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Generally, orchid plants grow on trees and rocks, which are several feet higher than the ground level. As a result, these plants develop aerial roots to obtain nutrients and moisture.

Orchids are plants that absorb nutrients from airborne particles and require the least amount of fertilizer to thrive.

When the orchid is getting mature, it develops longer white color aerial roots. There is a reason for this. Before go into first, we have to identify why orchids grow aerial roots.

Orchid Roots expose air
Orchid Roots expose to air.

There are mainly four types of orchids that we can find.

  1. Epiphytic orchids. These orchids are grown in or on a different kind of plant without a nutritionally parasitized host. This varieties plant is commonly available.
  2. Lithophytic or semi-terrestrial orchids. This varieties orchids grow on rocks.
  3. Terrestrial orchids. This varieties plants grow on the ground with substrates.
  4. Climbing orchids. This varieties orchids plant generally grows on the ground with roots, but they tend to climb on a higher surface.


All About Orchid Roots.

Orchids’ roots are covered by a particular sponge layer called velamen. These layers help to absorb moisture from the air. Below the photograph, you can see two-colored roots. The tip of the root is yellowish-green and reset of white color.

Closely check the root system, which is well exposed to the air and spreads well. That is the nature of this plant. The reason for this is that the plant tries to collect nutrients and moisture from the air. Orchid roots above the soil are well ventilated, which helps the plant to grow well. Therefore it is crucial to choose a right orchid pots.

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Orchid Aerial Roots
Orchid plant roots system

Orchid roots green tip always should not in bright color. The edge of the roots turns bright green after it exposes to high moisture. In a fall, you may see that your orchid’s roots turn bright green. If you see the roots system always in bright green, your plant is overwatered, leading to root rot.

The majority of orchids belong to the Epiphytic variety. Therefore the majority of the orchids require an excellent supporting structure to thrive. It can be a tree or rock or a wall.

In a natural habitat, these orchids grow on trees branches, or main stems, but they are not parasites. These plants do not steal the supporting tree nutrients and water.

Depending on the orchid varieties, you may see that some of the roots are digging down the potting mix (Terrestrial orchids), and some of the varieties’ roots tightly hold the pot inner layer. Some of the roots are freely grown outside of the orchid pot.


Should orchid roots be exposed to Air?

Depending on the orchids varieties, these plants develop aerial roots. There is a natural reason for such behavior.

The orchid’s roots should expose to air. The majority of the houseplant orchids belong to the Epiphytic family. These family plants grow several feet higher than the ground level. Therefore these plants try to get nutrients from the air.

However, when growing orchids in the house as a houseplant (especially indoors), there is a lack of micronutrients particles in the air. Therefore indoor orchids mostly rely on fertilizer and water that we feed them. Therefore these aerial roots do not play a significant role in plant development.

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However, this does not necessarily mean that you can remove orchids’ aerial roots. When you water and fertilize orchids, always pray them well to aerial roots.

Conclusion: Do not cut orchids’ aerial roots unless they are already dry. Always use a sterilized knife or scissors to prevent inflect disease.


Should orchid roots be exposed to Sunlight?

It is harmful to expose orchids’ roots to the direct sun. In natural habitats, these plants grow under the shade of supporting plants. These plants’ roots always keep away from high temperatures, dry air, and bright sunlight.

When exposed to the direct sun, it can lead to orchids’ roots shriveling up. Therefore always keep the plant in the shade and dry air.


Why Orchid aerial roots are drying out.

The main issue that you face when growing orchids indoors is aerial roots drying out quickly. This is because of insufficient indoor relative humidity. Due to that reason, your orchid aerial roots dry up quickly.

However, you can quickly increase the relative humidity at your home. You can use a pabble tray for orchids plants or move the plant to open windowsill.


Orchid aerial roots care tips.

Orchids are not required regular soil as a potting mix. The majority of plants that we see belong to the Epiphytic family. These plants natively grow on top of the tree’s stem or branches.

Due to that reason, you may see lots of aerial roots. They are essential for the plant development. Therefore you have to well care of orchid roots. These roots should not expose to direct sun or dry air for a more extended period. It can lead to dry up them.

  • When watering and fertilize, the plant always sprays well to aerial roots.
  • For low humidity, places use a pebble tray to improve the relative humidity around the plant.
  • Move the plant to an open windowsill to expose the plant to outdoor winds. If the outdoor wind is dry do not use this method.
  • Use a humidifier to improve the humidity around orchid plants. Use disinfected water and use several hours on the hottest of the days.
  • Keep away orchids from an air conditioner. It will dry up the roots.
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What to do with orchid roots sticking out?

You should not remove the sticking roots. This is an entirely normal situation. You may see that orchids’ roots stick the pots inside and outside walls. This is because its natural habitat grows on top of the tree stem/stem or rocks. The plant must therefore hold tightly to its supporting structure.

orchid roots sticking out
orchid roots sticking out pot wall

The plant roots sticking out the pot wall are maintaining their stability. On the other hand, since these plants use large particle sizes as a medium, survival is also essential. You should not remove these roots. It is harmful to plant development. If the pots become unstable, you can remove them. However, use a sterilized knife or scissors to remove.

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