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Orchid - Roots vs. Stems?

2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

I received an orchid as a gift about a year ago and I transplanted it about a month or so ago. I cut the stems back just above where the previous flowers were. It is now planted in fir bark and I put it into a plastic pot with slits, then placed the whole thing into a more decorative pot as suggested here on this forum.I'm so happy I did because now it is growing something? Not sure if it is growing roots or a stem. Can someone please tell me if you can see my new growth in the photos provided? Thank you all so much for your help. I can't believe I have kept it alive for so long.

I would also like to thank James_J, Billsc and Jean for all your suggestions, tips and inspiration. I couldn't have made this happen without your help. You are all so amazing!! Thank you soooo much.

Comments (5)

  • 2 months ago

    Garden Mist, What your photos are showing is two, maybe three fat, healthy roots searching for a home down in the fresh new bark mix you have offered them. Congratulations! Now, for other expectations. You don't show all of the old bloom spike, but if you have cut that spike back to a point below where the lowest bloom was, and there are still two or three buds(joints) remaining on that stem, one of them may develop and give you a short bloom spike with some blooms on it. Other than continuing your good culture practices there is not much you can do to increase the chance of that happening, because it is a genetic thing with the plant. If that bloom spike does not respond to your care, then look for a new bloom spike to emerge from between the leaf above and probably on the opposite side of the old bloom spike. Leaves come out from what I call the front and back of the main stalk of the plant, and roots generally emerge from the main stalk from the sides about 90 degrees from the leaf/bloom spike side. Bloom spikes are generally a pretty uniform green color with little bracts of tissue at the growing tip that elongate as the spike grows. Roots, on the other hand usually have a spot of bright yellow green right on the growing point, and behind that a band of reddish color if the blooms are colored, and just green if the blooms are pure white. Behind that band, the root is mature and has a silvery colored material that acts like a sponge to collect moisture and nourishment for the plant. The Real "root" is a tough woody stem that runs down the center of the roots into the main stalk of the plant, to transport the liquid and food that the root has collected into the main part of the plant. Ok, Orchid Physiology 101 class dismissed, Test tomorrow.

    Garden Mist thanked Billsc
  • 2 months ago


    Thank you so much for your help with all this wonderful information. I'll keep watching and hopefully I can get a new stem too. Yes, I think patience is needed growing orchids. lol - I'll keep looking after it with 'love and patience'

    I just added a couple of more photos for you to look where I cut back the stem. I hope I did it right.

  • 2 months ago

    GM, It looks like you may have cut the two bloom spikes off just a bit too short. Normally I would cut them just below the scar where the first bloom was. That would be the closest bloom to the plant. However, don't give up on it, orchids are notorious for having a mind of their own, so you might get a spike no matter what we so called X perts say. At any rate, you should get at least one new spike, and without the drain on the plant from an extra spike, the new one should be stronger and healthier. You did NOT hurt the plant in any way. Bill

    Garden Mist thanked Billsc
  • 2 months ago

    Hi Bill, no I won't give up. I just hope it doesn't give up on me. lol - Next time I'll be more careful.

    Thanks again for helping me with this. I'll let you know later how it goes. Much appreciated.


  • 2 months ago

    I have a feeling you'll do fine. I still vividly remember my first couple of years. If it hadn't been for two very good orchid societies I don't think I would have made it. If there is one near you, they come highly recommended Bill

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