If your orchid is changing the color of its stems. This means it is a serious problem and needs your attention. A healthy orchid plant has green stems that are firm and strong.

The good news is some color changes are temporary and you can correct them with minor tweaks in your daily care routine.

Whereas others signal a serious problem. Below is what I have learned by dealing with this common issue for months.

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Color Changes in Orchid Stems

In different circumstances, orchid stems turn yellow, red, brown, pink, or black. By stem, I mean the actual stem and the flower spikes.

Yellow Orchid Stems

There are 2 reasons for yellow orchid stems. The main cause is extremely bright light. If you just move the orchid in high bright light then you will surely see yellow stems.

Flower spikes are delicate and they cannot handle extremely bright light. They start losing their moisture. This turns them yellow.

The second cause is underwatering the plant. When orchids do not get proper water, their stems start drying out.

This dehydration of stems turns them yellow in color. This is only possible when you forget to water your orchids for many days.

Brown Orchid Stems

Orchid stems turning brown means that the stem is no longer useful and it completely dried out. It would be best if you cut it from the plant to save its energy.

This can be natural because old stems and spikes naturally turn brown and fall off.

Underwatering the plant is the second reason for having brown orchid stems.

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Red Orchid Stems

This is the result of exposure to direct sunlight for long periods of time. In simple words, it is called sunburn.

The first stage of burn turns the orchid stems reddish in color.

You should change the place of your plant and move it to a less bright place. Where direct sun rays cannot fall on it.

Orchid Stems turning Black

An orchid plant with black stems means your plant is about to die. This is a serious problem and you need to act fast.

It is the leaf fungus that slowly spread to all parts of the plant. This results in a black orchid stem.

You can use antifungal products to treat your plant. But in 90% of the cases, it is best to propagate the plant to save the variety.

Even repotting it in new fresh soil cannot save orchids with all-black stems

How You Prevent Orchid Stems from Losing their Natural Color?

Give them good care and proper attention and your orchids will never change their stem color. Changing stem color is a sign of plant disease.

Simply place your orchids in indirect bright light. Make sure they can get light for a minimum of 4 hours per day.

These small plants do well indoors when we place them under the grow lights.

Give an adequate amount of water to your orchids. Before watering them always check the level of moisture in the soil.

To check if you can use the soil moisture testing meters. They are easily available on Amazon.


You can use your finger to feel the moisture.

If the top 1 inch of the soil is completely dry. Then you should water your plants. This is the safe watering practice for orchids.

Also, supply a good amount of nutrients to your plant. A lack of essential nutrients results in a weak plant.

And weak plants are unable to absorb a sufficient amount of water from the soil. Because their roots also become weak.

This results in dehydration and turns the green stems yellow and brown.

The last thing that orchids need to stay healthy is good air circulation. For this, you can install a duct fan.

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What should I do with the dry stems of my Orchid Plant?

You must remove the dry orchid stems. Cut them from the base of the plant and throw them in the garbage. This technique will save lots of energy from being wasted.

Your plant will use the saved energy to produce more new leaves and stems.

On the other hand, in your case, only the flower spikes are brown and dry. Then you should only remove the spike, not the entire stem.

Before cutting any part of your plant you must sterilize the tools that you are going to use for the process.

This way you are reducing the chances of spreading the infection to other plants.

Will Orchid Stem Grow Back?

If you cut the spike from its base then the new stem will not grow at all. But the good news is new shoots will grow in a short time.

But only if you do not completely cut the stem from its base.

So, if you want your orchid to grow new stems. Then cut the infected stem from 2 inches above its attachment to the base.


Once you see your orchid is losing the stem color. The first step is to identify the cause it can be a disease, natural process, or lack of care.

Generally, people see yellow stems. The yellowing of stems is caused by over-exposure to bright light.

Cut the black and dry stems because they will never turn green again at any cost. They are just wasting the energy of your plant.

Cutting them diverts the plant energy to make new spikes and flowers.

Please do not cut the stem from its base or it will never grow again.

I hope you understand that changing the orchid stem color indicates a problem. Each color signals a different problem.


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