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Snake Plant Roots Orange: Causes, Symptoms, and Solutions

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Have snake plants’ roots turned orange? Sometimes this can be normal for snake plants but it can also spell the onset of root rot.

Orange roots are entirely normal and do not necessarily indicate spoiled roots. However, if the roots are soft and mushy, they turn to rot. Overwatering causes the roots to turn orange. Fungus in the soil also causes orange color and shows how unhealthy the plant is. 

Let’s find out about the orange roots of the snake plants in depth.

This article will point out how to identify potential problems that may result in discolored snake plant roots whether it’s normal or whether you may need to take action.

What Causes Orange Roots On Snake Plant

Snake Plant roots orange

Snake plants are very popular houseplants, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue or Sansevieria trifasciata. They are known for their long leaves growing in a single plane and stiff upright stems.

The snake plant is also well-known for its ability to thrive in low light conditions and be relatively indifferent to watering. The only downside of these plants is that they can occasionally produce orange roots.

But orange roots do not show that the root is rotten. Orange roots on snake plants are entirely normal. Sometimes the soil can give the white roots an orange color. 

The root of the snake plant is not always green. Sometimes it can be brown, purple, or orange. This is because the snake plant has a rhizome that comprises many small, connected roots. 

These roots give the plant its support for growth and stability, so it’s important to keep them healthy with proper watering and care.

Snake plant has the tendency to develop root rot when it is overwatered or not given enough drainage space around the pot.

If you notice your snake plant has brown or orange roots, then it could be due to overwatering. The roots need to be in a potting mix that drains well, so they don’t stay wet too long and rot from the bottom up. 

It could also be due to underwatering if you notice brown or white roots on your plant. Be sure to water them properly. 

Besides overwatering and overwatering, soggy soil may also contribute to the growth of orange roots. This is because soggy soil allows the growth of fungus. The fungus attacks the plant and feeds it off. 

To test the moisture and pH of the soil you can use the cost-effective Trazon Soil 3-in-1 Meter. It not only tests for pH but also moisture content and light intensity. You can find it by clicking here!

Trazon Soil pH Meter 3-in-1 Soil Tester Moisture

Is Orange Roots a Sign of Root Rot

Having orange roots on snake plants is entirely normal. If your plant has turned orange at its roots, it may not be root rot. Some plants have naturally orange roots, like the coleus plant. 

However, if you are unsure what is causing the orange color and your plant is wilting or drooping instead of thriving in its pot, it’s best to take it to a gardening expert for diagnosis.

Root rot is a common problem in the garden, and it can happen to any plant, though some are more susceptible than others.

Root rot usually starts with the roots of a plant because they are closest to the wet soil where fungi live and grow. The fungi infect the root system and cause it to decay. 

The fungus spreads up through the roots until it eventually reaches the top of the plant, showing signs of wilting or yellowing leaves.

Root rot is a serious problem for plants. Several factors can cause it, such as too much water, soil that doesn’t drain well, or even the wrong type of soil. Diseases and pests can also cause root rot.

How Should Healthy Snake Plant Roots Look Like

Healthy Snake plants have a root system typically composed of two types of roots. The first is the fine, hair-like roots that grow from the nodes on the stem.

The second is coarser roots, similar to a carrot, which grow from the bottom of the plant.

  1. The first type of root is used by healthy Snake plants as a food source and can be found in clusters at the nodes on the stem.

    They may also be found in clusters at the base of Healthy Snake plants if they have been transplanted or grown in pots with poor drainage.
  2. The second type of root is used for absorbing water and nutrients and can be found growing from just below ground level or even emerging from under rocks or other surfaces where they can access moisture more easily.

Healthy snake plant roots are thin, flexible, web-like, and dense. They can have any color like orange, white and yellow.

Orange roots indicate older roots. Suppose you notice the orange roots while transplanting them into the bigger pot; there’s nothing to panic about

However, if the plant is struggling and has few soft orange roots, this may show root rot. When roots start falling off, this shows that there is a fungus in the water, and water should be replaced immediately.  

Healthy snake plant roots should be white and not black. If the roots are black, it is a sign that the plant is in trouble. Healthy snake plants have long taproots that are often thicker than the rest of the root system. 

The taproots should be at least three inches long and should not curve downward or towards the pot’s side. The roots should only grow down into the soil, not outwards or upwards. 

These symptoms would probably help in knowing whether the snake plant roots are healthy or not. 

Symptoms of Unhealthy Snake Plant Roots

The symptoms of unhealthy Snake plant roots can be a lack of new leaves, yellowing leaves, and wilting. If you notice these symptoms on your snake plant, it may be time to transplant it or give it some fertilizer.

The main reason for unhealthy Snake plant roots is overwatering. The roots are not getting enough oxygen, which leads to root rot, and the leaves will turn brown.

Some other symptoms of unhealthy Snake plant roots you can look for are:

Leaves Turning Brown or Yellow

Yellow or brown leaves are the early signs showing that the plant’s roots are struggling. The reason is that snake plants are already slow-medium growth plants.

Yellow roots in Sansevieria plants are prominent signs of root rot. Outer leaves, first, get affected by the root rot, and then, later on, it is followed by the rest of the foliage

Plants Wilting or Drooping

Damaged roots wilt or droop. They usually become soft, turn yellow, and then fall off the plant. Wilting and drooping plants are clear symptoms showing that the snake plant roots have become unhealthy, and the time has come to amend them. 

Roots That Have Turned Black and Mushy

Check the roots of the plant carefully. Healthy roots are white or light yellow. They are firm to touch. But unhealthy roots, when caught with the disease, become limp and slowly change their color to black or brown. They feel a little soft and mushy to touch. 

As the root rot turns to fasten itself, the healthy portion of the roots turns darker and mushy and ultimately dies. Damaged roots may even fall off the plant when you pull them slightly. 

Soil Appearance

Wetty soil for too long can cause root rot. To check whether the soil is the cause behind the root rot, all you need to do is put a finger in the soil and see how damp it is.

At Least feel the soil 2 inches below the surface. If it’s wet even after days of watering, then there’s a problem. Alternatively, you can also use a soil measuring meter. 

Excessive water, poor drainage, and overly wet soil are the causes of root rot. But apart from all these, the worst is a soil fungus. Too much water is the breeding ground for fungus and a cause of root rot. 

If you are interested in a potting mix that has good drainage properties and works well you can check the miracle grow indoor potting mix from amazon.

Now, after knowing the symptoms of unhealthy snake plant roots, it’s important to know how one can fix the snake plants with orange roots. 

How to Fix Snake Plants with Orange Roots

The snake plant is a succulent that can grow over 5 ft. tall. Houseplants are not always the easiest to take care of, and the snake plant can be difficult for many people to keep alive.

The most common problem with this houseplant is brown spots on the leaves and orange roots. This can happen when it has been overwatered or not watered enough, when it has been in an area with too much sun or too little sun, or if it has not been given enough fertilizer. 

Other issues could cause these problems, but they are less likely than these three causes. Snake plants are fleshy, tall plants that grow from a central stem and have long, narrow leaves. They are often used as indoor plants because they can tolerate low light and dry air.

Snake Plant is a great choice for beginner plant parents or those who want to add some color indoors. However, if you notice your snake plant has orange roots, it may suffer from root rot and must be fixed as soon as possible.

There are many ways to fix this problem. You can try repotting the plant with fresh soil or watering it less frequently, so the soil doesn’t get too wet or too dry.

If these fixes don’t work, you will need to replace your snake plant with another type altogether.

You must dig out the whole plant and prepare a pair of sterilized garden scissors. Cut the rotten roots above the rot. Replant the new snake plant in new soil. 

After that, again, sterilize the scissors so that pathogens won’t transfer to another plant. Discard the previous soil. Never add it to your compost or garden, as it is no use. 

How to Keep Snake Plants Root Healthy

Snake plants are one of the most popular houseplants. They are easy to grow and maintain but require special care.

The main problem with snake plants is that they have long, narrow leaves that can easily dry and fall off. To keep the root healthy and make it grow strong, take care of the following:

  • Water regularly (Do not overwater)
  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Leep in a warm environment
  • Fertilize regularly

Snake plants are low-maintenance and easy-to-grow plants. Growing and taking care of these plants needs some effort to thrive properly. 

The Takeaway

Orange roots on snake plants are a completely natural phenomenon. They do not show that the plant is unhealthy or the roots are getting rot. 

The Orange color may be because of the over-watering effect. However, sometimes orange roots inform about the unhealthiness of the plants in a way that when they become soft, dark, and mushy, this shows that something is wrong with the plant and needs to be corrected. 

Besides this, fungus on the soil also changes the color of roots to orange. Fungus in the soil is a real problem, and with no further exceptions, this is prima facie evidence of unhealthy roots in the snake plant.

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