of the leaves or plant itself that have been infested with root rot. They may grow up, down, sideways or a combination – the key is that the root is round, plump and white/silver with green/reddish tips.

The vascular tissue routs the moisture and nutrients up from the roots to the plant itself. Such orchids will eventually die from overwatering. However, the way an orchid’s roots do this is somewhat different from what you are probably used to – they absorb these nutrients from the air. It will show you everything you need to know. Decomposing potting medium does not support the orchid root system. Your orchid is growing roots, specifically aerial roots – a perfectly normal activity for this unique, epiphytic plant. First-time orchid growers can be shocked by how an orchid plant’s roots grow.

These orchids grow roots that twine around their rock hosts for stability and often burrow into cracks or crevices in and around the rock itself. Aerial (“air”) roots are sometimes called orchid tendrils. If the plant seems a little too snug, move the orchid into a larger container because overcrowded roots may escape and look for space to grow above the surface of the soil. The wildly popular Phalaenopsis is the most common and famous of the tree-growing orchids. According to orchid experts, you should definitely not remove the roots. Orchids don’t hurt the tree because the humid air and the surrounding environment provide all the plant’s necessary water and nutrients. If you enjoyed this article, please share it using the buttons below.

Duplicate that environment by planting them in soilless potting mixes and allowing their root systems to stretch on the top of the pot. How to Repot an Orchid: Step by Step Guide, Best Orchid Pots: Beginner’s Buying Guide, How To Water An Orchid – Care Guide & Pictures, Orchid Potting Mix – Care Guide & Information, How To Prune An Orchid – Step By Step Guide.

Orchids do not like to sit in standing water. When an orchid’s roots are brown and mushy to the touch, this is most likely because of mold or root rot.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site! Rock-growing orchids are called lithophytic orchids. We use cookies to ensure we give you the best experience on our website. Roots growing from an Oncidium Bollopetalum putting out loads of new roots Existing roots + new root on a Phal Phal root on left, growing from between leaves—spikes often also grow from there Phal root.

If the orchid air roots are firm and white, they are healthy and you don’t need to do anything at all. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Place the orchid plant in the new pot and tuck in the damp potting media loosely around it, leaving plenty of air around the roots. Although here again, when the roots of an orchid start growing every which way, it is easy to get confused! , because you may not expect a potted orchid to develop air roots. Now, let’s move on to some photos of orchid spikes.

They will be green (or occasionally red) at the tips. Learning to care for your orchid’s root system is essential to maintaining the health and vitality of your precious orchids. Apply natural fungicide to snipped areas of mother and baby.

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Either way, don’t cover the roots because they may rot. A few rocks in the bottom of the pot will keep it upright.

Keiki “roots” can be gently removed and repotted in appropriate orchid media or affixed to a suitable host rock or wood material.

Orchids actually tolerate a degree of root crowding reasonably well, so timing your repotting is important.

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Plump, firm roots grow from the pseudobulbs. In their native tropical habitat, orchids cling to the bark of standing and fallen trees.

Be sure to sanitize your cutting tool by wiping the blades with rubbing alcohol or a solution of water and bleach before you begin. A few of the most famous and popular terrestrial orchid species are Cymbidium, Cypripedium (lady slipper), Calanthe and Dactylorhiza (marsh). They thrive on nutrients in oxygen rather than soil and they can grow above the ground. This portion starts from the base of the root and extends outward to meet the green or red tip. Should this occur, wait until your orchid stops blooming, then use a sterile knife or scissors to cut away the shriveled roots.

There are three main ways that orchids grow: in the ground, on trees, and on rocks. It is time to re-pot when roots are clinging to the side or growing into a neighboring pot. You can watch our video. It is essential not to cut off living, viable roots since this is basically cutting off the orchid’s life support system.

It is crucial to identify which kind of roots your orchid plants have because this will help you match the right potting media to the root type. Other orchid planting mixes include expandable clay pebbles or perlite.

(Some orchid pros think that a perlite/peat mix is less likely to produce aerial roots than bark.) Viable roots are plump and have a green center. Ground-growing orchids are called terrestrial orchids.

One drawback to plastic pots is that they tip over easily.
There’s also the chance your plant is outgrowing your pot. Dendrobium and Cattleya are also typical examples of tree-growing orchids. Three well-known species of rock-growing orchids include Dendrobium, Bifrenaria, and Maxillaria. Terrestrial orchid roots are typically submerged into the potting media or the forest floor just like “normal” plant roots.

Then sterilize a new pot and add fresh potting media before replanting the orchid. Orchid roots do not behave like other houseplant root systems. She blogs and has two published books on the subject of Mary Magdalene: "14 Steps To Awaken The Sacred Feminine: Women in the Circle of Mary Magdalene" and "The Mary Magdalene Within.". Pull or cut apart the main structure of the plant into two or more new plants.

Settle one of the newly divided plant sections into the pot, spreading its roots.

Not all orchid plants have air roots, and those that do are frequently misunderstood. To take an overgrown orchid out of a pot, it may require soaking or a sharp knife to loosen the clinging root system.

Read on for more information about these orchid air roots and learn what to do with orchid roots.


It really helps us out! Air roots get their name because of how they grow. Out of Control Orchid Roots.

Shake and pick the decomposed potting medium from the plant and discard it.

1. Many newcomers to orchid care have mistaken orchid roots for weeds or shoots and have snipped them off to the plant’s ultimate demise. If your orchids are developing crazy-looking tendrils that look a little like tentacles, don’t worry.

In fact, they should only be bright green right after they are watered. American Orchid Society: When Should I Repot? Healthy, upright leaves are a clear indication that the roots are healthy and that you are watering properly.

Be sure to use a potting mix suitable for orchids.

How Much Soil Do I Use to Re-Pot a Phalaenopsis?
Learning to identify healthy versus unhealthy plant roots should always start with a little basic “orchid root anatomy” lesson. Tree-growing orchids are called epiphytic orchids. The first and most important step is to sterilize everything – cutting shears, potting media, and new pot.

Longer tips indicate actively growing roots.

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer.

Job number two is to secure the plant in place.

6. Not all orchid plants will develop aerial roots.

If the roots are always bright green that is an indication that they are drowning.

This creates an easy place to divide the plant. 1.

When the roots are flat, dry, shriveled looking, this often means the orchid has not received enough moisture.

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