Orchids: specificallly dendrobiums - Knowledgebase Question

Boynton Beach, Ge
Question by lguerin
July 12, 2008
I have several dendrobiums that flower every year but some of the plants have developed long, stub-like branches (like spikes) that have no leaves although they are green inside (Icut one to check). Should I be cutting these off? Can I root them?
Thank you,

Answer from NGA
July 12, 2008


I think you are describing aerial roots. These are normal and since orchids are terrestrial plants, they all produce aerial roots which helps them cling to tree branches in their native habitat. You should leave the roots alone, unless you are repotting the plant. When you repot you'll want to make sure that any aerial roots on the plant are kept above the soil surface. If you bury them in potting soil they will rot and can cause damage to your plant. This is because they have developed an outer skin which is designed to take water from the atmosphere rather than from the potting mix. Hope this clarifies things for you.

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