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  • 1 Post By raybark

root bound

This is a discussion on root bound within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; What do you do if you get an orchid that is so root bound it ...

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  1. #1
    sciencegal's Avatar
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    Default root bound

    What do you do if you get an orchid that is so root bound it is a solid round or square brick of roots depending on what shape the pot was? I have three like this. They are healthy and growing, spiking or in bloom, but I would guess that eventually the center will rot out. Right now they are not in a pot since I am now growing most of them bare root. I just soak the mass of roots when the outside looks dry but I wonder if there is a way to loosen them up even if it means losing a few or more roots. Or do you just leave them as they are.

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    I use my fingers to pry all of the medium from the interior, then insert my thumbs in the cavity and "tear" the outer "shell" of roots in three or four places. Then, having made a mound of fresh medium in the pot, spread the roots over that mound, and fill in around them.

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    Not sure what plants you mean but many, and especially Dendronium like to be pot bound.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris in Hamilton View Post
    Not sure what plants you mean but many, and especially Dendronium like to be pot bound.
    You know I have often wondered about an epiphyte orchid that in nature would grow on a tree with the roots exposed, hanging out all over, would like to be pot bound. Would it really mean that the dendrobium just prefers to have lots of roots before they bloom? I will post a photo later of what I mean.

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    My speculation is that the plant is seeking to be mechanically stable. Being "pot bound" satisfies that.

    Repot two plants into large containers. Stake one firmly, and leave the other other one loose in the pot. The staked one will do much better.

    Using LECA as a medium (won't get soppy in the middle - don't try it with other media), I started moving all of my phalaenopsis into pots about the same diameter as their leaf span. "Aerial" roots were no more - they all grew down into the medium and never produced another. Emerging from the plant a bit higher than the primary roots, I likened them to "guy wires" on an antenna tower, providing mechanical stability to that very top-heavy leaf structure.

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