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The root system is of great importance for every plant as it is a source of nutrition.
When this organ is damaged, the entire body suffers. The same thing happens with orchids, despite the fact that their roots have some peculiarities.
In the process of growing a flower, you need to take this factor into account and immediately start building up if a similar problem occurs.
Role in plant life
In the wild, orchids do not grow in the ground, but cling to plants, stones and many other natural objects with their roots. Moisture for orchids comes from the air, and nutrients from the dust and bark of trees, fallen leaves, as well as from the waste of insects and animals.
Important! In nature, the root system not only supplies orchids with nutrients and moisture, but also acts as a support.
The root system of an orchid consists of a large number of adventitious roots, the functions of which are as follows:
- absorption of moisture and nutrients from the environment with their subsequent transportation to flowers and leaves;
- fixing the plant on one or another support, which is especially important when in tropical conditions, characterized by strong downpours and winds.
The aerial roots of epiphytic orchids are covered with a dense hygroscopic tissue that perfectly absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and soil. At home, as well as in the wild, the root system is a source of nutrition for the plant.
Photo: what do they look like?
Next, you can see the photo of the roots:
The root system of the orchid is a multifunctional white organ. This is due to the presence of velamen, a tissue of dead cells filled with air. This structure allows you to extract moisture and thus survive in arid conditions. The root system has two parts:
- The main... It is in a pot of soil. It is recommended to grow orchids in transparent containers to control the condition of the roots, which must be healthy and free from rot.
- Subordinate clause... These roots are called aerial, because they have the ability to form on any part of the plant: stems and rhizomes of shoots.
Important! The main part of the adventitious roots located in the pot indicates that the plants have taken root well and are fully developing.
A cross section of a part of the root of an orchid is as follows:
- apical tip;
- a conductive thread for transporting nutrients;
- velamen, which creates protection against overheating, as well as absorbing moisture;
- parenchilla, connective tissue located between organs.
Underground versus aerial - what's the difference?
Aerial shoots lack a central root system. Such roots stretch along the main stem, in some cases, above the lower leaf plates. The root system of an orchid growing in artificial conditions has both aboveground and underground roots. Moreover, in the first case, the processes are much more powerful and thicker than in the second.
Novice gardeners often confuse aerial roots with peduncles due to the same gap at the base of the leaves during formation.
The air root has the following features:
- location on the root collar between the leaves;
- blunt and rounded shape of the root primordium;
- downward direction of escape.
Root system type
There are three main types of orchid root systems: lianas, epiphytes and lithophytes. They all differ from each other in the way they obtain moisture and nutrients:
- epiphytes - from the air;
- lithophytes - from the ground;
- lianas - from the ground, twisting around the trunks of trees.
The features of caring for the root system of an orchid directly depend on its type.
What should a healthy plant have?
Healthy plant roots absorb moisture not only from moist soil, but also from the air. It is only when in good condition that the root system is able to deliver moisture from its tips to the leaves and stem.
To the touch
Orchid roots are firm and firm to the touch. In addition, they should not break and squeeze, which indicates the presence of voids inside. It is a mistake to believe that healthy roots have a light shade, while diseased ones have a dark shade. Often, when palpating, you can find a cavity in whitish specimens..
Healthy orchid roots should have:
- growing tip;
- velamen, characterized by a light green color.
In addition, healthy roots should not have a putrid smell - a sign of a sick and needing resuscitation of the root system.
Important! You only need to purchase a healthy plant, because even with the correct transplant, it loses some part of the root mass, and therefore part of the leaves.
How to distinguish healthy orchid roots from sick ones is shown in this video:
Step by step instructions: how to care at home?
The condition of the root system is a key indicator of health and nutritional and moisture supply. To maintain the roots in a normal form, you must strictly follow the rules of care:
- Inadmissibility of excessive watering, leading to rotting. Moistening the substrate should alternate with drying it. Orchids are usually sold in clear containers to indicate when watering is required. Roots needing moisture take on a light gray tint.
- Before fertilizing, the flower pot is placed in a volumetric container filled with well-settled water at room temperature. This prevents the possibility of root burns from contact with chemicals.
- It is not recommended to grow orchids in clay pots, as the root system will be constantly hypothermic, which will slow down photosynthesis and the death of the plant.
If ceramic flowerpots are a necessity, you need to place an orchid in them along with a plastic container.
The emerald color of the roots indicates that the plant does not need watering at the moment.
When aerial roots appear, you cannot try to remove them into the ground or cut them off, this can irreparably harm the orchid.
Diseases and their treatment
Often, the root system of an orchid is affected by a fungus. Also, the plant can suffer from the following types of rot:
- Gray... The presence of a problem can be determined by the dark areas with a gray bloom formed in various places of the plant. At first, the leaves get sick with gray rot, and then the disease spreads to the soil and roots. The reason for this is the inappropriate indoor climate: too low temperature combined with high humidity.
The appearance of gray rot can also be caused by an excess of fertilizers containing nitrogen. It must be remembered that gray rot is a fungus, therefore, if it is found, it is necessary to immediately remove the affected areas by cutting. After completing this procedure, sprinkle healthy roots with fungicides. The reappearance of rot requires the use of a different drug.
For prophylactic purposes, when watering, it is recommended to use agents that enhance the resistance of specimens to such diseases. Also, do not place the orchids too close to each other.
- Root... This rot forms directly on the roots of plants, after which they become soft and die off after a while. The presence of this disease is indicated by brown orchid leaves.
Root rot is caused by high humidity in the room and too high a temperature. If a problem is found, you must immediately use topsin (0.2%) or foundation (0.2%). With the help of these preparations, you need to spray the root system of the orchid. The rules for their use are described in the instructions from the manufacturer.
As a preventive measure, it is recommended to use a high quality substrate.
These problems are among the most common and should be fixed in most cases. The main thing is to detect them in a timely manner and immediately start treating the flower.
Orchids are extraordinary plants that can decorate any room... For their full growth, specimens need to be provided with proper care and regular preventive measures. This is especially true for the root system, which is a vital organ. Subject to all the rules, the flower will delight with its beauty for many years.