Orchid roots getting too long?


The plant is healthy as you can see, but those roots are taking up to much space. Anyone know if its ok to just snip them in half, not to get rid of them altogether.

q orchid roots getting too long
  8 answers
  • Lori Lori on Oct 05, 2018

    Mine have done the same & what I have read on line is to leave them as they are the plants way to draw moisture from the air.

  • You can repot the orchid and put about half of them into the potting medium. The rest do need to be out.

  • Gk Gk on Oct 05, 2018

    I think you should consider a larger pot. You can leave some of these roots hanging out.

  • Jan Clark Jan Clark on Oct 05, 2018

    Check out the YouTube channel: Miss Orchid Girl. She is an orchid expert and has a ton of tips for caring for orchids of every kind. You'll be hooked!

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Oct 05, 2018

    Your orchid needs a larger pot! The roots are NOT meant to be cut! They are, of course, how the orchid gets water & nutrients. Cutting them could kill part of the plant and certainly will stunt its growth. I have orchids growing outside my front door and never cut roots. At this time, the largest is about 2.5 feet tall!

    When given enough light and room, they often give birth to entirely new stems, leaves and eventually, flowers!

  • Oberlinmom Oberlinmom on Oct 06, 2018

    Good healthy roots like the ones in your picture are important. When you repot the plant I bet the roots in the pot don't look as good as the ones in the air. You can gently try to get those roots down when you repot it. I'd try doing the repot when the plant has been a little bit dry. The roots are a little more flexible when they have not been recently watered.

    I'd suggest, though, that you don't try to push them down. It's an orchid and that is what they do. They don't grow like shrubs and bulbs etc. Their roots come out of the stem in various areas. Some times up the main stem between the leaves. The roots are trying to attach to something. That kind of Orchid doesn't grow in the soil. It could be on a rock or up in the trees. That's one reason why the potting medium can be bark, they aren't getting nutrients from it they are just attached to it. They send out roots up into the air just to anchor them selves in more places and to catch more nutrients from other available sites.

    . My mother lives in Florida and out on the patio in full sun is a huge orchid. It started out in a pot that she'd hung on the back of a lounge chair. That was a long time ago. The plant is now 4-5 feet across at the base and has multiple stems that rise about 3 foot from the ground (cement). It's "eaten" the lounge chair. I tried the last time I was there to see if it could be removed from the chair and the stems and roots are so wrapped up in it that when we sell her home the chair and orchid will have to move as a unit. She does nothing to or for the orchid. It's on the rough patio, wrapped in a chair and blooms every year in monstrous orange beauty. It puts out sprays that are three to four feet long and branch out off of each other. The flowers are bright orange and red. It's an amazing show. The air type roots are what grabbed on to the lounge chair and allowed it to grow in a passable upright position. How and why it survived (it's been through several hurricanes the roots are so securely attached to the cement it doesn't budge) It's got to be those crazy roots gathering everything the plant needs from the rain.

  • Nicole Frances Nicole Frances on Oct 08, 2018


    Yes you are i deed ready for a new pot. It needs to have some room for space to grow and you can trim the tendrils as they die off. But orchids are very finicky and need a lot of TLC. Remember to use a specific orchid wood filler instead of potting soil. This way ur roots will breathe better.

    Good Luck!

  • Mindshift Mindshift on Oct 08, 2018

    Orchids should be re-potted whenever they look like yours. Do check out the videos from Miss Orchid Girl. She covers many genera. https://www.youtube.com/user/MissOrchidGirl

    • Anthony Anthony on Oct 08, 2018

      I do not want to put it in a larger pot. I want to keep it to a limited size. ..so i can't see how I can repot it without breaking those roots. i went to that site and there was nothing mentioned in regard to my situation. Thank you

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