Aerial roots on Orchid

(Question)

The roots from my orchids are growing outside the pot….i’ve never had orchids before and don’t know if I should cut them off? poke them back in the soil?? or just leave them alone?? Photo attached.
Thank you.

(Answer)

Firstly, it is not unusual for orchids to grow roots outside their pots and it is especially common for epiphyte-type orchids to grow aerial roots.

Secondly, do not cut off these roots or poke them back into the growing medium.  This is new growth which should be nourished by continuing to water and fertilize them.

Lastly, you might want to consider repotting your orchid.  Roots growing outside the pot is an indication that the orchid should be repotted so that the new growth can become acclimatized to a medium-water-based environment versus an air-based one.  Also, the orchid medium does decay over time so if the medium has become compacted, it might be the time to repot your orchid to a larger container to give the roots more air.  For most orchids spring is the best time to repot but if your orchid medium has decayed, you might want to consider repotting sooner.

Hope this helps.

P.S. You might want to check out Toronto Master Gardeners’ Fact Sheet on orchids. https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/index.php/factsheetcategories/houseplants/