How to Remove a Baby Root from an Orchid Plant

Overview

Orchids are exotic plants that typically are grown indoors in pots, although in warmer climates, they can also grow outdoors. Orchids have underground root structures called rhizomes. These rhizomes multiply over time and can overcrowd a space or container in a few years. If you want to remove a baby rhizome (root), perhaps to grow another orchid plant, know that it will most likely take at least two years to bloom. Plant your divided baby rhizome immediately for greatest success.

Step 1

Wait until the soil is slightly dry. Turn the pot upside down and carefully remove the soil and plant from the container. If it is outside, carefully dig the plant out with a trowel or your hands so you do not damage the roots. Orchids are planted just beneath the soil.

Step 2

Shake off the excess soil and examine the roots. You will see the swollen underground root structures called rhizomes, as well as fleshy roots.

Step 3

Grab a hold of a baby rhizome, which are usually found on the side or back of the larger, main rhizome. Then, gingerly, tear it away along with the fleshy roots attached to it from the other rhizomes. Orchid rhizomes are often intertwined with each other and the fleshy roots, so choose one that is on the outer edge and looks easy to remove.

References

  • Understanding Orchids: An Uncomplicated Guide to Growing the World's Most Exotic Plants
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Tips on Growing Orchids in Florida
Keywords: remove baby root, divide orchids, dividing rhizomes, propagating orchids

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.