Orchid Air Rests And Aerial Roots

The air rests on the surface of plants. Plants have several ways to retain their water and nutrients when they are not actively growing.

One way is by using the air around them. When a plant grows, it uses up all its energy to grow and produce new leaves and flowers. Water is lost through evaporation from these leaves and flowers into the atmosphere where it evaporates rapidly (at least most of it). Then there is the carbon dioxide which is released back into the atmosphere. All this energy expenditure results in less light reaching the leaves and flowers. These are then unable to produce enough food for the plant to survive. So, at some point, a plant must die.

Air is very porous so it allows moisture and oxygen to pass through easily without being trapped or held inside any sort of container like a pot or jar. If you were able to put a lid on your air, it would stop the flow of oxygen and moisture.

You could even try putting a piece of cloth over the top of your air. But, it wouldn’t prevent the air from escaping out into space because there is no barrier between you and outer space!

Another way that plants can conserve water is by storing excess water in their leaves called “air pockets”. These air pockets also contain oxygen.

But, this only works in the short term because the air pockets will run out of oxygen and release their moisture back into the atmosphere.

If a plant has no leaves or it is in a place where there is no air, it will begin to wilt as it slowly starves to death. If a plant has no roots or access to water, it will begin to dry out as the water in its stem and petals evaporates into space.

Orchid roots growing from the stem is a sign that your orchid is not getting enough water and it is trying to seek out moisture in other ways. This can happen in nature or if you are growing your orchid in a pot that doesn’t have enough drainage.

Orchid aerial roots can be very surprising indeed! But, there are several reasons why an orchid might produce aerial roots besides trying to find water.

These roots can sometimes turn into new plants! Let’s talk about that next.

Propagating Orchids From Aerial Roots – You Can Grow A New Orchid From These Roots!

If you grow an orchid that has aerial roots growing from the stem and you are skilled at knowing how to take care of orchids, you can try propagating a new plant from those aerial roots. This process is definitely not for everyone and it will most likely take several attempts before you learn how to do this successfully.

Several things need to come together in order for this to happen. The orchid needs to be of the type of orchid that has easily propagated from aerial roots in the first place and you need to know exactly how to care for these types or orchids.

Orchid Is Growing Roots – What To Do With Orchid Roots Coming From Plant | igrowplants.net

You also need a bit of luck because your new orchid is going to be coming out of the top of the original orchid. It may take several attempts before you get your new orchid to “take” and start growing downward.

You might also accidently kill the original orchid in the process of trying to propagate a new plant from the aerial roots. You have been warned!

Most types of orchids are not easily propagated in this manner. If you do try and fail several times, don’t get discouraged!

Many nurserymen and orchid growers spend their entire lives trying to learn exactly how to grow these plants from the unusual ways that nature has created for them.

Aerial roots are definitely fascinating in the wide variety of ways that orchids use them to survive in their natural environment. You can also find many different ways that people use aerial roots in everyday life.

For instance, aerial roots are often used in decorating items because of their interesting shape and texture. The unique look is prized in some circles.

If you haven’t ever looked for these types of orchid roots before, you may be surprised at just how many things you can find them on!

Aerial roots definitely have a second life and purpose after being pulled from the orchid that produced them. However, the process that nature uses to create orchids will always remain a fascinating mystery.

Now that we have explored the purpose of aerial roots in orchids, go ahead and do a little research of your own to learn more about these interesting plants. When you are done, come back here and let us know about what you learned in the comments section!

Last update on 2019-02-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sources & references used in this article:

Microbial endophytes of orchid roots by P Bayman, JT Otero – Microbial root endophytes, 2006 – Springer

The defensive mechanism in orchid mycorrhiza by A Burges – The New Phytologist, 1939 – JSTOR

Coevolution of roots and mycorrhizas of land plants by MC Brundrett – New phytologist, 2002 – Wiley Online Library

The role of the velamen of the aerial roots of orchids by AM Dycus, L Knudson – Botanical Gazette, 1957 – journals.uchicago.edu

Challenges of flow‐cytometric estimation of nuclear genome size in orchids, a plant group with both whole‐genome and progressively partial endoreplication by P Trávníček, J Ponert, T Urfus, J Jersáková… – Cytometry Part …, 2015 – Wiley Online Library

Iron deficiency and chlorosis in orchard and vineyard ecosystems by M Tagliavini, AD Rombolà – European Journal of Agronomy, 2001 – Elsevier

Shootlessness, velamentous roots, and the pre‐eminence of Orchidaceae in the epiphytic biotope by DH Benzing, WE Friedman, G Peterson… – American Journal of …, 1983 – Wiley Online Library

A mycorrhizal revolution by …, JG Duckett, S Pressel, S Orchard… – Current Opinion in Plant …, 2018 – Elsevier

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