Re: Philodendron aerial roots

Think about the purpose of roots....  to provide nurishment to the plant...
>>If I were you, I would do my best to cram them in the pot.  If you soak
>>them in water for a couple of hours, they will become more pliable...  Cut
>>them if absolutely necessary only....
>I have to disagree with you on this one. As a grower of many epiphytes
>before I even got to the aroid group I am familiar with aerial roots. The
>last thing I'd do is cram them into a pot. I'd leave them be and use them to
>help establish the plant by misting them regularly. There is a school of
>thought that aerial roots are physiologically different than roots that go
>into substrate and, at least anecdotal evidence that if aerial roots are
>buried, they'll simply rot.

Really, the thing to do is to guide them towards the pot by curving them
back gently; then, when they want to go to substrate, they will.  I had a
scary experience with my Philodendron when it decided to put out a bunch of
aerial roots behind my back one winter in the greenhouse - I had lava rock
on the greenhouse floor at the time for decoration and the aerial roots had
started  clinging to these rocks.  Before I knew it, I had these "fuzzy
feet" all over the greenhouse floor - they are definitely looking for
something, whether it be more support or nutrition.  I gently removed all
of the rocks and guided the roots back to the pot, being careful not to
bury them, for fear that they may rot, not being used to being in soil.
They found their way in, but I have to check constantly to make sure the
plant is in check!

Stacy Holtzman    	   
--- Biology Dept.,  Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405 ---

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