How to Revive an Orchid from Dying?

Any indoor or outdoor plant is our prized possession, most especially our beloved orchids. We will do everything to care for it. But there comes a time when it looks like our orchids are dying.

You notice the orchid leaves falling with the slightest change of temperature, light, and water. Oh, my word, it signifies my precious plant is dying.

That leaves us feeling sad as it takes hard work to keep it thriving. Still, miracles happen, and you need to remain optimistic with a dying orchid as you can still revive them.

But it is best if you start with resuscitation fast.

Steps On How to Revive an Orchid Plant

When orchid leaves fall off, your plant is going through stress. The problem can result from both the roots or crown rot. But if those signs are not visible yet, you need to do a few things to find out what is causing the problem. Since you’re here, Plantly will help you determine what these signs are.

Observe to See if You Have a Dying Orchid

diseased orchid

Here, the important thing is to look closely at your orchid flowers to determine the cause of the symptoms. Doing this helps you to know if your orchid is dormant or dying. If you are an orchid parent for the first time, it might be in a resting phase.

If you notice the flower spikes dying, it does not mean your orchids are dying. Instead, the flowers fall off and die, and the stems will look partly brown. Most orchids enter a dormant state to rebloom after six months to a year.

Your orchid indoor plant is healthy if the leaves are olive green and no wrinkles. If the leaves look dark green, it needs more light. In contrast, yellow leaves indicate that your orchid might have diseased roots.

Sometimes when you plant orchids, they lose the bottom leaves and natural. The leaves turn yellow, but you have nothing to feel stressed about if new growth is at the top.

Keep an eye on your orchid and notice signs of dehydration, and looking limp, then you need to be concerned and start with the following step.

Remove Your Plant to Check the Orchid Roots

remove plant from the container

Now that you know some signs of a dying orchid, removing your plant from the pot is the next best. As you know, your plant likes being root-bound, and removing it will feel tight.

Use your hands to gently squeeze the orchid roots out of the bottom of the pot. Then, remove the potting mix attached to the roots from orchid bark and sphagnum moss to the soil. Still, be careful as the roots can wind themselves around the potting medium.

Next, rinse the roots with water to remove excess debris and inspect the root system. Now, you need to check the stems and the roots. Your orchid stem needs to be green, but there are problems if it looks yellow and flaky.

If the roots look black with mold and mushy, it can decrease the question of how to revive an orchid but not impossible. So to provide dying orchids with new growth, the root and stem need to be in tip-top condition.

Cut off the Dead Roots

orchid dead roots

Now that you know that your orchid has diseased roots, you need to act fast by removing the unhealthy roots. You can use a pair of shears cleaned with rubbing alcohol. Then, start snipping away the rotten roots that look yellow, black, or brown.

You can also remove stringy ones leaving you with only healthy roots. The healthy roots will look green or has green tips. Depending on the state of your plant, you may need to remove the whole stem as well.

It is best to do this if you have stem or crown rot. You can cut below the leaves or below what looks like new roots coming out. The same applies to removing the old flower buds and cutting them down to the stem.

Remove dried leaves found along the bottom of the orchid stem. You can also use a 3% strength hydrogen peroxide spray to kill fungus and pests on the plant. If any of the above is present from root rot, crown rot, to stem rot, it results from overwatering.

Or, your plant is in standing water resulting in wet feet and rotted roots. Orchids prefer moist soil left to dry out between watering.

Repot Your Orchid Flowers

repotting orchid

The next step is also crucial, and it helps to replace your colored pots with clear plastic pots. Doing this helps you watch the roots grow and keep an eye on them. The important thing is to provide your plant with enough drainage holes allowing excess to flow freely.

Next, fill your container about two-thirds with a potting mix of bark chips and sphagnum moss. Orchids grow well in lightweight clay aggregate as well. Place your orchid flower on top of the bark.

To stabilize the healthy roots, you can cover them with more bark pieces or mulch. Still, do not place the roots too deep. It helps to guide the roots down the pot to press up against the sides as if tightly bound, and it helps to monitor them.

If you have removed most of the orchid stem and there is not much left, it helps to insert a stake into the potting medium first. You can lean your plant against it to keep it upright. Take a plastic twist tie to secure the roots to the media like a false root.

If there is barely a stem left, it helps rest it on top of the bark but does not cover it. Take some moss to cover the bark chips about an inch thick. The moss keeps the orchid hydrated and adds humidity to promote new growing orchids.

The key is using moss to revive an orchid and should not be missed, especially with root rot. We recommend keeping the moss away from the orchid stem to prevent added moisture. Give your plant a watering but not too much.

It is best to moisten the soil, and you will need to keep the moss hydrated by misting it every day, depending on the humid environment of the home. Another big help is to use a root booster as it helps minimize transplant shock.

Monitor Your Orchid as it Comes Back to Life

monitor your orchids

Now that your beautiful flowers have a new home, you can place them in a warm spot. But do not place it in direct sunlight as indirect sunlight is preferred. Not even a healthy orchid will survive too much sun exposure.

The next thing you do is wait it out by monitoring your orchid for a few weeks to see signs of recovery. Follow the mentioned steps above then you will see progress in no time.

The important thing is all your determination will pay off in the end. 

You can now provide some fertilizer as you usually do to help with leaf growth and produce flower buds.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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