How to Cut Dead Orchid Roots Properly

In my opinion, orchids are the most elegant plants. I like the fact that they actually grow on tree trunks and branches. This means that their roots absorb water from the air. Furthermore, this also means that when you want to plant them at home or in your garden, they need that potting soil that mimics their natural habitat. Thus, they need a garden tree branch, a cork slab or a pot filled with bark chips and peat moss. However, sometimes, the orchid roots can become mushy and die from overwatering. Also, they simply outgrow their pots and need repotting, with a few dead roots trimmed during the process.

Check out how to trim dead orchid roots properly:

  1. Rinse the old potting soil with tepid water. This way, you can see the roots clearly if you have your orchids in pots.
  2. Look for dead roots that are dried out or soggy and brown. When you spot a root you believe is dead, hold it and gently tug it. If the outer skin of the root slips off to reveal a brown root or stringy thread root, it is dead.
  3. Cut dead roots from the orchid with a sterilized blade, removing them completely. These roots may have been under or overwatered, or they may just be old. Leave the healthy roots that are plump and green to white in color.

Furthermore, also consider these useful tips in maintaining your orchid:

  • try repotting your orchid every 2 to 3 years, when the potting soil becomes soggy.
  • if dead roots are brown and mushy, your orchid roots may be attacked by fungus. Treat the healthy roots with powdered sulfur to prevent them from suffering the same fate.
How to Cut Dead Orchid Roots Properly

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