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Orchid Roots Growing Out of the Pot: Complete Guide

Orchid Roots Growing Out of the Pot: Complete Guide

orchid roots out of the pot

For people unfamiliar with the world of epiphytic plants, seeing orchid roots growing out of the container may seem weird. But do not worry! This essay will debunk the enigma surrounding this occurrence and arm you with the information you need to take good care of your unique orchid plants.

Understanding the lower parts of the rainforest beauties, their normal growth patterns, and what to do when they grow outside the pot will help you care for the base of the plant much better.

Why Do Orchid Roots Grow Out of the Pot?

Terrestrial orchids have traditional root systems, so potting them is pretty simple. On the contrary, an orchid with air roots is an unusual epiphytic plant that favors air and grows on other plants, such as trees. Their lower parts differ from the roots of other plants in appearance and behavior because they have evolved to receive water and nutrients from the air.

When these parts protrude beyond their container, the plant is merely acting on its innate desire to locate additional resources.

What Do the Healthy Roots Coming From My Orchid Mean?

Orchids are distinguished by their aerial roots, which spread from the pots. These roots provide various functions, including the following:

  • Allowing the plant to adhere to its host;
  • Receiving nutrients and moisture from the air;
  • Assisting in photosynthesis.

Orchids couldn’t thrive in their natural habitats without these roots. So your plant care must take into account its epiphytic nature.

Orchid Roots Poking Out of the Pot: Causes and Natural Growth Patterns

The unusual plants known as orchids have evolved to grow in a range of settings, including the air. They may extend outside of their pots because their aerial roots are made to seek out support and moisture from their environment. Because of the fact that orchids are epiphytes, this growth pattern is entirely typical for them. Hence, there’s no need to be concerned if you notice your orchid’s roots poking out of the pot.


An indication of overcrowding may be lower orchid parts that are growing out of the pot. If the pot is too small or doesn’t have enough potting soil, the roots of the orchid plant will seek out more room outside of the pot as it grows. Repotting the orchid in a larger container with new potting soil will help to resolve this problem by giving the roots the room they require to expand and flourish.

Lack of Growing Medium

Because they are delicate plants, orchids need certain potting soil to flourish. The roots of the orchid may begin to spread outside of the pot in search of a better environment if the surface of the growing medium is not well-draining or sufficiently airy.

Choose a potting mix that is made explicitly for orchids and has proper air circulation to avoid this from happening. It could be time to repot your orchid with a more suitable medium if you observe the roots start to spread out of the pot.

orchid repot

Care for Orchids with Air Roots Growing Out of the Pot

Should I Repot My Orchid?

Several elements, including the state of the potting material, the size of the container, and the health of the roots, will determine if you should repot your orchid. You might not need to repot immediately if the roots are strong and the potting soil is in good shape. Repotting is required, though, if the orchid is growing too large for its container or if the potting soil is degrading.

Keep in mind that the optimal time to repot an orchid is when it is actively growing and developing new roots.

Supporting Roots of Epiphytic Orchids Extending From the Pot

It’s crucial to nurture orchid roots as they emerge from the pot when caring for them. One technique to do this is to use soft plant ties or clips to carefully fasten them to a stake, such as a bamboo stick. Nonetheless, it’s essential to use caution and prevent causing any damage to the air roots.

Another choice is to allow the aerial roots to develop organically and take their course, provided they don’t injure the plant or obstruct its growth. You can add special bark to the pot to cover the roots. For example, the coarse structure of pine bark helps the plant to have a proper gas exchange in the root zone. It also retains moisture and gradually gives it back to the plant.

orchid potting mix

Handling Orchid Roots That Are Emerging From the Pot

Proper care and maintenance are essential when controlling orchid lower parts that protrude out of the pot. It’s crucial to keep an eye on the roots’ health and make sure they continue to be solid and green. It’s preferable to stay away from these extremes as they can lead to root rot or dehydration in the orchid.

If the aerial roots seem to be dry, you can spritz them with water, make the area surrounding the orchid more humid, or ignore them.

Typical Problems with Orchid Aerial Root

Orchid Seeds Emerging from Pot’s Bottom

If air roots are protruding from the pot’s base, your plant may need repotting. According to several experts, when roots emerge through drainage holes, a plant has likely outgrown its container or needs new potting soil. There’s a good chance to solve this problem:

  • Carefully take the orchid from its pot;
  • Snip away any broken or dead roots;
  • Then repot it in a bigger pot with brand-new orchid potting soil.
orchid root cutting

Symptoms of Ill Orchid Roots

The symptoms of unhealthy orchid air roots include rotting roots, dehydration, and discoloration. Overwatering causes rotted roots, often brown, mushy, and hollow. Underwatering is indicated by brittle roots that snap easily.

Air roots are firm and white: this is one of the basic rules of a healthy plant. The color of healthy lower parts should range from white to green; they should feel solid to the touch because of velamen.

Take necessary action to address the issue if you observe unhealthy signs, such as modifying your watering schedule or repotting the orchid in new potting soil.


Why Are the Roots of My Orchid Phalaenopsis Growing Outside the Pot?

Don’t be concerned if you see your orchid phalaenopsis’s roots poking out of the pot. These plants behave in this manner naturally. Orchids inherently grow on other plants, such as trees, and their aerial roots, which reach out of the pot to take in moisture and nutrients from the air, are known as aerial roots. Hence, if you notice the roots of your orchid extending outside of the pot, it just means that your plant is solid and flourishing!

What Do the Roots Coming From My Orchid Mean?

Your orchid’s aerial roots are the ones that are emerging from the plant. These roots aid in photosynthesis, air nutrition and moisture absorption, and surface attachment for the orchid. An orchid’s aerial roots are typical for its growth and shouldn’t be cut or destroyed because they are essential to the plant’s health.

How Do I Take Care of Orchid Roots That Are Emerging from the Pot?

Giving sufficient attention and upkeep to orchid roots protruding from the pot is caring for them. Make sure the roots are strong and green by keeping a check on their health. Avoid drowning the orchid or overwatering it because these actions might cause root rot or dehydration.
You can spritz the aerial roots with water, make the area around the orchid more humid, or just let them alone if they appear to be dry. If the orchid needs to be replanted because it is too crowded or has an inadequate potting mix, do it cautiously to protect the roots’ health and safety.


Growing orchid roots outside of the pot is typical for these unusual plants. Your orchid will be healthy and flourish if you comprehend and accept aerial roots’ role in its development. To maintain a healthy orchid flower, keep an eye on the condition of the roots and give them the proper care.

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