Some of my coworkers found a mismanaged plant and gave it to me to rescue. It was very dry and upon further inspection roots had grown over a small plastic pot, completely covering it. Then someone had put it in another pot. Some larger roots started growing out the top of the plant... Do they do this as a last attempt to find water?

I carefully cut out the inside pot and soaked two of the roots in a glass of water for a few hours until I could get soil and repot it. Did I take the right steps? Any suggestions?

  • Unless it's an orchid yes, it is likely in search of something - water, soil, nutritiens, space. Watering a dry plant is a logical first step. You wouldn't have a picture for us, would you? Knowing what plant you are dealing with should help us come up with a better answer. Welcome to the site!
    – Stephie
    May 14, 2015 at 19:27
  • Thank you for the response! It actually is an orchid. Let me try to upload a picture.
    – Erica
    May 14, 2015 at 23:42
  • Hi Erica. If you have any trouble posting a picture, leave a note here and someone will walk you through it! May 15, 2015 at 22:30

1 Answer 1


As you updated with "yes, it's an orchid" but no picture:

Many epiphytic orchids have aerial roots - roots that do not go down in potting soil, but actually pick up water and nutrients from rain water, dew etc. falling on them in the wild. So when we plant them in a pot, the roots will have a tendency to "spill" or "wander out" of the pot.
-> Perfectly fine.

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