What Do the Orange Root Plants Mean?

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Last Updated on April 27, 2023 by Griselda M.

Orange root plants are very popular in China and get their name from orange-colored rhizomes that grow under the soil.

Plants with bright orange roots have anthocyanins that produce orange pigments, especially the orange-red pigment pelargonidin. The orange color helps the roots survive their harsh environments, and it turns red at higher concentrations, like during colder winter times or colder weather conditions. Anthocyanins are even more concentrated in orange roots than in other orange vegetables.

In China, orange-colored plants have been used for medicinal purposes since the 8th century. In traditional Chinese medicine, orange-colored roots and fruit like oranges and tangerines were thought to help with fertility and became popular items in Chinese marriage clinics and teahouses in the 19th century, where they remain commonly used today.

Watermelon is another example of anthocyanin plant pigmentation. It gets its red color from a combination of beta-carotene (orange) and lycopene (red). Most orange root plants like oranges, carrots, or satsuma mandarins tend to be orange throughout their life cycle.

What Do Orange Plant Roots Mean?

When you see orange root plants, you will need to understand their meaning. Some orange roots mean:

  • Protection of the Plant During Cold Weather. The orange color of the root gets more intense during colder weather conditions. Anthocyanins create the orange-red pigment pelargonidin, and it helps plants survive harsh environments like the ones orange plants are used to (hot, dry climates). It turns red at higher concentrations.
  • Help Determine the Condition of Your Plant. Orange roots can help determine if your plant needs more water or nutrients. Just dig up the orange section that you think might be orange for this reason and see if it is orange inside or not, then take corrective action (give more water, fertilize the plant ).
What Do Orange Plant Roots Mean
  • Fertilizing. Fertilizing citrus trees with nitrogen often causes orange-colored new growth. This will confuse most people who have orange roots equipped with nitrogen. Orange roots are orange because of anthocyanins.
  • They are Flavorful Plants. Flavor orange plant roots have a very strong orange flavor, which can make orange-flavored dishes or orange drinks like orange juice.

What Plant Has Red-Orange Roots?

Some orange root plants are orange throughout their life cycle. Others are orange roots because of anthocyanins’ creation and turn red at higher concentrations like colder winter times or colder weather conditions.

Note: Not all orange roots are orange-colored because they have anthocyanin. Some oranges are orange because of beta-carotene or lycopene. Examples: Carrots, oranges, satsuma mandarins, watermelon, tangerines, and orange pumpkins are all orange throughout their life.

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What Do Rotten Plant Roots Look Like?

On average, a healthy root is firm and white on the inside. Rotting occurs when the plant is overwatered or underwatered in its root zone or because of diseases that affect the flow of nutrients into the root zone.

Orange rotten plant roots will be soft and brown to blackish. They can also have a grey fungus on them as well as being mushy and slimy compared to non-rotten, hard, and white roots.

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Rotten orange plant roots can appear to feel slimy and soft when you touch them with your fingers. They might become dark brown due to fungi formation inside the plant. The orange color of orange plant roots will change to grey, dark orange, or even black in some cases.

What Nutrients Do Orange Plant Roots Provide To The Human Body?

Carrots and orange roots provide orange nutrients like potassium, vitamin A, and calcium to the human body.

The orange color of orange plant roots is due to beta carotene or lycopene concentrations inside the plant that are converted into orange through different chemical reactions. The orange plant roots can contain a high amount of vitamin C and orange nutrients like potassium.

The average nutrient concentration of orange root plants orange through all their life cycle is:

  • Vitamin A (beta carotene), is 15% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin C, 30% of the RDA.
  • Potassium, 5%.
  • Calcium, 3%.

Carrots orange roots, in particular, contain a very high concentration of orange nutrients.

Did you know orange carrot roots are a good source of antioxidants? Orange carrots contain potent antioxidants that help prevent cancer and heart problems (heart disease).

Final Thoughts – Orange Root Plants

Orange root plants adopt this color due to anthocyanins’ creation and turn red at higher concentrations in colder weather conditions. Orange plant roots can also be orange because of beta-carotene or lycopene.

Either way, the orange plant roots are common among the commonly grown plants. Next time you notice your plant’s roots are orange in color, you know they are shielding themselves from the cold winter.

Enjoy your gardening journey as you become more aware of the orange plant root and the many plants that have them. Overall, we can conclude that plants adapt very well both in winter and summer. Their leaves, stems and roots all have a unique feature that helps each plant adapt to specific growing conditions.


Why are my plant roots orange?

Most orange plant plants have orange roots because these plants have anthocyanins inside the root structure that turn orange from red around colder weather conditions or colder times of the year.

What plant has red-orange roots?

Some orange root plants are orange all throughout their life cycle. Others are orange roots because of anthocyanins creation and turn red at higher concentrations like during colder winter times or colder weather conditions. Examples of plants with red-orange roots are : orange carrots, orange satsuma mandarins, orange watermelon and orange pumpkins.

Should snake plant roots be orange?

Snake plant orange roots mean that you overwatered or underwatered your snake orange plant. You can fix this by amending the soil with organic material like compost and letting the orange snake orange plant drain more before watering it again.

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