Yellow orchid roots are a primary indicator that something is off with your orchid. It occurs as a nasty yellow coloration that deviates from the normal color and is sometimes accompanied by spots.Yellow Orchid Roots

This condition can devastate the orchid, and you must move fast to stop it, and this is why it indicates underlying issues that must be checked and handled. Here are some reasons your orchid might have this condition and how you can handle it.

What Are The Causes of Having Yellow Orchid Roots?

The causes of yellow orchid roots are overwatering and under-watering the plant. It can be due to bacterial or fungal infections, or because of pest infestations. It may also be due to insufficient nutrients reaching the plant, and lastly, because of chemical damage.

– Overwatering

A common problem with growing and caring for orchids is meeting the proper watering requirements. Orchids have varying water requirements, you must be very specific on the type you have and the amount of water you are giving them, or else you may end up with too much water along the roots. Letting the plant dry out between watering sessions is essential when catering to your orchid.

When your orchid’s roots are wet due to the excess water in the soil, there is a high chance the roots will begin to rot. This root rot can surface as a yellow coloration on parts of the roots and becomes a darker hue as the condition worsens.

You must also know that this issue is a bad situation for most plants and worsens for orchids; gradually, they will lose their color and strength.Reasons for Yellow Orchid Roots

The roots help the plant absorb moisture and nutrients and form anchorage. Damages to the roots due to overwatering cause the suffocation and subsequent decay of the roots due to a lack of oxygen. Too much water and lack of proper drainage can cause yellow roots and subsequent root damage because of the lack of chlorophyll.

– Underwatering

While overwatering your plant is a bad idea, underwatering can be even worse. Although orchids cannot survive in soggy or waterlogged soil, they need sufficient hydration to grow and deliver beautiful blooms. When your orchids are not well watered, the roots dry and wither and start to change their color and look weak, in the long run.

The dried-up roots of your plant change color to yellow as a clear sign that it lacks adequate water. Water is essential in sustaining the health and growth of your plant. When you fail to handle a dry root situation immediately, the death of your orchid might follow right after the yellow root symptoms.

– Bacterial or Fungi Infection

Bacterial or fungal infections are a leading cause of death in orchids; in most cases, these infections go to the roots of your plants. When your beloved plant gets infected, either through transfer by a vector or poor orchid care, one of the possible symptoms is that your plant roots change color.

The presence of black, brown, or yellow patches indicates that your orchid has been infected. If you don’t take care of these fungal or bacterial infections, the yellow roots will eventually turn brown and die. In short, your plant no longer produces as many leaves and blooms, and the stems begin to grow brown and stick-like.

– Pest Infestation

Pests are a huge problem for every gardener, and an orchid gardener is no exception. Not only do they feed on the leaves, stems, and sap of your plant, but they also leave behind pathogens that could cause irredeemable damage to your orchid. One of these damages is the yellow orchid leaves and roots due to an infection as they would absorb the roots’ green parts and leave them weakened.

The roots are a source of nutrients for pests as they feed on the roots to get that nutrient; these pests cut short the nutrient and water supply of your plants. You will then see how these parts will change and look ill, and the leaves turn yellow before dying out. The common pests that are responsible or capable of wreaking such a degree of havoc include spider mites, mealy bugs, etcetera.Yellow Orchid Roots Details

– Insufficient Nutrients

What you feed your orchid and how you feed your orchid matters a lot. It includes the type of soil mix used, the soil pH, and the type of fertilizers used. Most orchids prefer slightly acidic soil and are best grown with organic orchid fertilizers. A nutrient deficiency in an orchid could cause discoloration in the plant, including the stems and roots.

– Chemical Damage

Another major cause of yellowing orchid leaves and roots is the excessive use of chemicals like excess fertilizers, pesticides, or insecticides. These chemicals easily upset the pH balance of the soil.

Moreover, you would see the symptoms like yellowing roots even as the orchid leaves turning yellow usually indicate changes in the balance needed for plant growth. When the roots of your orchid come in contact with some of these chemicals, they turn yellow.

Yellow leaves and roots caused by chemical damage can cause stunted growth or severe damage to your orchid plants; as a result of the change of color. While it is most advised to avoid applying chemicals to your plant, in a case where you must, ensure you adhere to all the instructions to protect and nurture them to their full potential.

What Are Solutions to Tackle Yellow Orchid Roots?

The solutions to tackle yellow orchid roots are to trim off the roots, repot the orchid, and use rooting hormone. You should also deal with pests and infections, and provide the right lighting. Modify the watering conditions, enhance the humidity, ensure proper drainage, and increase the aeration.Ways To Fix Yellow Orchid Roots

– Trim Off Yellowing Leaves and Roots

Trimming and pruning are essential to orchid care maintenance as it helps you manage more than just removing a few leaves, withered blooms, and branches. If yellow roots are left unattended, they can easily develop and spread to other parts of the plants and cause an issue for the rest of your beloved plant.

The trimming and pruning of the affected areas of the roots mean sacrificing one part of your orchid for the overall benefit of the plant.

However, do not accidentally cut orchid roots that don’t have orchid roots brown spots. You can cut black orchid roots if orchid roots black but firm, as that is a sign of severe orchid root rot that is now drying up.

One mistake to avoid when you cut yellow parts with infection is using infected tools. Always sterilize shears, scissors, or other equipment before handling your plant, to be very specific that you aren’t spreading any diseases.

You must know this way properly; you can avoid transferring bacteria or fungi to the plant during the trimming exercise. Take your time to carefully evaluate the roots, remove the yellow or discolored ones without causing too much damage, and then dust the plant wounds with some disinfectant.

– Repot Your Orchids

Another way out of this sticky, yellow situation in your thriving orchid plant is to help rejuvenate the soil by removing any contaminated soil. You can then treat and transfer your plant into a fresh, new soil mix for optimal growth. Getting a fresh orchid-friendly mix with proper drainage is essential to prevent the potential dangers of waterlogging.

When repotting, it is vital to avoid burying the stem too deep to prevent it from rotting. The best position for the orchid stem is two to three nodes above the soil of the potting mix.

– Use Rooting Hormones

If the orchid leaves and roots turn yellow and affect the health and growth of your favorite plant, then using root hormones might be your best bet at fixing the situation and boosting the growth of your plant’s roots, and also they will help the plant establish a better growing habit.

Rooting hormones are filled with the necessary plant hormones, which work actively to increase the formation of new roots.

However, use rooting hormones on your orchid following the labeling instructions to avoid damage. Over-application, for one, is bad news as it is dangerous to the health of your orchid. Carefully apply the rooting hormone to the cut ends of the roots before covering them with fresh potting mix, and monitor your plant after application to track results.

– Deal with Pests and Infections

Another way to effectively yellowing roots is by dealing with pests and infections that come with them. Orchid pests are one of the leading causes of leaves turning yellow in plants, and these insects don’t know when to take a break. Depending on the specific pest or infection affecting it, you can use pesticides, insecticides, or fungicides to treat your orchid and tackle it in such a way.

When dealing with pests and infections, care must be taken to adhere to all the instructions for your plant’s well-being and safety. Addressing the issue will help get rid of the discolored roots while at the same time preventing a spread or chances of it occurring again.

– Provide Proper Lighting

One of the ways to guarantee the healthy state of your orchid and keep it from developing yellow roots is by providing proper lighting for your plants. More often than not, orchids don’t need direct sunlight to thrive and have beautiful blooms at the right time, and when they grow with such a hazard, they won’t produce enough chlorophyll.

However, they can be damaged by an imbalance in direct sunlight exposure as it fails to meet their specific light requirements. Some effect of inadequate light exposure to orchids include stunted growth, yellow roots, and leaves if it does not get adequate sunlight. Hence, balance is imperative, but of course, make sure that you give it indirect light on longer hours.

– Modify The Watering Conditions

In as much as orchids like moisture, excessive water will cause the roots to become waterlogged, causing them to turn yellow. An effective way out is to allow the roots to take breaks and dry out during watering.

In addition to this, you can also ensure that the potting mix drains water fast and adequately. You nurture healthy orchids without discolored or yellow roots by modifying your watering practices.

– Enhance The Humidity Levels

Orchids thrive in a high humidity range between 45 and 75 percent, and giving your plants the required humidity is one of your best bets for preventing yellowing roots and root rot in your plants. One easy way to increase the humidity of your plant is to place a tray of water close by or your orchid pot on top of a tray of water.

You can also use a humidifier to increase the moisture level or mist your orchid daily. Misting is essential during dry climates or when the air around your orchid is drier, and ensuring that you reach the ideal levels, so it wouldn’t weaken.Humidity Levels for Orchid Plant

– Ensure Proper Drainage

When the potting mix doesn’t drain well, the water gathers, leading to waterlogged, soggy soil that forms a pool of water where your root is positioned. It is essential to ensure that the pot of your favorite plant has enough drainage holes to get rid of exceeding that allow water to circulate well while getting rid of excess water. Proper drainage prevents the roots from turning yellow while keeping them healthy and thriving.

– Increased Air Circulation

Poor air circulation can cause moisture to build up around your plants’ roots, causing them to change color. You can improve airflow by placing your plants near an open window or close to the door.

Putting a portable fan close to your beautiful orchid so it blows air at the base of your plant is another way you can also do the magic. Proper air circulation will minimize the spread of black orchid root rot and help maintain its overall health.

– Give the Right Nutrients

To get the best out of orchid plants, you must provide them with the nutrients necessary for growth and flourishing. The nutrients for root growth and beautiful blooms include phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. Nutrients whose absence can also turn yellow are calcium, iron, and magnesium, this is why you must make sure to provide such a fertilizer that will boost up the plant and the roots will no longer be discolored.


It can be frustrating when the roots of your favorite orchids start turning yellow, but the situation can be remedied, and this helpful guide has covered all you need to know about the causes and effective treatment; to wrap up:

  • Yellow phalaenopsis orchid roots are typical signs of multiple issues, with too much or too little water as one of the major causes.
  • While this is a normal process, spots on roots resulting from infections, overwatering, and chemical imbalance should be handled as soon as it is noticed.
  • Early detection of yellow roots can prevent severe damage to the overall health of your plant. Some symptoms include delayed blooms, if any at all, and drooping leaves and stems.
  • Make sure that you would provide the right type of light and a well-balanced fertilizer.
  • You can trim off the roots, if the damage done is a big one, you can also repot the plant, or use rooting hormones to help the development.

You can easily address that discoloration in your plant root tissue with all the information provided, so now, your favorite plant can grow without any unhealthy orchid roots.

5/5 - (13 votes)
Evergreen Seeds