What are these things on my Potho?

tifflj(6 Pitts, PA)October 17, 2012

Hello All. Figured I would leave you all with a few threads before my trip... ;)

What are these brown thingys sticking out of the stem on my Pothos. What purpose do they serve?

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tifflj(6 Pitts, PA)

Whoops, forgot the pic in the first post. DUH !

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 9:04AM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Ariel roots. These plants are jungle plants, usually living on trees, not in soil so they need to cling on and also get water and nutrients through them.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 9:06AM
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Polly381(5/6)

Yep ariel roots, they can cling to something. I dont have my pothos growing up anything. Its just hanging in the breeze.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 9:17AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

If those touch soil, they will burrow, lengthen, soften, transform into "real roots." Many viney type plants do this, such as Philo, Syngonium, various Tradescantias and Callisias. And some "stemmy" plants can send out roots "from the air" near the base of the stem like Coleus, Dief, tomato, going brain-dead for more examples for some reason... but you get the idea.

When I want to propagate a piece of Pothos, I have the best results if I let a couple of those aerial roots (with corresponding leaves removed) soak in water for about a week, until they start to turn white and hairy-looking. Then they take-off when put in soil. I do Philos the same way, but a Trad or Callisia usually does best for me by going straight into soil.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 11:26AM
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Polly381(5/6)

Thats a good way of doing it. HA I learn something new every day. I usually just stick the ends in water. Not always successfully.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 11:37AM
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greenlarry(UK 8/9)

Classic example is Ivy. Also virginia creeper!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 1:52PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Aerial roots are also called 'adventitious' roots. Adventitious roots appear where we might not expect them....such as along the stem. These roots typically emerge at the nodes, which is clearly illustrated by tiff's picture.

Those stem nodes are where lateral buds and adventitious roots emerge. It's very important to remember that when trying to root a cutting. I'm pretty sure that lots of stem cuttings are lost because people try to root at the internode.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 2:21PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Agreed. I don't bother with pieces with less than 2 nodes to devote to roots.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 3:00PM
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