Orchid plants are beautiful and lovely flowering plants that are popular for their exotic nature and this plant is cultivated for its beautiful flowers which are adorable.
Orchid plants belong to the plant family Orchidaceae which is made up of more than 20,000 species of this lovely plant and it is among the biggest family of flowering plants known around the world.
The orchid plants are known for their ability to produce seeds that are not highly viable making it very hard for this plant to grow easily from its own seeds.
Orchid plants grow taller and better to produce flowers that are bilaterally symmetrical and the flowers produced can either be a single flower or racemose inflorescence and the leaves produced by this plant depends on the species of this plant as well as the location of growth.
Orchid plants grow by means of roots that can either be rhizome, tuberous, or aerial and this plant grows by either attaching to woody plants or above or below the soil surface – these plants are very easy and convenient to grow and making sure that they stay healthy is essential.
Caring for your orchid plant is of great essence and this will help you ensure that your plant is in good health and in case the plant shows signs of disease or pest infestation taking good care of the plant at the right time is very essential.
Orchid plants, especially those grown in containers are usually much susceptible to certain pests that can cause damage to the plant root and prevent the growth of the plant if not properly taken care of.
One of the major challenges that are faced by orchid plants grown in containers is the susceptibility to the infestation of a pest known as the orchid snail or bush snail scientifically known as Zonitoides arboreus which feeds on the root of plants.
The orchid snail has been one of the major problems faced by orchid growers all over the world and knowing how to get rid of this vicious organism from your plants’ root or growing medium is very essential and we will be discussing that in length in this article.
Orchid plants are lovely plants that are used for adorning homes and spaces and having an unhealthy plant in your home can be a very bad idea so you should make sure that this plant is well cleaned to keep it pest-free.
Do you want to learn how to clean and disinfect the root of the orchid? Do you want to learn how to ensure that your orchid plant stays in good health at all times?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES then this is the right place for you to be. In this article, we will give concise information on how to clean orchid roots so you read through to learn more about it.
Table of Contents
- 1 When should Orchid roots be cleaned?
- 2 What are the tools needed for cleaning Orchid roots?
- 3 How to clean Orchid roots
- 3.1 Disinfect the scissors and tray:
- 3.2 Remove the plant from its container:
- 3.3 Rinse off the growing medium with water:
- 3.4 Get rid of the growing medium or soil:
- 3.5 Get rid of dried leaves and dead roots:
- 3.6 Rinse the root:
- 3.7 Soak the roots in hydrogen peroxide:
- 3.8 Repot in a new container:
- 3.9 Remove excess water from the plant’s leaves:
- 4 Conclusion
When should Orchid roots be cleaned?
Orchid plants are lovely plants to have around your home, workplace, and other spaces as they always help to bring a touch of beauty and uniqueness.
When growing this plant it is always good to pay attention to the plant as a whole, it is very difficult to know when and how snails got into the growing medium, however, once these organisms strike the plant you can know via observation.
Since the orchid snail feeds on the root of the plant, you should check the root growth, and an observation of a sudden stoppage of growth further down is a sign that there is a snail feeding on the plant root. The affected root region looks as if it has been somewhat chopped off.
Also, once you notice that your plant’s root is getting bigger and thicker you can clean the plant just in case, however, it is not a necessity. Once you notice that any part of the plant root is damaged you should clean the roots well.
What are the tools needed for cleaning Orchid roots?
Whenever you are planning to clean the roots of your orchid plants there are certain tools that should be considered essential and important for your use.
These tools are very essential when you want to clean orchid plants so you should have them available before carrying out the cleaning operation. Below are the tools needed for cleaning orchid roots:
- Methylated spirit: this is needed for disinfecting cutting materials for removing dead plant parts such as scissors or pruners.
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Rubber gloves: this is needed to prevent the hand from any toxic substance in use such as hydrogen peroxide.
How to clean Orchid roots
Cleaning orchid roots are very simple and straightforward and with the right understanding of the process involved, you can be assured of no problem whatsoever.
Getting rid of the organism causing damages to the orchid root is very essential and we will discuss the process or steps involved in getting this done in this section of the article. Below are the steps involved in cleaning orchid roots:
Disinfect the scissors and tray:
before cleaning starts, make sure that the tools needed for the operation are well disinfected. The scissors or any other cutting material should be disinfected with methylated spirit and the tray should be disinfected with alcohol.
The scissors should be placed in the spirit until it is needed while the tray should be sprayed with alcohol and allowed to get dried.
This will help kill any micro-organism on them as the root region is delicate and they could get introduced to the plant system if care is not taken. You can as well disinfect the table used.
Remove the plant from its container:
The affected plant should be removed from its growing container with the affected growing medium. Carefully place the plant on the disinfected tray and remove the entangled root system around the medium.
Rinse off the growing medium with water:
For easy removal of the growing medium, take the plant to the shower or basin to soak it a bit and easily remove the growing medium.
Make sure that the soil or growing medium is removed totally and check for the orchid snail in the growing medium. They are not always very big so you should take your time as it is the main aim of the whole operation.
Get rid of the growing medium or soil:
It is very important to discard the growing medium removed after the organism eating the root has been found.
In some cases, these organisms could have laid eggs within the medium or soil so you should get rid of the growing medium to prevent the transfer of pest.
Some people believe that these soils possess beneficial bacteria that might help the plant growth compared to the new media but the fact is that the plant will survive without the soil and it is always safer to get rid of the soil once affected. Once this is done, return the plant back to the tray.
Get rid of dried leaves and dead roots:
Since repotting is to be done and you want the plant to thrive better, you should get rid of the dried leaves close to the root region as well as dead roots that the plant has.
Dried leaves of orchid plants will be brown in color while the dead roots can be determined by pressing them and those that are dead are usually very mushy to the touch.
Make sure that dead roots and dried leaves are gotten rid of as they are no longer beneficial to the plant’s growth and development and it will also improve the survival of the plant.
Rinse the root:
The root should be cleaned with lukewarm water by either dipping the root in water before carefully cleaning or by cleaning in a basin.
Make sure that the tray and table for cleaning are well disinfected to kill any microorganism present on it.
Soak the roots in hydrogen peroxide:
If the root of the plant is not too large, the hydrogen peroxide should be sprayed on the root, however, for roots that are large this should be done differently.
Add hydrogen peroxide to a container and dip the root in the hydrogen peroxide for 1 minute or lesser, allowing the root to stand too long can damage the plant. Once this is complete repotting should be carried out.
Repot in a new container:
The new container should be filled with a similar growing medium and the plant should be planted back. Once repotting is complete ensure to water the plant well and prevent it from getting soggy or waterlogged.
Remove excess water from the plant’s leaves:
Once repotting has been completed, it is important to remove the excess that can be trapped in the leaves of the orchid plant.
This can be done by placing the plant in front of a low energy fan, do not use a fan that is too powerful and it should be placed at a distance.
This should be done for hours and you can as well allow the plant to stand through the night. Though the water in the pot could drain quickly, it is okay just make sure to add water when needed.
Always make sure that your orchid plant is in good shape and condition at all times as this will ensure the overall survival of the plant. Make sure to clean your orchid plant when needed to ensure a healthy, pest, and fungus-free plant.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !