Re-rooting Plants


What is the best way to re-root orchids that have lost their roots for one reason or another? Specifically I’d like to know about re-rooting phalaenopsis and plants in the Cattleya Alliance. —P.J. Hatcher


Traditional wisdom dictates that plants can be encouraged to root by providing a moist atmosphere while keeping the medium on the dry side. This enables the plant to remain turgid (not wilted) until the roots naturally come to support the foliage. In practice, this can be done by repotting the plants into the smallest container that will accept the root mass and encasing the entire product in a plastic bag. The bag can be supported off the foliage by making a wire loop and inserting the ends of the wire into the pot. The plant should be watered into the medium, covered with the bag and left in a shady spot until root growth is evident. Depending on the season, this may take days or weeks. As days shorten after late September until January, it will take longer than in spring and summer as days lengthen. —Ned Nash