Aerial Orchid Roots

The aerial roots of orchids are part of the plant’s nutritional system. Not only the development of epiphyte depends on their quality, but also its health, as well as the strength and frequency of flowering. Damage to the roots is manifested by drying. A similar state of air shoots threatens the death of a flower. That is why you need to deal with manifestations immediately.

  1. Signs of drying of the roots
  2. Causes of drying
  3. Overground part
  4. Underground part
  5. Solutions
  6. Step-by-step instructions for trimming dry roots
  7. Prevention measures
  8. Conclusion

Воздушные корни орхидеи

Aerial roots of orchid

Signs of drying roots

Aerial roots of orchids in a healthy state have a silver-green color. Shoots of a healthy bush:

  • dense ;
  • fleshy;
  • smooth;
  • tight to the touch.

Over time, the roots are replaced by new processes, and their old parts gradually dry out and die off. Drying and separation of the roots is a normal process of the plant’s life.

But if the orchid has a lot of aerial roots that have become wrinkled and brown, this should definitely alert the owners of epiphytes . Such a manifestation speaks of a flower’s disease and portends its imminent death.

The easiest way to notice the drying of the roots located above the substrate. The first sign of rapid drying is the appearance of dark spots, which eventually turn into dry spots.

Causes of drying

The aerial roots of an orchid can dry out for many reasons. Loss of density and elasticity of rhizomes of orchids is often caused by:

  • old shoots;
  • disturbance in agricultural technology;
  • mismatch of climatic conditions;
  • meager irrigation;
  • low humidity in the room.

Another common reason that the orchid has aerial roots dry, may be poor water for irrigation. Infectious and fungal diseases can also provoke drying out of rhizomes of phalaenopsis.

Elevated part

All types of orchids have a lot of aerial roots. They perform the function of taking moisture from the atmosphere. Shoots grow on top of the substrate and look like a peduncle. Care must be taken in airborne shoots because they are fragile.

Among the causes that cause the drying of aboveground roots, the most common are:

  1. Inadequate watering and dry air in the room. It is widely believed that if the orchid is watered a little, it will soon bloom. This statement is fundamentally false. In this situation, the plant sprouts a lot of shoots and tries to get saturated with moisture thanks to sprawling rhizomes. As a result, the large mass still lacks moisture and weaker roots die.
  2. Chemical burns.These processes may be the result of improperly selected mineral fertilizers and the excess of their concentration, as well as irrigation with hard water.
  3. Pinchings and injuries suffered by the flower. Touching the rhizomes often causes the appearance of dry patches the very next day.

If all of the above is excluded, then the cause of the roots drying out is the defeat of fungal diseases or the presence of bacterial infections in the ground. The source of the disease can be flowers that are grown nearby.

Underground part

Подземные корни берут влагу из почвы

Underground roots take moisture from the soil

There are also roots under the substrate. They are adapted to receive moisture from the soil. Sometimes there are so many shoots that there is practically no space and land between them. Then the epiphyte releases them out. Often such shoots die as soon as they get into the air, because the conditions under and above the ground are radically different.

Among the reasons that the underground roots have dried up are:

  1. Frostbite. A frequent reason for it is the proximity of the pot with an orchid to the glass or a draft around it.
  2. Burns. They can provoke not only overheating of the substrate, but also irrigation with hard water with a high salt content.
  3. Fungal lesions.The disease is manifested by colorful balls of small size, arising close to the basal outlet. The reason for the appearance of these pathogens is improper care of the plant.
  4. Irregular watering. Roots can wrinkle and dry when the plant does not receive enough moisture during irrigation. The long break between them also negatively affects.
  5. Fusarium rot. A disease characterized by the simultaneous death of the ground and underground parts of the roots. It is caused by a fungal pathogen that develops in too moist and tamped (decomposed) soil.


Solve the problem of drying the roots of phalaenopsis and other varieties indoor epiphytes can be transplanted into dry, fresh and porous soil. To do this, prepare:

  • a new pot;
  • fresh turf;
  • powdered wood ash sifted to fine fractions;
  • deep water tank.

The last component is needed to disinfect the slices, so you can replace it with grated cinnamon or crushed tablets of activated carbon.

Tools that will later remove diseased areas of roots, should be disinfected over a fire or wipe with alcohol. This should be done after use to make sure that no objects are left on the bacteria.

Step-by-step instructions for trimming dry roots

Correct root pruning and resuscitation of the plant after it should be done like this:

  1. Carefully remove plant from the substrate. Slices of sod, pressed inside the roots, will have to be removed by hand, simultaneously straightening and untangling the coils.
  2. Shake out small parts of the soil, and then place the whole plant for 5 minutes in warm water with phytosporin or a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
  3. Take out the plant and dry the rhizomes in the air. Blot the leaf sockets inside with cotton pads or paper towels.
  4. Disassemble the tangled roots and remove dry or damaged parts. After this, you should carefully consider the roots and make sure that only healthy areas remain.
  5. Sprinkle the cuts with coal or ash.
  6. Place the epiphyte in a fresh substrate.
  7. Put the pot in a container with clean water and cover with a plastic bag. Leave the last for a day.

Greenhouse conditions will help the plant recover faster. To confirm that the pruning was done on time, there will be young shoots that appear in a week.

Aerial roots of the Phalaenopsis orchid
The roots of the phalaenopsis orchid grow up
8.. ??? Aerial roots at the Orchid ??? Radici di Orchidea .. ???

Prevention measures

Most effective measures to prevent the occurrence of dryness of the roots of the ground and underground parts of the flower are proper care, which consists in:

  • timely and moderate watering;
  • protection from cold air masses and direct sunlight;
  • maintaining a constant temperature in the room;
  • the fight against pathogens.

Also, the plant should be fed with mineral fertilizers, the composition of which is developed taking into account the requirements of flowering epiphytes.Some preparations used as complex fertilizers also play the role of a natural antiseptic.


When aerial roots suddenly begin to dry in an orchid, it is necessary to take care of the flower more thorough. The main procedure in the struggle for the future life of the plant is the pruning of diseased shoots and the rehabilitation of the cut sites, as well as the soil and the container in which the epiphyte is contained. If all of the above actions are performed correctly and in a timely manner, then the orchid will live. If you miss the moment of the extinction of the plant, the signal of which is the drying of the roots, then it will be difficult to revive the epiphyte.

Aerial Orchid Roots
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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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