Yellow Roots Of Orchids What Does It Mean

Orchids add captivating features of bright color to their surroundings.

These graceful orchid plants have specific water requirements though.

Orchids grow in two different ways in a style of growth. They are:

  • Monopodial
  • Sympodial

Orchids are decorative plants with graceful representation and delicate features. It is said that orchids represented a symbol of strength.

There are about 25000 species of orchids and around 800 genres out of them cattleya orchids are remarked as the most beautiful orchid flowers, which was identified in the year 1824.

Orchids are lovable flowers whose many species have different colors like white, purple, pink, yellow, orange,blue, etc just like a rainbow they are bright and eye-catching flowers.

Look-wise orchids appear completely different as in comparison to other regular flower plants because the structural pattern of the petals of orchids are in perfect shape.

Orchids are exotic and desirable. They are remarkable to convey a lot of affection, significant purity, represent love and prosperity and last but not least fertility.

Orchids are epiphytes; they develop on the branches of other trees or rocks. They need air and space around them in the surrounding so that they do not decompose in a pot of normal pot mixture.

Dendrobiums: The place where the outermost leaf encounters the pseudobulb is the place where blossomed spikes start growing.

Place the plant in the center of the pot, so that the plant can initiate its growth from any direction.

Because the pseudobulbs of sympodial which perform the work to store water help orchids to grow in any order either horizontally or vertically.

Orchids need a developing medium to grow horizontally, one example of that can be a tree.

They produce several thick stems that are in bulb shape. These thick stems are referred to as rhizomes. The rhizomes spread out horizontally from the parent plant.

These thick stems are partly visible overhead the growing standard and new plants arise from the rhizomes. The rhizomes can manufacture several sprouts, but each will create at least one at a time.

Monopodial orchids generally require more regular watering schedules than sympodial orchids. The reason being, monopodial orchids don’t have the pseudobulbs(like sympodial orchids possess) which helps to store water in plants, as a result, monopodial orchids dry out completely if water requirements are not fulfilled.

Water requirements are high in Monopodial orchids as they can dry out soon.

the Water requirements of Sympodial orchids are less and can survive without water for a while due to the presence of pseudobulbs in them which do not allow their medium to dry out quickly.

like any other plant orchids can also get weak and die too. They can get weak due to many reasons that are index below:

  • Lack of water
  • Lack of fertilizer
  • Lack of light
  • Potting medium
  • Humidity levels
  • Overwatering

Over-watering is one of the major known causes for the orchids to wilt and die by having the wrong growing medium.

Yellow roots of orchids usually show “Over-watering”.

The yellow color of the roots indicates the over-watering of orchids.

There is a misunderstanding about the rainforest plants that they need a lot of water. Despite that this is not false because rainforests do indeed receive more rainfall than other forests, only a fine misting of rain ever reaches the forest floor because of thick coverings of broad leaves above.

So, orchids hang on to the trunks of large rainforest trees, the orchid plants only to receive showers of water.

Overwatering an orchid plant is exceptionally dangerous to the plant’s health. Water terminates the oxygen supply to outreach the roots.

Orchid’s roots exposed to unrestricted water roots will begin to decompose, turning to yellow and then brown and become extremely soft.

Decomposed roots are no longer able to absorb water and nutrients then the new growth of leaves will appear folded and pre-existing leaves will turn to yellow. If the orchid is being overwatered it will become off-color and then they will die in the end.

Healthy roots play a major role in the health of the plant. The health of orchids and roots interconnect with each other, so it is important to check and diagnose regularly the health of roots so that flowers always flourish on the plant.

Table of Contents


To start with the diagnosis process firstly identify how much damage already done to the orchid plant. Commonly leaves of the orchid become soft and yellow because of overwatering, its blooms drop down prior opening and the plant roots become wet, mushy, and Yellowish-brown.

There are so many factors that affect the watering sessions and each class of orchids has different water requirements. So keep these factors in mind before developing the watering schedule:

  • Potting seeds :

Different mediums hold different amounts of water. If the medium can hold water lengthly, it would require water less often.

Example: Perlite(a common constituent of potting mixes) It is useful in maintaining good aeration. It permits the water to washout quickly.

  • Type of orchid:

Different orchids require different water intake quantities.

Example: Moth orchids are evenly moist the entire year.

Corsage orchids need irrigation only in the active stage while it does not require water in the resting stage of its life.

Spider orchids require moistness during spring and summer (active growth) less while dormancy or resting period.

  • Temperature:

Temperature is the most essential factor because if the temperature around the orchid’s environment is high, then the requirements of water will also increase. Whereas if the temperature is cooler in the surroundings, the need for water decreases.

  • Humidity:

Humidity plays a major role in all kinds of plants. Leaves evaporate it’s water in the surrounding by the process called transpiration. The rate of transpiration depends majorly on the humid atmosphere in the surroundings.

Most orchids need humidity levels between 60%-80% to flourish. The need for water intake will be higher to a definite limit than the humidity level in the growing area decreases. So either find the balanced conditions or create a suitable ecosystem for the orchids.

  • Airflow:

Fresh air is always loved by every flower encircling its leaves and roots. There is a fact known “excess of anything is dangerous” so excess air is harmful to orchid’s roots because the roots get dry resulting in an increased need for water intake.

Precautions are taken for overwatering


Cut all the rotten roots and detach all the unhealthy orchids. Depending on how much destruction has caused the orchid plant, this is a savage process and the plant may seem rather bare of roots, that is roots should be taken out in the dormant phase, from which roots can more quickly be adapted to new potting mix conditions afterward. If this happens, place the ends of the roots of the plant in a bag and place the caught orchid somewhere in the warm environment but out of direct sunlight. This will introduce humidity within plants and stimulate the growth of new roots. Repot the orchid in such a mixture that it supplies good drainage and as a result, less watering is needed for the plant. Then Watering can be done every five to seven days.



Things required:

  • Alcohol
  • Soapy water
  • Tap water
  • Rough Cloth or paper clothes
  • Orchid bark mixes
  • Damaged yellow roots
  • Draining container

If the orchids’ roots are slightly damaged, we can re-pot the orchids in a clay pot by using the fresh potting mixes either of bark or sphagnum moss. Set the watering schedule of orchids with humidity levels and temperature ranges adjusted in the developing area of orchids to offer the greatest growing conditions to orchids for their healthy growth.

Trim off the dead and the damaged roots. However, if the roots of the plant are majorly damaged, then genuine care is the main demand of the plant to achieve plant back in its good health. Six step processes will help in re-potting and give better and healthy growth to the orchid. The steps are mention:

  1. Gently remove the plant from the pot and slide out the roots. Be cautious that no additional damage occurs to the roots. Eliminate the potting medium linked to the roots.
  2. Sterilize the yellow roots of orchid that is clean the part of roots with alcohol by destroying the germs. Cut out the damaged roots at ¼ inches. Cautious with the roots as they can break easily and can cause more damage.
  3. Remove the dirty still water from the tray and wash out the tray completely with soap water. Take out fragments that have blocked the drainage holes. Clean the vessel with water and then allow it to dry with the help of rough cloth.
  4. Fill the drainage pot with enough amount of bark mix. Wet the bark mix lightly with tap water permitting the media without getting soft.
  5. Put the orchids again in the tray and Water it entirely only if the bark mixture is dry out one or three inches low. Eliminate the dirty and still water from the drainage tray.
  6. Set a clean, dry tray under the pot with pebbles in between and hold back for the orchid to flourish up again.



  1. When there is no assurance that the plant is dry enough. Wait for a few hours before watering.
  2. Make sure to draw sufficient water into the pot that water eliminates out from the holes. It allows plants to grow roots including eliminating out fertilizer that can burn the roots. Try to keep the drainage system active by using the pot with the holes at its base to drain out the excess water.
  3. Don’t place the orchids in the place where they have to sit in direct water, use a tray and in between tray and orchids use small pebbles so that the air movements don’t get restricted and balance the level of humidity.
  4. Orchids such as Dendrobium need a dry resting phase i.e. dormancy phase ( exceptions are there like Cycnoches who bloom the entire year). But if the pseudobulbs get so dry they will begin to shrivel or lose moisture, offer some amount of water vapor to the plant wi
  5. Only water the orchids in the morning, that allows the leaves and crown of orchids to dry before the night falls. Otherwise, orchid roots will become mushy and soggy.
  6. Adjust the potting mix depending on the moisture and water requirements of the plant. For example use of coconut husk fiber in place of water more often to capture moisture. But don’t overwater! The orchid plant doesn’t like to get soaked every time. On the other side of the surrounding environment of orchids is humid and full of rain, mount the orchids on trees instead of plotting it as observed.
  7. Water more often when:
  • There is active growth of the orchid plants.
  • The air movement is high in the nearby environment.
  • The environment warms the temperature.
  • The humidity level must get balanced in the surroundings.
  1. Water loss often when:
  • The plant is not growing actively in the given potting medium, that is the plant is in dormancy or resting phase.
  • The temperature ranges are lower in the surroundings for the growth of orchids.
  • The humidity is higher in the surrounding environment for the orchid plants.