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Orchid question: my Phalenops is growing a lot of roots

Discussion in 'Other Plants' started by Selleri, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. Selleri

    Selleri Gardener

    Mar 1, 2009
    North Tyneside
    is the disproportionate root growth a sign it needs more water?

    I bought it a year ago and repotted in summer using a transparent pot and orchid potting mixture, which seems fine but doesn't let me judge when the plant is dry. (The mixture looks like small Ecologically Responsible Lego blocks :biggrin:) It's flowering full whack again and has grown 4 new leaves in the year we have been together, but mostly it's growing fat new aerial roots.

    I'm now watering my Phalenops and my Dendrobium once a week, enough to allow the escaping water to fill the bowls the pots stand in and letting them soak for half a day, that seems ok as the said Phalenops is flowering and the Dendrobium is forming buds.

    More water or less water? Why is the plant focusing on aerial roots? All advice on orchid behaviour would be much appreciated :love30:

    They are lovely plants aren't they :)
  2. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

    Jan 9, 2005
    Mid Kent
    Phalaenopsis always grow aerial roots, in the wild they would grow pretty much on the humidity those aerial roots can trap.
    That's why they really need humid conditions.

    Having said that, I find they grow ok with just some roots in a pot and the rest outside, with a spray once a day.
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    • ricky101

      ricky101 Super Gardener

      Jun 15, 2016
      nr Leeds

      A general guide to watering is when the roots look white/creamish colour then they need watering with a weak fertilizer, just plain tepid water every 5th or 6th time to wash away old salts etc.

      Normally you just pour the water on the top and let it drain straight though the pot for a few seconds, and let the excess drain out before returning to the pot or saucer.

      Have only ever soaked a plant when over dry, generally the ones from the supermarket that are often packed tight with moss, but even then only for 30 mins.

      However from the growth you are getting, sounds if they like your method so perhaps continue with it.:)

      I've tended to use the Orchid Focus Repotting Mix which seem a clean mix of small to medium sized pieces.

      As Pete says, giving the roots a mist / spray is also good, but be careful not to get any spray onto any flowers as it can mark them.
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