You're looking at a hibiscus and an orchid growing in the same pot. I'm curious why the hibiscus started growing green roots into the air. Or am I looking at a third plant that somehow made its way into the pot?

July 27th

All it does is branch and get longer.

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There are no leaves and the shoot doesn't thicken or turn to bark.

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A new sprout appears every few days.

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Is the hibiscus so root bound it's trying to escape the pot?

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July 9th

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    $\begingroup$ While I'm not familiar with hibiscus (too cold & dry where I live), it's perfectly normal for many plants to spread by underground roots, which spread out from the parent plant a bit, then send up a new shoot. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Jul 9, 2018 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


I found this article online that does describes hibiscus plants as having a "spreading" type root system that will also form new shoots away from the parent plant ... http://homeguides.sfgate.com/type-root-hibiscus-have-49085.html

I also noticed that you have an attached orchid with aerial roots attached to the hibiscus plant. If you are misting the orchid roots periodically, you may be dampening the surface soil in the pot and encouraging the growth of shoot forming spreading roots on the hibiscus plant to develop and grow upward.

  • $\begingroup$ I haven't seen any leaves on the green shoots. And the stems are flimsy. Wouldn't a new plant look something like a seedling? I do water the orchid every day, and the shoots started a few months after adding the orchid to the pot. I had been pulling out the shoots but I'll let them grow now to see what happens. $\endgroup$
    – Matt
    Jul 9, 2018 at 20:24
  • $\begingroup$ See if they develop leaves. It could also be a combination of new environmental conditions (including low light) that would cause them to look like they do. $\endgroup$
    – user22542
    Jul 9, 2018 at 20:38

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