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  #1  
Unread 04-07-2007, 08:41 PM
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Default Orchid root question

Is it okay that some roots look dark near the stem (approx 1/4") and then are plump white or green the rest of the way? or does this mean the root will eventually die and is working it's way to the end? or will watering bring the dark section back to life?
Also, I have some roots that are white and spongy with dark ends? I'm getting totally confused with what to cut off and what not to cut off.
Any help would be appreciated...
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  #2  
Unread 04-07-2007, 11:12 PM
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Hi there FT, heehee yap I completely understand what your saying, It's enough to turn brains into noddles. It certainly can be hard to judge at times.

I have many orchids with dark or browish looking roots. But, these are hard and not mushy
Like yours .... I have other roots growing out from the darker lookin' roots and continue to expand around the pots. These are older roots or perhaps roots that don't receive as much water to turn greenish. I don't go out of my way to water them, since new roots will form from them.

I would begin to worry when they are brown and mushy or soft.
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  #3  
Unread 04-08-2007, 09:34 AM
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Are those dark areas soft or hard? What water do you use for watering? What plants do you see them at? These areas may be salt deposits.
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Unread 04-08-2007, 09:38 AM
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Another common ailment of roots is sunburn. This is common where roots that have been below the bark are thrust up and out of the bark by either repotting or root growth. These may develope hard brown areas near the base of the root. Roots that are white (often with a green tip) or green are good roots - don't remove them. White roots don't always have a greem tip - only when the root is growing longer.
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  #5  
Unread 04-08-2007, 01:24 PM
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If they are just blackened, there is no need to remove them because they are sill alive but just damaged by salt burns.
If they are dried or mushy, then they are dead and remove those.
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Unread 04-08-2007, 02:23 PM
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Thanks Shadow. The dark roots are really neither too hard or too soft. I use tap water left out for 24 hours, to warm up and to de-chlorinate. There is nothing that looks like a salt buildup.
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  #7  
Unread 04-08-2007, 02:25 PM
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I should have mentioned that the dark and white area is separately by what looks like a thin thread...
Is this okay too?
FT
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  #8  
Unread 04-08-2007, 02:26 PM
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Thanks very much to everyone that answered my post. Fantastic, useful information to help me clean up my roots. All of you are wonderful! I love this forum!
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  #9  
Unread 04-09-2007, 12:32 AM
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Generally speaking, a string-like part of the root is exposed that part of the root is dead. In this case it's because of lack of humidity. I personally mist my exposed roots, to keep them healthy and prevent total dry-out. Orchids thrive on humidity as well. Hollow or mushy roots to the touch are considered dead as well and can be trimmed off. Roots that feel solid are generally the living roots.

It's important to remember when orchids are in there natural habitat they go through rainy and dry spells. Within the dry spell, it rains, the roots absorb as much nutrients and water as possible for survival through another dry spell...so rule of thumb, if you feel your orchid might need watering it will not hurt to wait a day or two. Orchids can survive on dry spells but have a hard time surviving when there is to much moisture.
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  #10  
Unread 04-09-2007, 12:40 AM
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oh I get what is happing now after re-reading!
That root is dead and is half separated.
The thread in the middle of the root is the vascular cylinder of the root. It tends to be very tough when you pull on it because of the water conducting fibres
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