6 reasons why orchid roots dry out How to save a plant and preventive measures

6 reasons why orchid roots dry out How to save a plant and preventive measures

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The root system provides the orchids with water and essential nutrients. In some varieties, it also participates in photosynthesis. Any changes in the roots can lead to problems associated with growth, development, flowering and even death of the plant.

Why the root system can dry out, what to do to save the flower and what further care for the plant at home - read on.

Why did the air and internal root system dry out?

The orchid looks quite healthy on the outside and seems to be doing well. It blooms and smells sweet. But during the transplant, it suddenly turns out that the roots look somehow wrong. Lethargic, weak. This is a sign that they are drying out in the plant.

First of all, you need to figure out which roots have suffered, the air ones - which are above the pot, or the inner ones - what is inside the pot.

Basically, this is the result of improper orchid care:

  • Watering. You need to pay attention to the color of the roots. Healthy people have a light green tint. If they have acquired a slightly grayish tone, then the plant needs watering. Lack of water causes them to dry out.
  • Humidity. Excessive moisture will lead to rotting of the flower, the formation of fungus and death.
  • Watering with hard water. In this case, the root system is covered with a brown bloom, and the substrate is white. This suggests that the excess salt burned the roots. Airborne parts suffer more in this case.
  • Fertilizer dosage. Failure to comply with the rules for using them. Excess leads to burns. As for feeding, the main rule when using them is: it is better to under-feed than to pass.
  • Mechanical injury. When transplanting from one pot to another (exposed roots are not protected and fragile, easily injured). Plants are injured during the move and in case of inaccurate handling.
  • Fungal or other infections. The first symptoms of these diseases are drying out of the root system and rot.
  • Flower age. The older the age, the more likely the orchid will die. Problematic roots are one of the symptoms.

    The average age of a flower is 11-16 years, after which the flower rejuvenates or dies completely.

All these phenomena can subsequently lead to drying out of the plant roots. It is very important to identify the problem in time and cure the flower. Problems are solvable and easy to treat. Lost time and mistakes lead to the death of the plant.

A photo

The photo shows what dried roots look like.

What to do for rescue and home care

There are a number of main reasons why all the roots have dried up, namely from what the root system died from above and below. Find out all the nuances that will help you cope with the problem and what needs to be done with dried roots.

Hard water burn

Aerial roots are mainly affected. Orchids are hardy plants. The flower functions at the expense of the internal root system. Soon, healthy kidneys grow on their own.

Water for irrigation should be soft.

There are several ways to soften water:

  1. Filtration. It is important to choose the right filter and cartridge, otherwise there will be no effect. They must be special to soften water. The method is expensive, but provides the maximum result.
  2. Add wood ash or fresh peat. 100 grams of peat per 10 liters of water. The ash should be exactly wood 3 grams per liter of water.

Fertilizer burn

  1. Start the treatment by soaking the roots and neck in clean water. Daily up to 1.5-2.5 hours. Repeat the procedure until new kidneys appear.
  2. Then transplant the flower into another substrate without fertilizers, after cutting off the affected roots.

Use half of the recommended dose of fertilizers, and universal fertilizers - three times less.

Water scarcity

  1. Watering should be done in moderation. A deficiency will lead to diseases of the root system. Do not be guided by any watering intervals. If the upper layers of the substrate are dry, the plant asks for water.
  2. Soak roots in 0.1% succinic acid solution for 40-60 minutes.

Low air humidity

The orchid loves a humid environment; air circulation is needed between the roots. The substrate should be loose, but not dense. In case of insufficient air humidity, it is recommended:

  • buy a humidifier;
  • place a flower in a florarium;
  • put an aquarium or fountain next to the plant;
  • regularly spray the area around the plant with a spray bottle;
  • hang wet towels on heating radiators;
  • place the pot in a pallet with damp filler (pebbles, moss, expanded clay).

The larger the pallet, the more moisture evaporates. Cat tray, the most comfortable stand.

Infectious diseases

This is the most serious problem that requires long-term treatment and serious attitude. Remove the orchid from the ground, examine the roots through a transparent pot:

  • Healthy roots are dense, light, elastic. Greenish without plaque and yellow roots.
  • Patients are brown, mucous, when pressed, a cloudy liquid is released.


  1. Remove all affected roots.
  2. Process the sections with crushed activated carbon.
  3. Plant in a new pot.
  4. Wipe the affected leaves daily with succinic acid.

Mechanical injury

Over time, cracks and scratches will heal with mechanical tissue on their own.

If most of the root system is lost during transplanting, some of the leaves must be trimmed. This makes it easier for the roots to feed the flower. The procedure for cutting green mass:

  1. disinfect the instrument;
  2. cut off the lower old leaves;
  3. treat the cut sites with powdered activated carbon;
  4. do not feed at first;
  5. watering once a week.

When can a plant be no longer saved?

If, upon examination, there is not a single leaf on the orchid, it is completely without roots or they are badly damaged by rot and then you should not despair. The flower can be reanimated at any stage. You just need to choose the right treatment.

If all the roots of the orchid are dried, you need to treat the root collar with a rootstock and place it in moss or sphagnum. Moisten regularly with water. After the appearance of at least five roots, transplant the substrate.


  1. Maintaining a constant temperature in summer + 21-25 °, in winter + 15-18 °.

    Differences up to + 5 ° are allowed.

  2. Provide daylight hours up to 14 hours, using diffused lighting.
  3. Select the size of the pot.
  4. Regular ventilation, maintain room humidity 50-60%.
  5. Change the substrate every 2-3 years.
  6. Watering once a week, allow the root to dry completely during breaks.
  7. Water temperature for irrigation is 35-40 °.
  8. Spray up to five times a day. Cannot be sprayed during flowering.

The tropical beauty was pleasing to the eye, and you were happy to take care of her, but suddenly she began to dry up. Why is this happening and what to do? Our experts have prepared articles on the causes of the drying of the stem, flowers and leaves, as well as learn about methods for saving the plant.

If the roots of the orchid are dry, do not rush to part with it. She will find the strength to survive even without roots. With the right treatment, dormant buds can be awakened and a new root system can be brought to life.

Watch the video: How I Clean My Orchids and Get Rid Of Mealybugs Killing Two Birds With One Bullet (August 2022).