Now Reading
Orchid Stem Turning Brown: The Complete Care Guide

Orchid Stem Turning Brown: The Complete Care Guide

orchid stem turning brown

Orchid lovers know the joy of seeing their plants thrive and bloom, but it can be disheartening when your orchid stem is turning brown. There are several reasons, and understanding the cause is crucial for proper care and recovery. This article will explore the possible causes of discolored orchid stems and offer practical solutions to restore your plant to good health.

Why Are Your Plant’s Stem Turning Yellow

It’s essential to understand the potential causes. Here are some common reasons your orchid stalk may loose its normal color.

  • Insufficient Watering and Nutrients. Orchid plants require proper hydration and nourishment to maintain their green stems and vibrant blooms [1]. Discoloration and a loss of beautiful flowers can be a sign that your orchid does not get the diet it requires.
  • Root Rot and Fungal Infections. Root rot, often caused by overwatering, can lead to dark red orchid stalks. Fungal infections may also contribute to this issue, as they can invade the plant’s vascular system and cause changes in color of orchid leaves and the entire stem[2].
  • Physical Damage or Stress, such as accidentally breaking the stalk when you repot an orchid or sudden exposure to extreme temperatures, can cause the stem to turn brown.
  • Environmental Factors such as insufficient light, low humidity, and poor air circulation can lead to the stem of your orchid becoming dark yellow.

How to Fix This Yellow or Brown Color

how to cut brown orchid stem

Once you’ve determined the cause of your orchid’s stalk getting discolored, it’s time to take action and help your plant recover.

What to Do When Your Flower’s Stem Gets Dark Yellow

First, assess the overall health of your orchid flower. If the rest of the plant appears healthy, you may only need to address the specific issue causing discoloration. This could involve adjusting your watering schedule, improving the growing environment, or treating fungal infections.

Do You Remove the Dark Yellow Orchid Stem?

It’s essential to decide whether to clip the orchid stem if it seems sickly. The American Orchid Society states that when the blooms have faded and the stalk is yellowish or brownish[3], it is generally safe to cut a Phalaenopsis orchid’s spike. To avoid further harm or infection to the rest of the flower spike, specialists recommend cutting using sterile equipment and cut the stem above a healthy node.

What to Do If an Orchid Changes Its Color After Cutting?

When the plant focuses its energy on growing new leaves and roots, it’s typical for the surviving stalks to darken and eventually dry out. Keep an eye on your orchid’s general health and give it the care it needs to promote fresh growth and blooms in the future.

Avoiding Yellowing of Orchid Stem

Prevention is always preferable to treatment. Preventing the stem of your flower from turning red can be achieved by being proactive in maintaining the health of your orchid.

Proper Watering Techniques

One of the keys to preventing brown orchid stems is using proper watering techniques. Ensure that you water your orchids adequately, allowing the potting mix to dry out slightly between episodes of watering. Most orchid owners also recommend avoiding overwatering, as this can lead to rotting root and discolored stem.

Maintaining Optimal Environment

To prevent color trouble with the body of the plant, orchid growers recommend that you provide an optimal growing environment for your plant. This includes maintaining proper temperature, humidity, and lighting conditions. Adequate air circulation is also essential for a healthy orchid.

Picking the Right Orchid Potting Mix

Choosing an appropriate orchid potting mix for the base of the plant can help prevent issues with stem browning. The mix should provide good drainage and aeration to prevent root rot, which can contribute to stem discoloration.


orchid stem

Here are some frequently asked questions related to stem discoloration and answers to them.

What Causes Brown Orchid Stems?

Inadequate hydration, root rot, fungal infections, physical damage, stress, and poor weather conditions can all cause changes in the color of the orchid stem all the way back to the roots.

If My Orchid’s Stem Is Brown, Is It Dead?

No, not always. Although a brown stem may indicate stress or damage, it does not always indicate that your orchid is dead. Examine your plant’s general health and take care of any underlying problems to aid in its recovery.

What Does It Mean When an Orchid Discolors While the Leaves Remain Green?

If the leaves on your orchid are still green but the stem is going brown, this could mean that the plant is directing its energy away from the stem and toward the leaves and roots. Keep an eye on your plant’s health and give it the care it needs to recover.

Yellowing of Stems: What to Do?

Determine the source and make the required changes to your orchid’s care to solve the problem of a yellow-brown stem on your orchid. This can entail treating any illnesses or altering the growing environment or irrigation practices.

What Should I Do If the Top of the Stem Gets Brown?

Your orchid’s top stem may darken drastically as a result of physical harm, stress, or a localized illness. To encourage healing and recovery, evaluate the plant’s general condition and administer the necessary treatment.

How to Save the Blooms?

To save the blooms on an orchid with an unappealingly dark flower stem, address the underlying cause of the discoloration. This may involve adjusting the watering schedule, treating infections, or improving the plant’s growing environment.

What Should I Do?

Evaluate your plant’s care and growing conditions. Address any issues that may be causing the change of color, such as overwatering, rot that affects the roots, or an unsuitable environment. For instance, if overwatering is the cause of the troubles, cutting back on frequency of watering can help. Alternatively, if your flower does not receive enough nutrients, you can encourage the plant to get healthy again by altering your strategy toward nutrients.


Dealing with an orchid stem turning brown can be disheartening, but understanding the potential causes and implementing proper care can help restore your plant’s health. By following the tips and guidance provided in this article, you can prevent orchid stem browning and enjoy your orchid’s healthy stem and beautiful blooms for years to come.


[1] Cribb, P., & Soto-Arenas, M. Á. (2018). Growing Orchids: The Complete Practical Guide to Orchids and Their Cultivation. London: Mitchell Beazley. [2] Chase, M. W., & Hill, S. (2018). Orchid Pests and Diseases: Identification and Control. Orchids Magazine, 87(2), 114-121. [3] Wang, Y.-T. (n.d.). How to Cut a Phalaenopsis Orchid Spike. American Orchid Society.
If you buy something through our links, MakeoverIdea may earn an affiliate commission.


Scroll To Top