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  #1  
Old 09-22-2019, 05:03 AM
bobloes bobloes is offline
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What to do about roots
Default What to do about roots

Hi All,

I have three types of orchid and it is the phalaenopsis that is the reason for my question. Following the advice I have been given on this forum they are doing well. The phal roots take up maybe a thrid of the pot at the bottom and is starting to produce aerial roots. So I think there are two questions.

When (how do I decide) should I repot and should I always go up a size?

The aerial roots are not particularly attractive. Can I just cut them off at the point where they emerge from the pot?

Basic stuff I am sure but grateful for more guidance.

Thanks

Bob
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2019, 08:54 AM
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Hi there, Bob.

If your goal is to get good at maintaining healthy plants, you'll repot before your potting medium begins the inevitable process of decomposing. By doing so, there will be little chance of the root system being damaged, dying and rotting. Plus, repotting will be less stressful for the plant, as the old and new media will still be quite similar.

Some "orchid sages" have professed "grow good roots and the plant will follow". Aerial roots, in my opinion, should not be removed or trimmed. They are functional roots, so should be watered and fed with the rest of the root system. Their growth is also - sometimes - an indication that the plant is in too small a pot, as the aerial roots are reaching out to provide lateral mechanical stability.

I select pot size based upon the size of the root system - including aerials (bent down into the pot without breaking them) - to provide enough room for about a year's growth. If the roots age good, go bigger. If you've been late with the repot and the root system suffered, you might go with the same size or smaller.
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2019, 06:20 PM
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It is hard to advise without seeing pictures. As Ray said aerial roots most likely mean that something in the pot is not right. Maybe not enough watering, humidity etc. As to what size to use for next repotting, sometimes you even go downsize or use the same pot, if roots inside have rotted.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:55 PM
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Often, those aerial roots are the best roots on the plant, especially if the ones in the pot have rotted. So don't cut them. If you can't get them into the new pot, leave them out... when you water you can give them an extra misting. Those roots are telling you that conditions in the pot are undesirable... listen to them. Once the plant is growing good roots into fresh medium, the aerial roots very likely will decline because the plant will get what it needs more efficiently.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2019, 09:59 AM
bobloes bobloes is offline
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Thanks for the advice so far. I have included a few photos for your consideration. These were taken just before my weekly watering regime. The pot is 8cm tall.
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What to do about roots-wp_20190923_13_45_45_pro-1-jpg   What to do about roots-wp_20190923_13_46_54_pro-1-jpg   What to do about roots-wp_20190923_13_47_10_pro-1-jpg   What to do about roots-wp_20190923_13_47_39_pro-1-jpg  
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2019, 11:03 AM
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Thanks for pictures. If it was my orchid I would repot after flowers will die off, it is not an emergency, but definitely not an ideal situation.
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Old 09-25-2019, 05:01 AM
bobloes bobloes is offline
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Thanks for all your thoughts - I think I will wait for the blooms to drop and then repot upwards. Cheers
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:06 AM
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That's a very healthy looking Phal. And appears from the old spikes it's already been blooming for quite some time. Were it mine, I'd just go ahead and repot now "as is" without cutting off anything, perhaps one size larger pot. But certainly won't hurt to wait either.
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