My Orchid's Roots Are Showing! What To Do?

Orchid roots are notorious for going out of control, especially when they are healthy and happy. Many orchid pots are specifically designed with large drainage holes to accommodate their elongated growths. But when they start to show in your own orchid garden, what does that mean?  


Don't Be Alarmed

First of all, do not be alarmed when you see roots that are overgrowing in your orchid garden. It is actually a healthy sign that your orchids are doing well. Orchid roots need to have proper air so they will often grow into open areas where they will not only be able to get proper airflow, but receive the nutrients that they need as well. Orchid roots do not grow well in traditional soil so they seek to attach themselves to other objects so that they can thrive.  If they grow to be so long that they are actually reaching out of the bottom of your orchid planter, no need to worry, they are completely healthy and have just reached a point where they desire more oxygen and outside nutrients.  

What the Roots Might be Telling You

Orchid roots that are overflowing from your pots, might actually be telling you that it is time to replant them. While most orchids despise being transplanted, in these cases, it might be worth the risk. Orchid flowers do not adapt well to climate changes so it is important to be cautious and sensitive while making the move. Other complications arise depending on which type of pot you have planted your flowers in. Roots may be difficult to remove without damaging them once you have found another location for them to live. Plastic orchid pots are some of the easiest to deal with if you have trouble removing the roots from the pot. It is simple to cut the plastic with garden sheers and carefully place the flower, roots and all into a larger potting plant.  

Organic pots where the roots attach to the walls and feed off of the nutrients may be more difficult to transplant, however it isn’t impossible. Carefully break the pot and be certain to not damage the orchid roots as best as possible. Any pieces of the organic pot that remain once you replant will not be a problem and will actually assist as a fertilizer in the orchid’s new home.  


Leave Them Alone

Overgrown roots or roots that are beginning to show in your orchid garden are really not a problem. Continue to water and fertilize as normal during peak growing seasons as well as in off times too. If you do transplant the flowers, make sure that you find comparable soil or bark to house them and prepare the soil first before making the transition. Make sure that the bark has been properly moistened as well as completely fertilized as well. While the overgrown roots may often seem unsightly, they are really a sign that you have nurtured healthy orchids that will be sure to produce flowers on a yearly basis.