The Q&A Archives: orchids

Question: hi, I have an orchid, and it grew some wierd looking white things near the bottom, I figured these were roots, so I repotted it with the wierd things in the soil. It is growing a new shoot near the bottom now, how can I tell if this is a shoot or a root? If it is a root, what should I do to it?

Answer: What you describe sound like aerial roots, which are normal for orchids. That's how they attach themselves to tree branches in the wild. You can damage your plant by cutting them off (which will make an entrance for diseases), or by burying them in the soil (which can cause rot). Just allow them to grow naturally - it's part of the plant and part of its beauty.

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