Pseudobulb or Root problems

Symptom Link Description
Pseudobulb spotting Click Here The pseudobulbs have dark blotches.
Roots are mushy Cultural
Root rot

The roots should be firm to the touch, never mushy. Roots are perishable however, and are replaced by the plant on a regular basis. If you are repotting, and find that one-third of the roots or less are dead, then this is normal. However, if more than one-third of the roots are dead, then this is likely a cultural problem, and information on it can be found here.
Root tips are black or brown Toxicity
Healthy roots are typically whitish or greenish in color. If spots are appearing along the root, or the root tip is becoming brown or black, it points to a toxicity problem. Click here for causes and solutions.
Root tips are NOT brown, black or green Normal
Novice growers will often panic if they are unfamiliar with what to expect from an orchid plant. Many varieties of orchids will produce root tips that are not green, and it is perfectly normal. In particular, red to purple flowered plants will often have reddish or purplish tips on their roots. This is nothing to worry about, especially if the roots are plump. The only colors to be concerned with are brown to black shades, since these are colors typically associated with bruising or death.
Root tips are NOT active Normal
Novice growers will often panic if they are unfamiliar with what to expect from an orchid plant. Root tips usually indicate whether or not the plant is actively growing. When it is actively growing, a root tip is evident. When the plant has gone dormant or slowed down it's growth, then the root tip will virtually disappear. Remember to not fertilize plants that are not in active growth, since that is like feeding someone who is asleep.
Vanda roots are shrivelling Cultural
This actually applies to any orchid with an exposed root system. Vandas are usually grown in baskets, with their root mass hanging freely in the air. Since most Vandas are raised in tropical areas like Thailand, the root systems they develop are adapted to that tropical environment. These roots are fine and wiry, and usually not all that abundant. Most vendors that offer Vandas, sell them as soon as they arrive. This is not a good practice, since many of these will not survive the transition to a non-tropical environment. The roots that are produced in a non-tropical setting are much thicker than the original ones, and usually much more numerous. We allow a minimum of 6 months for this transition to take place, so that you will have much better luck with your plant. During the transition period, many plants will die for no apparent reason, since they are unable to adapt quickly enough. If the Vanda you are choosing does not have thick roots, then pass it by. Otherwise you will most likely have serious problems trying to acclimate it.
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