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Don't know what this is...

This is a discussion on Don't know what this is... within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I just got a phalaenopsis. It has something that looks like old, woody roots coming ...

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  1. #1
    DSHoll0426 is offline Junior Member
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    Question Don't know what this is...

    I just got a phalaenopsis. It has something that looks like old, woody roots coming out from the soil. What is that? Also, the plant came in a plastic container with drainage holes and decorative plastic wrap. How soon should I pot it and what type of pot is best?
    Last edited by DSHoll0426; May 10th, 2007 at 07:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    remove the decorative paper wrap now...repot when it is finished blooming. Pot choice can vary based on your growing conditions. You could use plastic pot and bark mix, Clay and Sphag, semihydroponic....where do you live and where are you planning on growing this Phal?

  3. #3
    smartie2000's Avatar
    smartie2000 is offline Senior Member
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    I agree. The plastic wrap isn't ideal.

    The roots coming out of the media are its aerial roots. Keep in mind that these are epiphytic orchids, they grow on trees in nature.

  4. #4
    DSHoll0426 is offline Junior Member
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    I live in Georgia, and because I've never taken care of a plant like this, I'm not sure where its home will be. Right now I have it near a window that gets some sun throughout the day. I'm completely open to any/all suggestions where its care is concerned.

  5. #5
    DSHoll0426 is offline Junior Member
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    So I should just leave those roots alone? Do I need to repot in a large container so that I can cover them?

  6. #6
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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    A photo is the best way to get advice based on what you actually have, but from your descriptions, here is what I would do:
    1. Get the plastic wrap off of the pot so the roots can breath.
    2. Unpot the plant and check the roots in the pot. Most likely they are damaged since air movement has been restricted. (See number 3 first)
    3. When you decide to unpot this plant, get a bowl of water or fill your sink with water and soak the pot and roots for ten or fifteen minutes so that they will become saturated and will easily let go of the pot and medium they are currently growing in. This helps you to keep from breaking the living roots.
    4. Be sure to remove the mushy, or dead roots with your hand or a clean razor blade or sterile knife/ scissors before putting into the new pot.
    5. Repot in a pot the same size unless the plant is root bound. Be sure to put either some larger rocks or styro-peanuts in the bottom of the pot to keep the plants roots above the drain holes and allow air to get into the bottom of the pot and around the roots.
    6. If the plant is currently in bark and that is how you want to continue to care for it, purchase a bark mix from your local big box store. This mix will already have the things in it that will help keep your orchid's roots growing healthy.
    7. The 'old, woody roots coming out from the soil' should be removed if they are brittle and dead. Don't put them into the pot. If they are still living, it will be fine to pot them up.
    8. Do not put your phal in direct sunlight. Check out the CARE link at the top of the page. Click on 'Phalaenopsis' cultural requirements for some basics on light, water, etc...

    Cheers,
    BD

  7. #7
    DSHoll0426 is offline Junior Member
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    When you say root bound, does that mean that the roots have completely grown to the bottom of the container? My roots are clearly visible when looking at the bottom of the container. The medium that its currently in looks like a mixture of soil and bark pieces. Is there a soil mixture specially formulated for orchids (I've read that regular potting soil is too dense)?

    By the way, thanks for all the advice already given!!!

  8. #8
    Diane's Avatar
    Diane is offline Can't Re-Member
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    some growers add moss to their mix, which might be what you are seeing. If it is soil - repot now using a mix of bark and moss or very small bark. Don't use garden bark - the kind they use for landscaping. Buy orchid bark.

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