What To Do With The Orchid Roots?

by shirley fraser

Are all of these long pale green kinky things ROOTS? There is 15 growing on one of my orchids which has 6 beautiful blossoms on it one is 24 inches long. Most distracting. What are they? Are they looking for something to hang on to? What can or should I do??

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Aug 07, 2011
Be Happy Your Orchid Has Healthy Roots!
by: Melissa

Hi Shirley,

Thanks for your question. I thought I answered it but see now it was another one on roots. Sorry for the delay.

Yes, the long pale green kinky things are roots. The fact that there is 15 growing on one of your orchids indicates that the plant is healthy. Especially if it has blossoms as well. Good job! Your probably have a Phalaenopsis and as an epiphyte it can have many aerial roots. Some of the larger ones can have a lot.

Personally, I don't mind them as I recognize that it is just the way the plant is normally. In the wild they would grow on trees and the roots would mostly just stick out in the air to catch what rain and nutrients they could. So they do not bother me.

Sorry that it is distracting to you. You are not alone in feeling that way. Maybe it helps to know that healthy roots equals a healthy plant.

Yes, they are looking for something to hang onto like a tree or a branch.

I celebrate mine. It is best not to cut them off for the most part. If the plant is healthy, cutting one or two would not hurt it much.

When you repot it you could probably tuck them gently into the media. At least some of them. Those that are sticking up probably would break off if you tried to tuck them into the fir bark or other media.

Another alternative would be to mount the plant on a stick or a mount and just let them hang out in the air as they would in the wild.

Most of my Phalaenopsis are in pots but I have several that are on sticks.

Hope this helps!


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