Many aerial roots on an orchid - cut off or not?

Many aerial roots on an orchid - cut off or not?

Do not remove aerial roots too quickly

In the exotic physiology of an orchid, aerial roots function as the plant's lifelines. Whether as a epiphyte in the rainforest or in the coarse pine bark substrate as a houseplant, the long root strands take over the supply of the leaves and flowers with water and nutrients. As long as an aerial root is still silvery green or creamy white, any incision is like an amputation. Only when a strand is completely dry, hollow and brown, may it be removed.

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  • What to do if a Cambria orchid does not bloom?
  • Orchids with aerial roots - tips on function and care

Repotting is better than cutting

With many aerial roots, the orchid signals a lack of space in the pot or depleted substrate. Show your flowering diva that you have understood the non-verbal message and repot the plant in a larger cultivation pot with fresh orchid soil. Please choose a date outside of the growth and flowering period. How to do it right:

  • Dip the root ball in lime-free water to make the aerial roots supple
  • Pot the orchid and remove the used substrate
  • Cut off dead aerial roots with disinfected scissors
  • In the new pot on the floor with expanded clay (€ 17.50 at Amazon *) create a 2-3 cm high drainage

Insert the flexible roots into the transparent pot with a twisting motion. Then pour in the fresh orchid soil in portions. So that the coarse ingredients are evenly distributed, tap the container on the table top from time to time.


An orchid with many aerial roots is perfect for tying up on a branch. Use durable wood on which you spread damp moss as a base. A nylon stocking cut into 2-3 cm wide strips is suitable as binding material. When hung in a room with high humidity, the orchid feels right at home.