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Are purple root tips normal?

This is a discussion on Are purple root tips normal? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi all. I've meaning to ask this for a while. On all of my orchids, ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Are purple root tips normal?

    Hi all.

    I've meaning to ask this for a while. On all of my orchids, even the Vandas, the tips start out green but as soon as they wander outside of the pot far enough into the sun they turn a purplish color. Is that normal, or even okay?

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    Yes it is normal and OK. The purple colour is due to anthocyanins which are natural sun screen for the plant. But brown and black are not a good sign, it means the tip is drying out because of insufficient RH. Usually if it is dessication the root tip will also shrink and shrivel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    Yes it is normal and OK. The purple colour is due to anthocyanins which are natural sun screen for the plant. But brown and black are not a good sign, it means the tip is drying out because of insufficient RH. Usually if it is dessication the root tip will also shrink and shrivel.
    Interesting to know it is a 'suin screne' for the plant. I understood it to mean that the plant was getting enough sun. haha.. Thanks Amey!!

    cheers,
    BD

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    As Amey mentioned, perfectly normal.

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    Agreed, normal for many, but not all orchids. Technically the foliage and root tips of orchids turning red-tinged in higher light is indicative of a magnesium deficiency. I'm not sure how ill-affected by magnesium deficiency a plant showing these signs would be. But many people use this sign to help determine when the plant is getting sufficient light, and it seems to work. It is the plant saying of its current light, "Thus far and no more.".

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    I was wondering if you could treat purple roots the same as the purple leaf rule, regarding light. Interesting. I hope this is a sign that my plants are getting adequate light, then.

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    Keep in mind that some have purple root tips no matter what.

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    Well they're not purple until they're fully exposed to the light. But yeah, I know that if the plant is purple or pink or red anyway, the leaves and roots retain that tint.

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    Gotcha. I have a couple of vandaceous that will have red root tips but no red leaves, add more light and the leaves follow suit. So maybe don't use red root tips for the "enough light" rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gage View Post
    Agreed, normal for many, but not all orchids. Technically the foliage and root tips of orchids turning red-tinged in higher light is indicative of a magnesium deficiency. I'm not sure how ill-affected by magnesium deficiency a plant showing these signs would be. But many people use this sign to help determine when the plant is getting sufficient light, and it seems to work. It is the plant saying of its current light, "Thus far and no more.".
    I have an encyclia that suddenly developed a strange looking marbled purple pattern when I brought it outside for the summer. Magnesium maybe? As far as purple roots go, I have seen them on perfectly healthy plants.Posted via Mobile Device

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