Orchids require root trimming, which can freak out some novice gardeners. Annually, you must unpot or dig up your orchid to trim its roots.
After you trim the dead stems, you uproot your plant and trim its roots, which results in improving its overall health.
How To Cut Orchid Roots
Trim the orchid using well-sharpened shears with clean, diagonal cuts. Start trimming after the plant has finished blooming, whether in late spring or summer or in the early fall. Always prune orchids before their new leaves bud out.
How to Trim Orchid Roots: 7 Steps
Step 1: Prepare your pruning tools
Before you attempt to cut your roots, you need to sterilize your pruning shears.
Fill a tray with rubbing alcohol and dip the pruning shears in it. Let it soak for 30 seconds.
While the shears sit inside the alcohol, open and close them to cover the blades completely. Remove them from the rubbing alcohol and lay them on a dry paper towel.
Let them dry naturally and completely before attempting to use them. This only requires a few minutes.
This step proves vital since orchids can contract diseases very easily. Without the sterilization of the shears, the orchid can easily pick up disease or insect infestation from dirty shears.
Step 2: Cut the orchid roots
You cut roots at both ends. Cut its stems off completely. Cut them to the roots.
Step 3: Properly trim and dispose of the dead orchid roots after
Prune off any soft, brown roots protruding through the soil. These roots have already died.
Dispose of them in the trash. Make sure you gather them all and no trace of them remains near your plant.
You want it to have healthy surroundings only.
Step 4: Repot your orchid
Step 5: Examine your orchid’s roots
Hold the plant in the air by its stem. Any brown, soft roots have died.
Cut the roots that are dying off. You should also cut off any brittle roots, those that seem mushy, and any black roots.
Leave the white, yellow, green, firm, live roots alone. Leaving the dead roots can cause root rot.
Do not cut its feeler roots. Your orchid grows feeler roots when it requires more humidity.
Your plants could die if you cut them.
Step 6: Spraying the newly-trimmed roots
Spray the trimmed roots with a hydrogen peroxide solution. Let the roots dry.
This takes about 10 minutes. Once dry, you can repot it.
Step 7: Repot your orchid in a new, larger pot
If your orchid is to grow, it needs a larger pot each year. Using a clear pot lets you observe your lovely orchid as it grows.
When you use a clear pot, you can stave off problems before they develop, such as when your orchid’s root system grows rapidly and requires a larger pot to accommodate its growth before the year is out.
Use a potting mix that’s not too damp. It needs to drain well and do well in mid-humidity.
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Cut Orchid Roots
Where will my orchid plant best thrive?
Indoors, place your potted plant near a window. Without enough light, the orchid will not bloom. Outdoors, provide this plant with direct sunlight. If temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to bring the plants inside or provide protection outdoors by covering them.
How often should you water an orchid?
Once weekly during summer and once biweekly in winter is the best watering routine for orchids. Avoid wetting the leaves when you water orchids. If any water gets on the leaves, blot them dry with paper towels. Also, avoid letting excess water sit at the plant’s base. You should provide the orchid with a well-draining pot, so it does not develop root rot.
How and when should you shape your orchid tree?
When you plant the orchid, shape it. These trees typically have more than two trunks. You can divide them so that each has only one trunk. Each year when you trim the orchid, you need to repeat the shaping process. If branches cross over each other, you need to prune them to re-shape them. They should grow separately, each in its own direction. Pruning these wayward branches helps them grow into a canopy over the orchid’s trunk. You also need to trim off the water sprouts.
What tools should you use to trim the orchid?
You will need two tools to prune your orchid. You should use anvil pruners for the small branches of an orchid, but use loppers on the larger branches of at least 5/8 inches in diameter.
What care do these plants need after trimming their roots?
After repotting the root-trimmed orchid and letting it sit in the shade for a few days, you would need to provide it with sunshine again. You also need to fertilize the orchid three out of four times that you water the plant with orchid fertilizer. At every fourth watering, use plain water. This washes away any salt build-up. This helps your roots thrive.
You can easily trim your orchid’s roots to prevent root rot and help it grow stronger the following year.
Your plant will need repotting in a larger pot if you grow a container garden.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.