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Thread: healthy dendrobium orchid roots?

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  1. #1

    Default healthy dendrobium orchid roots?

    I have had a dendrobium that refuses to grow new roots. I always wondered if it was partially due to lack of humidity and me not watering properly. Deciding that water culture sounded interesting, I pulled up this one plant and several others that seemed to be having issues. A theme I noticed is that most of them had really white, almost colorless roots. It has been my experience that healthy roots are pretty whitish, hopefully with green tips, and the really thirsty but still hanging in there roots are white but get that green tinge when watered. These roots are just white. Very, very colorless white. There were obviously rotted roots that I cut off but these roots I was unsure of. They've been in the water in the window for two days now and it seems that if they were going to get any bit of a greenish tinge, they would have already. Are these roots alive and just needing time to really spring back or are they pretty much dead but not yet rotted? Anyway, any help on this would be great.

  2. #2
    Real Name
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    Under Lights.
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    Cattleya alliance
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    Jun 2009
    Buffalo, NY
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    Root color can depend on a lot of things, but if they're white and firm, I would say they're fine. They may not be growing longer right at this minute (no green tips), and my of my orchids' roots don't turn green when they're watered, but they're very much alive. Unless they feel hollow/squishy, it's probably just in a dormant phase.

  3. #3
    Real Name
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    Nov 2007
    Central Iowa
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    If it is dormant at the moment, it may take longer to adjust to water culture. Give them plenty of time, but keep an eye on them for changes.

  4. #4


    Yep, no problem keeping an eye on them. It's one oncidium and three dens. The one den that was the worst off, had only a stub of a healthy root maybe 1/8 of an inch long and I swear it's larger today, so yay! All the obviously healthy roots that were on the other plants continue to look healthy; it's just the colorless ones that were worrying me. I guess I'll keep an eye on them and if they start to get nasty and rot, I'll just trim them off. Thanks guys. It always is nice just to have someone to talk to about these things to help allay fears.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013


    Just cover those roots with some dry tea leaves...I use to do this when ever I encounter a situation like yours...Never failed following this in lat 20 years...Roots will look healthy in just a weeks time...

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