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  Philodendron aerial roots
From: Sue Haffner <sue_haffner at csufresno.edu> on 1997.11.14 at 07:35:09(1617)
Hello:

Awhile back I wrote about Philodenron "Xanadu" and
all the aerial roots that it was producing.

Question: when I divide and repot this thing, what
should I do with these roots? I shouldn't bury
them, should I? Snip them off?

Sue Haffner

From: plantnut at shadow.net (Dewey Fisk) on 1997.11.14 at 15:35:14(1618)
>Awhile back I wrote about Philodenron "Xanadu" and
>all the aerial roots that it was producing.
>
>Question: when I divide and repot this thing, what
>should I do with these roots? I shouldn't bury
>them, should I? Snip them off?

Sue,
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....
Dewey

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From: jared at libcong.com (Jared R. Shortman) on 1997.11.14 at 16:04:06(1620)
>Hello:
>
>Awhile back I wrote about Philodenron "Xanadu" and
>all the aerial roots that it was producing.
>
>Question: when I divide and repot this thing, what
>should I do with these roots? I shouldn't bury
>them, should I? Snip them off?
>
>Sue Haffner

Sue,

I have buried the plant deeper when aerial were emerging and have had
excellent results, especially when you pot up the plants in large pots!

Jared Shortman

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From: "Carlo A. Balistrieri" <cabalist at facstaff.wisc.edu> on 1997.11.14 at 21:49:55(1621)
At 05:40 PM 11/14/97 -0600, you wrote:
>>Awhile back I wrote about Philodenron "Xanadu" and
>>all the aerial roots that it was producing.
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From: plantnut at shadow.net (Dewey Fisk) on 1997.11.17 at 06:56:37(1622)
>Dewey,
>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.
>
>Besides, I kind of like them dangling out in space!

Carlo,
There may be a physiological difference in roots. However, once the aerial
root reaches any material that it can grow into and extract nutrients, it
wlll do so. I have plenty of aerial roots in the shade house. When they
reach the ground or when I take them and turn them into a pot they
immediately spread out and become nutrient gathers. Aerial roots are just
searching for nutrients and when they find them.... 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.

Quite frankly, I like them hanging out also...
Dewey

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From: SNALICE at aol.com on 1997.11.17 at 07:19:31(1624)
Dear Jared,
>>>>I have buried the plant deeper when aerial were emerging <<<<

Would this apply when they are ' just' emerging, because my Anthurium

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From: Lester Kallus <lkallus at earthlink.net> on 1997.11.17 at 07:33:10(1626)
I've had arial roots from Philodrendons reach out and dig themselves into
the soil after which they became regular roots. As soon as just a few had
entered the soil, the plant took off and grew aggressively. Even if arial
roots might start out different from regular roots, they apparently have a
way of becoming regular roots that do very well in soil. (I did not,
however, force them into the soil... they did that on their own.)
Les

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From: Gabe Thomas <cdanielle at prodigy.net> on 1997.11.17 at 07:48:32(1628)
I think you are both right. I think it depends on the plant. I recently
did some air layers of Monstera deliciosa and a few only develoded roots
off of their aerial roots that happened to be in areas I wrapped. It may
be that aerial roots start off physiologically different from real
roots, however in many plants they have the potential to turn into real
roots if subjected to the right conditions. I used a rooting hormone
when I did the air layers so that might have helped, but I couldn't
count the times I've taken a cutting from a plant with aerial roots and
just tossed it in a cup of water where is sat until the aerial roots
became real ones. I don't have any experience growing truely epiphytic
plants but I have a hunch they probably would be less likely to
appreciate their aerial apendages buried. The only way Sue will know for
sure is to due some experimenting with her Philodendron "Xanadu".

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From: stacy holtzman <sholtzma at sunflower.bio.indiana.edu> on 1997.11.17 at 10:43:02(1629)
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
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From: "Carlo A. Balistrieri" <cabalist at facstaff.wisc.edu> on 1997.11.17 at 20:24:21(1631)
.. 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?

Carlo

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From: plantnut at shadow.net (Dewey Fisk) on 1997.11.18 at 19:29:02(1635)
>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?

Sorry, not to me. I have never had a root rot from this. Only rot that I
get is if it is damaged or bruised in the process of repotting.
Dewey

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From: Don Martinson <dmartin at post.its.mcw.edu> on 1997.11.18 at 19:33:51(1636)
>.. 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
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From: dana at homecom.com (Dana Scholle) on 1997.11.19 at 11:46:41(1637)
I grow a lot of orchids, and I know that this is definitely the case with
these plants.. If, when repotting, you bury roots that had been growing
outside the medium, they tend to suffocate pretty quickly..

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From: Lester Kallus <lkallus at earthlink.net> on 1997.11.19 at 16:19:12(1638)
I've not had the root rot problem when burying air roots on anthuriums. I
have a clarinervium that after a few years grows a long stem with leaves at
the top. I've generally just dug it up, cut a few of the underground roots
back so that I could bury it deeper and then buried the plant to a higher
level. The newly-buried air roots have survived the burial, have grown,
and the plant continues to thrive. I presume, though, that with such a
hardy plant, only a blow torch or a deep freeze would kill it and that it's
suriving this trivial torture easily.
Les

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From: "Carlo A. Balistrieri" <cabalist at facstaff.wisc.edu> on 1997.11.19 at 21:32:55(1641)
>Sorry, not to me. I have never had a root rot from this. Only rot that I
>get is if it is damaged or bruised in the process of repotting.
>Dewey

Then I defer to you! You've got far more experience with the genus than I do.

Carlo

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