How to repot Phalaenopsis with only aerial roots left?
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  #1  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:09 PM
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monivik monivik is offline
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How to repot Phalaenopsis with only aerial roots left?
Default How to repot Phalaenopsis with only aerial roots left?

This is actually a mini- Phalaenopsis. I've had it for years, never repotted it and I decided it's long overdue. Turns out all the roots in the pot had died, all rotten. But this orchid had lots of aerial roots sticking out of the pot.

Now as I tried to repot this orchid, first of all there's no way it would fit in a small pot for mini-orchids... the roots are super long. Second, so I first made sure that all the roots were nice and wet, left them in water for 10 minutes soaking so that they'd be more flexible. But still trying to put them into the medium, well... it's sort of hard they're so long and I just can't push them down in the pot anymore, I'm scared of breaking them. So thing is... this orchid looks really funny right now. It's just not right....

So I was wondering, maybe trying to repot it was a bad idea. But I don't know how else to do it? It's got no other roots than these left. That's all there is.

What should I do?
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  #2  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:52 PM
neophyte neophyte is offline
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How to repot Phalaenopsis with only aerial roots left?
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i've had the same thing happen to me - orchid lost all roots except for a couple aerials. just first place the roots in the pot and then place the medium around it. of course, soak the roots to make them more pliable (as you have already done). i think it might be good to place the aerial roots towards the surface of the medium because they are more accustomed to growing without being surrounded by medium. i did this a couple months ago and there is already lots more root growth!
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  #3  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:59 PM
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When I repot, I twist the plant repeatedly to help twine the roots down into the pot. I think of it as "screwing the plant into the pot". Then I poke medium down into the void spaces that are left. Don't worry too much if there are a few scrapes and gaps opened on the old roots; they will still function as long as the wiry core inside is not broken. Let the plant sit dry for a day or two to heal up before you water, to prevent infection in any open spots. More roots will grow soon if the plant is better hydrated than it was before you repotted.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:32 AM
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Paphluvr Paphluvr is offline
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How to repot Phalaenopsis with only aerial roots left? Male
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Fishmom gives good advice about how to get the longer roots into the pot. One other thing I do when repotting mine is to occasionally, with both hands, holding the plant in the proper position relative to the pot, give the pot a good rap or two on the bench top. Continue adding a bit of mix and using the rapping method. This will help settle the mix into and around the roots better and avoid a void in the bottom of the pot.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:43 AM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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How to repot Phalaenopsis with only aerial roots left? Female
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I've got a Phalaenopsis in rehab right now that had lost almost all of its roots except for a few aerial ones. I had it sitting bare-root in a bowl for a time while I decided what to do with it, but I have just recently put it into a very shallow but wide container. (A clear plastic Sabra hummus container into which I drilled many vent holes.) I filled the container with medium Orchiata, and the plant is just kind of setting on top. I covered the roots as best I could, but a couple of them still stick above the media. In this plant's case, no amount of soaking was softening up the roots much, and I didn't want to risk breaking any of them, so the wide, shallow pot was the solution I came up with for now. I do have to water it pretty much every day. We'll see how it goes.
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2019, 12:15 AM
Tyrfing Tyrfing is offline
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How to repot Phalaenopsis with only aerial roots left? Male
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I think I would have tried to get it potted deeper (so that the stem touches the media). It also seems like aerial roots that get buried often dies after some time. It might be an idea to take it out in some months time (after it has some new roots) and clean it up (cut off any dead ex-aerial roots).
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2019, 02:14 AM
aliceinwl aliceinwl is offline
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How to repot Phalaenopsis with only aerial roots left? Female
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Iíd try to find it a taller narrower pot (if possible), soak it for at least an hour to make the roots more pliable, and then use the twist method. Iíve found large forceps really helpful for manipulating the roots as I twist the plant down too.

Iíve dealt with a few Phals in this situation. Most havenít ended up looking super tidy, but the roots all did fine buried, and plant health improved significantly.
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  #8  
Old 06-03-2019, 02:08 PM
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monivik monivik is offline
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How to repot Phalaenopsis with only aerial roots left?
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Thanks, I've done that now. I repotted it again... but yeah it's all sitting in the pot now... I will indeed keep an eye on it in a couple of months, as someone suggested, to check for dead roots. She's already making 2 new roots, but they're both pointing upwards.
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