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Orchids/Air Roots and Repotting



Last June, I was given an orchid. It has survived and even rebloomed, with two short but very full stems. It is winding down in its blooming for this year, so I am getting ready to repot it. It has a few air roots though, and I am not sure what to do with them. A few are coming from between the leaves. Do I just leave them? Do I try to bend and bury them in the new, bigger pot? Do I cut them off? Orchids are new for me, and I am so happy that I have gotten this one to come so far. I don't want to kill it in the repotting!

On this subject too, are air roots normal, or a sign that the plant needs something (water, sun, more room?)

Congratualation Cate on your growing success.  I would try to incorporate the new aerial roots into the  new potting mix when you repot.  To minimize root breakage, soak them until they are green, then, incorporate with minimal bending.  One way to do this is to rotate the pot as you lower the plant, before you incorporate the potting mix.  This helps the roots to follow the inside walls of the pot.  If you have sufficient root mass, you could cut off the roots coming out of the center of the plant.  Otherwise, just bend them as much as possible so you can put the tips of the roots into the potting mix.


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Wayne King


Any question about orchid culture. I have thirty+ yrs of growing experience,president 2x of our local Orchid Growers Guild,held a position in most all other offices associated with the Guild at one time or another. Head of Orchid judging team for local club meetings and some shows. Member of two Orchid Socities and local Rep.for Mid America Orchid Congress for several yrs.I have in my collection about 800 Orchid plants of all types.


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