What Are The "Feelers" Attached To The Orchid And What To Do With Them?

(Joan DeCook)

1. Are the long "feelers" that jut out from the base of the orchid beside the leaves, just to be left alone and grow and hang over the pot or should the orchid be in a container large enough for the "feelers" to rest inside the container?

2. When repotting I assume these feelers are not to be covered by soil?

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Aug 12, 2011
A Big Thank You
by: Joan DeCook

Just a quick thank you for replying to my question; I am so very impressed with your information and taking the time to answer all my questions; I love my white orchid and want it to have a long happy life and know that with your help with my concerns that she will have a lovely life. Again thank you so so much.

Aug 12, 2011
"Feelers" Are Roots
by: Melissa

Hi Joan,

Thanks for your question.

The "feelers" you describe are orchid roots. Your plant is probably a Phalaenopsis (but it could be any of other orchids that are epiphytes.) Epiphytes are plants that grow on trees and their roots (aerial roots) are often in the air.

I just leave mine pretty much where ever they grow. I am of the belief that healthy orchid roots are a very good thing. The fact that this is how they grow naturally is fine to me.

Granted it does look different than other plants. But they are orchids and some things are different about them. There are other epiphytes other than orchids. For example many of the bromeliads are epiphytes.

When I am repotting I will try to tuck most of the roots into the potting media. But if they would break off if I bent them down then I leave them. Some growers might cut a few of them off. But the plant needs to be healthy and have healthy roots so it won't miss a few.

Just a note, that you said "soil". Most orchids do not grow in "soil". Certainly the epiphytes do not. So when you say soil I take it you mean the orchid media like bark or moss.

If, in fact your orchids are not terrestrial (ground growing) orchids they should not be in soil (any thing that looks like dirt).

Hope this helps.


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