Re: Philodendron aerial roots

>..  Sure, aerial roots
>>have a different epidermal layer than ones that are in potting media but
>>that is only because they are in air and not in media.  But, when they find
>>some type of media...  they change.
>That's my point. My understanding is that subsurface roots are different
>than aerial roots, even if the two zones exist on the same root. Burying the
>aerial portion often leads to rot of the root. If the aerial portion hits
>substrate and changes...I think the root is ok. Does this make any sense?

This makes perfect sense from a biological standpoint.  The root tip, just
like the growing tip, has what are termed meristem cells, that is, cells
that are actively dividing but may not have differentiated into specific
cell type (leaf, stem, root hair or whatever), so probably when this
meristem area first contacts some type of substrate suitable for rooting,
the cells behave appropriately (i.e. begin to differentiate).  Now if you
bury this area rather than letting the root "feel" the ground first, you
may well short circuit the normal rooting mechanism, leading to the
observed rot.

Don Martinson
Senior Research Associate
Department of Medicine
Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Clinical Nutrition
Medical College of Wisconsin, FMLH-West
9200 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI  53226
(414) 259-3817

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