Whether you’re repotting an orchid or just thinking about it, there are a number of things to keep in mind when dealing with the roots. Especially if your orchids have a lot of aerial roots, you may find yourself wondering what to do with them. Fortunately, there are several methods to help you deal with them.
Before you start cutting off your aerial roots, make sure that your orchid is in good health. You should check temperature, humidity, and light levels. If any of these conditions aren’t present, your orchid isn’t healthy enough to cut off its aerial roots.
If your orchid has a lot of aerial roots, you can remove them by trimming them off with sterilized cutting tools. You can also remove the roots by soaking them in a bucket of cool water for about 30 minutes. This will help soften the root ball tissues, allowing them to separate easily.
If you’re repotting an orchid, you’ll want to give it time to get used to the new medium. Aerial roots are malleable, so they’re able to adapt to new potting media more quickly than older roots. You can do this by putting your orchid in a pot that’s larger than it is currently.
Additionally, make sure that the new potting mix isn’t too damp. Overwatering is the most common cause of root rot, so you’ll want to avoid this if possible.
When you’re repotting an orchid, it’s a good idea to remove any sphagnum peat moss from the roots. Some growers recommend using gloves to protect the roots, but if you’re not able to do so, just remove the moss carefully without damaging the roots.
Identifying and Dealing With Orchid Root Problems
Identifying and dealing with root problems is important for your orchid. If the root system is weak, you will likely need to do some repotting. You can also use a spray bottle to keep your orchid hydrated.
A good way to identify the most critical item in a plant is to look at its roots. Orchids have a few unique characteristics when it comes to their roots.
First, healthy orchids have thick, luscious green roots. If you see a white, flimsy, or rotten tuft of grass, you know your orchid is in trouble.
The velamen is a porous covering that filters moisture and nutrients from the roots down to the plant. The vascular tissue is a network of small blood vessels that carry nutrients to the leaves of the orchid.
A fungal infection can cause a brown or green discoloration on the roots of the plant. In some cases, the root rot may only affect the outermost edge of the root ball.
A sick orchid will begin to lose its flowers. The rhizomes will also begin to rot, turning into a gray, wrinkled, or hollow mess.
The best way to test your orchid’s health is to remove the potting media and examine the root system. You can also try soaking the root in water for two minutes to help bring back life to the orchid.
Tip: Check out Irene’s Quick Guide to Orchid Root Health