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  • 2 Post By PaphMadMan
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  • 1 Post By raybark

can a moth orcihid have too many roots sticking out of pot?

This is a discussion on can a moth orcihid have too many roots sticking out of pot? within the General Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; My phalenopsis has 6 big green healthy leaves, 2 growing stalks in good bloom and ...

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  1. #1
    aozarkrose is offline Junior Member
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    Default can a moth orcihid have too many roots sticking out of pot?

    My phalenopsis has 6 big green healthy leaves, 2 growing stalks in good bloom and many new blooms. Lucky me. Lol. But it seems to be over run by roots. I know that roots coming out of the pot is ok but I counted at l least 16 root tips some are wrapped around the top of the pot and are pretty tightly compacted. The roots in the pot look healthy and the plastic pot is pretty flexible. The planting media does not smell. The pot is about 5 inches. Is there something wrong that is making this orchid produce so many aerial roots. After it quits flowering should it be repoted and should those roots be submerged in the medium? I am not going to it now but would like some advice for the future. And maybe this is just suppose to be. I am new to orchid growing. By the way the orchid came this way from the store. I only had this 3 wee ks.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions

  2. #2
    PaphMadMan is online now Senior Member
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    There's no such thing as too many roots, no matter where they are. I don't think you have a problem. Sounds like a healthy happy vigorously growing plant. When you repot try to get most roots into the pot because it helps anchor the plant.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaphMadMan View Post
    There's no such thing as too many roots, no matter where they are.
    +1

  4. #4
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    I agree with the last posters.

    Let me throw out an observation and associated speculation for you and the gang to chew on:

    A phalaenopsis has this huge, massive vegetative structure on top of a relatively small base. Add to that the fact that those huge leaves could be veritable "sails" in a windstorm, potentially helping tear the top off of the base.

    Aerial roots serve two purposes: one is to take up water and nutrients, of course, but the second is mechanical - by emerging a bit higher up in the plant structure, and reaching out to "grab" the environment a bit farther out, they serve as "guy wires" to stabilize the top-heavy structure, much as they do on antenna towers.

    Accordingly, I now pot all my phals in pots as large as the leaf span of the plant, and they sink their roots into the medium, and produce no more aerials.

    NOTE: I am doing that in S/H pots only; bark or moss would remain to soppy in the middle (the LECA used in s/h culture wicks the moisture evenly).

  5. #5
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    One point - if you put most of the roots into fresh medium when you repot, be careful that it is open and not compacted. I tried a new brand of orchid bark, labelled "coarse", but it wasn't and I lost one of my favorite Phals to root rot. It was huge and old and had tons of roots, but the new medium compacted around them and it was gone very quickly. Now I won't take the word of the company selling the medium, but will examine it for fine bits, dust and anything that might compact around roots.

    Next - the idea of potting in large pots is interesting, but I don't know what "S/H pots" mean, can you explain Raybark?

  6. #6
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    "S/H" = "Semi-hydroponics", a single-pot hydroponic cultural technique I developed many years ago that utilizes an inert, lightweight expanded clay aggregate (LECA) as the medium. You can Google "semi-hydroponics" to learn more, but here's an example of a plant grown that way:

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    In genereal, most brands of LECA wick the water very uniformly from particle to particle, which tend to be fairly uniform in size and shape, and being inert, will never decompose, so the medium stays open and airy. Because of that, you can get away with very large pots without worry. Try to do the same with bark-, moss-, or any other organic medium, and the core will remain waterlogged and soggy in the middle of the pot, suffocating and killing the roots.

  7. #7
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    I just got some of the LECA pellets. Do they work well mixed with coarse bark? How are you sure that the plant gets adequate nutrients? Would you water more or less with the LECA medium than with regular bark type mediums? I'm really interested in experimenting, but would like to know a bit more before I repot some of my Phals.

  8. #8
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    For S/H culture, you do not mix them. A plant can be in a LECA for many years, while the bark will decompose and clog things up over time.

    You are sure the plants get adequate nutrition because you feed (very dilutely) at every watering.

    I am not willing to rehash the entire subject here - please do the Google search I mentioned earlier - but I will be happy to answer specific questions after you do.

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    Ray, is there an adjustment period for the orchid when you transfer to the LECA? What is your process for watering? Thanks.

  10. #10
    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    Hi,

    I have just started moving some of my plants to S/H so i am not an expert on this. ray pls correct me if i my understanding is not correct

    from what i understand, there is no fixed period for adjustment...it is basically how quickly the orchids grow their roots to the new environment which would depend on a lot of factors...thats the reason the move to S/H should be done during the root growing season so that the plant adjusts reasonably well. I have moved some of mine last week and i can see a little new roots growing on them...

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