Is My Orchid Dead? What are the Signs?

There is nothing more breathtaking than an orchid in full bloom. Yet, these indoor plants are fussy and want their environment to be 100% good. If not, they get sick and eventually die. But what are the tell-tale signs that your orchid roots are dying?

Is My Orchid Flowers Dead?

dead orchid plant

Your orchids go dormant in-between blooming seasons. During this time, they replenish many nutrients as they prepare for the next bloom. The main signs that your plant could be dead are if you see mushy roots or yellow leaves that are faded or blotchy. In addition, if you notice dropped leaves and it is not as evergreen as always, it is also a sign that your plant is dying.

6 Signs Your Orchid Roots Are Dead

When you notice any of the following six signs, your orchid is dying or can be dead.

Falling or Yellowing Leaves

orchid yellowing leaves

Occasionally your orchid will shed older leaves at the bottom, a natural occurrence. Yet, you may also find it loses leaves at the crown or other ones not at the bottom.

If the leaves turn yellow, it is not to say your orchids are dead but might not receive the correct nutrients.

Sometimes it can also mean it is getting too much sun. But if the yellow leaves go a pale white-green, it is past due and best to check the roots.

No New Growth

no new growth orchid

It is not always a concern when your evergreen orchid variant starts dropping leaves. But if those leaves are not replaced with new foliage, it is a sign of dying orchids. Evergreen orchids replace old leaves with new ones in the normal growth process. When sudden leaf drops happen, they might have rotten roots.

Orchid’s Roots are Brown or Mushy from Root Rot

orchid root rot

Orchid owners can check the plant’s roots when re-potting their entire orchid. It is the best way to see if you can save your plant. If you see firm roots that are not mushy, you have a chance of saving the healthy roots.

But if they are brown roots, the chances of saving your orchid are low. The reason is that the dead roots cannot absorb nutrients because they’re already dead. This happens when you overwater your plant leading to root rot.

Crown Rot

Another sure sign that your orchid is dead is when you notice the crown and stem look brown and mushy. The area is susceptible to rot and fungal disease. We always think of the crown as the heart of our plants. If this happens, it is dead beyond recovery.

Brown Brittle Stem

orchid brown, brittle stem

Sadly, when you notice dead flower spikes and a brown stem, your flower spike will not bloom again. Still, you need not place your orchid in its grave. First, you can cut back the dead stem below the section that is turning brown. Or, you can cut the stem at the base to help with new root and leaf growth.

Orchid Flowers Wilted and Died

wilted orchids

Flower spikes wilting and dying to signify that your plants are under stress. It can result from under-watering, temperature changes, pests, disease, a new environment, or just the end of its natural life cycle.

How Does a Resting Orchid Plant Look Like?

Orchid owners will find their plant rests between blooming seasons. You will notice that your plant will bloom for a couple of weeks or months. When the flowering season ends, your orchid goes dormant to absorb nutrients from the soil.

Still, your plant remains healthy and has firm green or white roots. The dark green leaves remain vibrant, and even the crown has a dark green hue. The foliage is springy yet firm to the touch.

Proper Care for Orchids

proper orchid care

When it comes to caring for your orchids, Plantly does not require your expertise but consistency. So here are some quick tips to ensure your plant keeps providing beautiful flowers.

  • Choose a suitable potting medium as it grows on the bark of trees in the wild. It helps to replicate the environment. Do not use regular potting soil and a particular orchid potting mix. Another important thing is to provide your plant with a new pot and soil yearly.

  • Place your orchid in indirect sunlight, as direct sunlight can cause leaves to turn yellow.

  • Orchids prefer not to be misted as it can lead to crown rot. Preferably, do not water your orchid with ice cubes as it can harm the root system and leaves. It’s best to use room temperature water. Another important note is to remove your orchid from a decorative pot and water under the tap. Leave your orchid to stand and allow the soil to dry out.

  • Your tropical plant thrives in humid, warm spots. Hence, we recommend investing in a humidifier for your plant.

  • If you notice the aerial roots growing over the pot, never cut them. Doing this alters how your orchids grow.

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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