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Air roots?

This is a discussion on Air roots? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; ...

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  1. #1
    CNR
    CNR is offline Junior Member
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    Default Air roots?

    Hi there, I work in an office that gets Phal orchids for display in the reception area. The area itself is very dark, and a poor environment for any plant, let alone an orchid. Over the past two years, my business partner and I, adopt these plants after they’ve lost their luster (basically on the verge of death… No flowers, yellow, or wilting leaves; black mushy or completely dried out roots). Thus far we’ve had approximately six plants, and were unable to resuscitate two of them. We’ve basically used the internet, and forums like these to teach ourselves how to care for the plants… Long story short, we just experienced our very first re-bloom and now have an amazingly beautiful orchid that we are thrilled to have nursed back to good health (there’s no way this puppy is going back to the reception area!)… My question though, pertains to the plant’s “air roots” which are growing wildly above the surface of the growing medium (note: the plant also has its original roots buried beneath the growing medium). These new vibrant roots are seemingly growing out of control, desperately in search of what, I’m not sure? Can anyone offer any advice as to what the purpose of these roots are, and how to care for them properly? Could this possibly be a new plant growing off of the mother plant? Or are these “air roots” compensating for the fact that the plant is growing in a tipped over position? Any thoughts would be much appreciated. –Thank you!
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  2. #2
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Default

    first congrats on rescuing and getting it to rebloom. Aerial roots are common on many orchids but very common with Phals. In nature, Phals don't grow in a medium but on the surface of trees, with it's roots exposed to a moist atmosphere.

    When I grew Phals in my home, I would mist the aerial roots. I do believe some of yours are due to the position that the plant is growing but it is a rare Phal that doesn't grow aerial roots.

  3. #3
    smartie2000's Avatar
    smartie2000 is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Good job on the rescue! I can't see the bloom but it looks beautifully harlequin spotted. Aerial roots are common with healthy phals.

    I think that the plant is growing in a different position than usual. Perhaps plant might take more light. It seems to be reaching for it, hence the sideways position and slightly lengthened 'stem' between the leaves. (maybe it was in a shadier spot while growing before and it got moved?) You aren't short too much in light since it has so many buds, so good job. You can plant it straight up again if you prefer, deeper in the medium so that the roots in the medium.

  4. #4
    bench72's Avatar
    bench72 is offline Moderator
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    Well done getting it back to health and blooming!

    It is normal to have the air roots.. however they can be a little all over the place, so you can train them to head towards the medium... when ur watering the roots generally are more pliable.. at this stage, you can then coax it to head towards the pot instead of out of it...

  5. #5
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    All good advice! Congratulations bringing it back to health!

    Cheers,
    BD

  6. #6
    CNR
    CNR is offline Junior Member
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    Default

    Wow, thank you everyone for the great feedback… I’ve attached a pic of the flowers for everyone’s viewing pleasure.
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  7. #7
    eaglssong's Avatar
    eaglssong is offline Senior Member
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    WOW That's magnificent!! Congratulations

  8. #8
    bench72's Avatar
    bench72 is offline Moderator
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    Wow, that looks fantastic! good picture too.

  9. #9
    cindiras's Avatar
    cindiras is offline Senior Member
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    What a beautiful Phal! No one pointed out to you that in nature, phals grow DOWN a tree, so the tipping sideways in the pot is an attempt to 'get back to nature'. anymore when I repot a phal, I lay it sideways attop the planting medium, with only half or so of the roots down in the medium. They grow over the edge of the pot and downward. Kinda neat!

  10. #10
    Becky15349's Avatar
    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    Beautiful phal, I love it! Congrats on getting it to rebloom, isn't that the best feeling ever?? I think your phal looks fine; the sideways growing habit is a little strange, but you could always repot it straight if you wanted to...but it seems pretty happy to me! Sometimes its best to just leave them alone. Your aerial roots are plentiful probably because of the fact that its growing sideways - you can just mist them until they turn green, and make sure those guys get water when you water the plant.

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