How to EASILY repot an Orchid with air roots

Author: vrabiealexandru25

Published on 06.08.2022

Air-Rooted Orchids
Air-Rooted Orchids


Orchids are plants with aerial roots found growing in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Most of them are epiphytes and are able to grow without soil as long as they are attached to something. The specialized roots take in minerals, moisture and nutrients from the air. This is similar to how the roots of terrestrial plants take up nutrients from the soil.

Air Roots
Air Roots


Aerial orchids grow taller each year with new leaves. Flower spikes and roots form where leaves and stems meet. Since orchids have air roots, it is expected to find them on top of the growing medium.


The growing medium should be kept nutritious as for the orchid to grow steadily. This should be done at a two year interval. Also, the aerial Orchids should be repotted after the bloom period is complete. That is when they go into dormancy. 

  • Dormancy is when a perennial plant becomes inactive, waiting for better medium conditions.




  • Have a source of water nearby and a flat spot
  • Use appropriate tools, like:
    • wooden dowels 
    • garden snippers 
    • a pot or a bucket 
  • Prepare some materials: 
    • hard base for drainage (I.e. pebbles, rocks, broken pot pieces)
    • fir bark 
    • spaghnum moss 

1. Soak the pot in cool, not cold water for 30 mins

That way it is easier to separate buried roots.

2. Remove the Orchid from its pot and cut the shriveled roots

While doing so, avoid bending air roots, they're fragile. Make it look healthy!

3. Place the hard base and then the orchid

Fill the pot with a small layer of pebbles or pot parts. Gently put it back while keeping the orchid's original shape.

4. Fill the pot

Add the fir bark gently, making sure it is snug enough to stabilise the aerial orchid, but not packed too tightly. Top off with 1 inch deep moss.

5. Let the orchid recover

Place the aerially-rooted plant in a cool location with good air flow.
After the orchid grows new leaves or roots you can resume taking care of it.