Can the phalaenopsis orchid be saved without roots? How to build them up?

Can the phalaenopsis orchid be saved without roots? How to build them up?

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Orchids are demanding plants, for their cultivation it is important to observe the temperature regime and maintain the necessary humidity, similar to natural habitat conditions. With improper care, the roots of phalaenopsis can become sick, dry out or rot.

If you do not start treatment in a timely manner, this will first lead to a complete loss of roots, and then to the death of the entire plant. The methods of treatment and restoration of the root system of the beautiful phalaenopsis flower will be discussed in this article.

What does a flower without roots mean?

Phalaenopsis can be reanimated, which has lost up to 98-99% of the root system. This means that he either has no roots left at all, or 1-2 small processes have been preserved. With careful care, the plant can be completely reanimated in a few months.

The reasons for their death

The root system of the orchid may die due to the old age of the plant, in this case it is no longer possible to help it. In all other cases, care errors will be the cause.


Orchids are moisture-loving plants, but an excess of water is dangerous for them. In a constantly moist substrate, the covering tissue on the roots - velamen - begins to rot. With periodic overflows, the roots can rot slowly, in a constantly humid environment - faster. As a result, if you do not take action, the decayed root system will disappear. At the same time, the leaves of the plant will also partly fall off, partly they will look diseased.

Important! Overflow is especially dangerous in poor lighting conditions. An orchid that does not receive the required amount of light slows down the growth processes inside itself and stops absorbing moisture.


Dangerous for phalaenopsis and lack of moisture. Prolonged lack of water will lead to the fact that the roots will gradually dry out and will not be able to recover with normal watering. Without irreversible consequences for the root system, an orchid can spend one and a half to two weeks without water.

Other reasons

Root death can also occur due to infections, fungal or bacterial, or due to inappropriate water. Too salty or too hard water is harmful to the orchid.

How to understand that the underground part is damaged?

Death or damage to the roots is revealed by visual inspection. The flower is carefully taken out of the pot and the substrate is shaken off. It will be seen whether the flower still has living roots: they will be elastic and dense, the color can be from light green to brown.

Roots rotted from overflow or from disease will be slimy, they creep when pressed. Based on the state of the root system, resuscitation is performed.

Is it possible to save the culture and build up the root system?

Even if the roots of the phalaenopsis are completely dead, the plant itself can still be saved:

  1. The first step is to remove any dry, sore, or decaying areas. For this, the root system is washed in warm water, not higher than 30 degrees. A fungicide can be added to the water to prevent possible spread of infection.
  2. Then, with a sharp knife, remove all rotten areas, so that only living roots remain. Sections are disinfected by sprinkling with powdered activated carbon. It is permissible to use cinnamon.

    Important! Do not use alcohol-based preparations to disinfect the sections; they will burn the roots.

  3. The treated plant is left to dry in a warm place for no more than a day.

How to root a flower: ways to build up the underground part

There are several ways to revive the phalaenopsis left without roots and grow new roots. The method is chosen depending on the condition of the flower and the availability of the necessary materials. Rooting is a long process, it will take at least three to four weeks, and if the instructions are not fully followed, it can take up to a year.

How to grow roots in a greenhouse?

A mini-greenhouse for rooting an orchid is built from scrap materials. There are two main ways to create a greenhouse effect:

  1. The container with the orchid is placed in a plastic bag and tightly closed.
  2. The container with the plant is covered with a glass or plastic cap. You can use a cut water bottle, plastic containers, glass jars, and so on.

In both cases, the orchid is prepared for planting as follows:

  1. A container is selected in which the roots that remain after pruning can freely fit.
  2. Drainage material is prepared: expanded clay and sphagnum moss.
  3. All materials, including moss, must be disinfected with boiling water. An orchid without roots is weakened and a possible infection will prevent it from taking root.
  4. Expanded clay is spread on the bottom of the prepared container, wet sphagnum moss is placed on top.
  5. The orchid is placed on the moss, the remaining roots are also covered with moss.
  6. The finished container with the orchid is placed in a bag or covered with a cap.
  7. If a plastic bag is used, it is important that there is air in it. You can close the bag with clothespins.

A greenhouse with an orchid is placed in a well-lit place. The temperature is kept from +22 to +25 degrees. Phalaenopsis in the greenhouse is checked and ventilated once a day so that mold does not form or re-decay does not begin. It is better to air it in the evening, for 15-20 minutes.

This video shows how to grow roots in a greenhouse:

In water

Phalaenopsis can grow roots if placed in a container of water. At the same time, drying will be needed every day. Without it, surviving plants will not adapt well to the soil in the future and will be very sensitive to watering.

  1. To root phalaenopsis, take warm water, settled or passed through a filter.
  2. The flower is placed every day in a disinfected container with prepared water to a depth of two centimeters so that the water does not touch the leaves.
  3. The plant is kept in water for no more than 6-7 hours, then the root system is dried in the open air.

Attention! The method of resuscitating an orchid in water with regular drying is good in that it minimizes the risk of diseases (bacterial or fungal) during the rooting process.

Above the water

This the method is convenient in that it requires a minimum of manipulations with the plant in the process of root growth. You will need a narrow container for an orchid and filtered or boiled water at room temperature.

  1. The prepared vessel is disinfected, then boiled water is poured into it and the phalaenopsis is fixed so that its lower part is 1-2 centimeters above the water surface. It is best to use a narrow and high container.
  2. The container with the plant is placed in a well-lit place with diffused light. Suitable temperature is from +23 to +25 degrees.

How else to stimulate growth?

Sometimes phalaenopsis can be rooted by placing it on a large piece of bark soaked in water. In this case, the plant does not need to be additionally watered, but the bark is replaced or re-soaked every one and a half to two months. This method is rarely used, as it is longer than the others and less effective.

Is it possible to speed up the resuscitation process?

Plant rooting can be accelerated by feeding:

  • Fertilizers for orchids with a nitrogen content of not more than 14% are added two to three times a month. Iron chelate, necessary for a weakened flower, can be added frequently, every two to three days. Iron overdose is not possible. Growth regulators such as Zircon or Epin are used no more than once a month.
  • Succinic acid stimulates the growth of roots well. For a solution per liter of boiled water, take 4 tablets. Both leaves and roots are wiped with a cotton pad or cloth dipped in a solution.

    Wipe the leaves so that moisture does not accumulate in the axils of the leaf plates.

  • Additionally, the leaves can be wiped with an aqueous solution of vitamin B. This is done in the evening to avoid the sun's rays, destroying the effect of feeding.
  • Sometimes it is recommended to wipe the leaves with a solution of honey or sugar, but in comparison with succinic acid, this method is less effective. If it is possible to use only it, take a teaspoon of sugar or honey per liter of water.

When to plant in the ground?

Phalaenopsis is transplanted into the ground after new roots grow 4-5 centimeters. Choose a small pot so that the roots are not too loose in it. It is convenient to take a small peat pot, in this case, when the root system becomes larger, it can be simply put into a new container and covered with substrate.

It will take from a month to a year to resuscitate an orchid that has lost its roots. The term depends on the condition of the plant, on the ability to provide the required temperature and lighting, on the regularity of feeding.

Important! When transplanting into the ground, active feeding of the plant stops. When transplanting, the orchid is fixed on a support. After 3-4 weeks, when the plant takes root in the ground, it can be removed.

Rooting an orchid in a greenhouse is an effective but complex method that requires either experience or care and strict adherence to instructions. If you do not have enough time or experience, it is better to choose a less troublesome method.

This video shows how to grow roots in phalaenopsis:



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