How to Revive An Orchid And Preserve The Elegance In Your Home

How to Revive An Orchid

Any flowers you grow in your home are sure to beautify it, but orchids are special and ooze with elegance which is unsurpassable. Many dread trying to grow these beautiful flowers thinking that it must be challenging to care for their delicate looking flowers.

However, looks can be deceiving, and orchids are yet another proof of that. There are few simple steps you should follow, and your orchid is sure to reward you with a marvelous show of her butterfly-like blossoms.

If you do encounter some problems, we are here to help you as usual. If your orchid appears to be dead and you feel it might have already reached the point of no return be sure to read our guide on how to revive an orchid and you might be able to save it!

Recognize the Problem on Time

As it is with us people, you will have the best chance to cure the disease if you recognize the early symptoms and react accordingly. For this reason, you should always be on a lookout for potential problems.

Orchid disease

Orchid disease

In order to do so, you have to get acquainted with your orchid, and try to notice every possible detail- how its leaves, roots, and the medium it grows in look like. If you know how everything appears when your orchid is perfectly healthy- you will also recognize when things start to change for the worse.

What are the changes you can notice early on and avoid more complicated problems:

1. Flowers

If your orchid refuses to bloom or has wilting flower it is a sign of stress and can lead to more serious problems. Of course, the flowers have to wilt at some point when the plant reaches the end of blooming period, but it should not happen soon. Namely orchid blooms, depending on the type of orchid you grow, normally last at least a month. Anything shorter than that can be an indication of a potential problem.

If the flowers last too short and drop before this time, it might indicate that your orchid has been exposed to a sudden temperature change. To avoid such issues do not place the orchid near your air conditioner or any other source of circulating cold or hot air. Sudden temperature changes force the plant to drop blooms or buds before time.

You should even avoid placing the orchids near some fruits and vegetables. It sounds silly, but certain types of fruits emit ethylene gas that can cause wilting or at least speed it up. Apples seem to have the highest influence, but bananas, avocados, and potatoes can have the same effect.

2. Leaves

If the leaves on your beloved orchid drop or turn brown, that is not a good sign. Crinkled edges are also a call for attention. Healthy orchid leaves have a color of grass, and some yellow undertones are also normal. If the tips of your orchid’s leaves turn brown, it might mean you use too much fertilizer or fertilize the plant too often.

If your orchid has leaves that are too dark, it must be that it needs more light than it has. On the contrary, yellow leaves indicate that there is too much sun exposure. In case you see this and do not react in a timely manner, brown and white dry areas can occur as a sign of further sun damage.

These sunburns cannot be treated, and the damage is therefore permanent, but you can at least prevent further suffering of your delicate orchid. If it is any consolation, the dark spots should not influence your orchid’s blooming process

3. Roots

The next step in examining your plant if you start from top to bottom is logically the root system. The roots should be firm and green. If they are white,and appear dry, it means your orchid is not receiving enough water. Such orchids are more prone to diseases.

Dark colored and mushy roots imply you are overwatering your orchid. Orchid needs moisture rather than direct watering, and we will discuss this later on so do stay with me until the end of the text. When roots are filled with water they cannot receive enough oxygen and, as a result, the whole plant suffers greatly. If you do not react immediately the roots will ultimately become soft and swollen, and the leaves will wrinkle- it means that your orchid will start dying.

At this point, you can still revive your orchid, but if you wait a bit more and you notice that the stem that connects roots and leaves has completely died off and appears almost decomposed, your chances to revive the poor orchid are minimal, if any.

4. Center Stem

The stem should be firm and have a healthy green, sometimes a bit brownish color. If it appears weak, and the leaves that are positioned near the roots start to wilt, your orchids need more space.

When orchid outgrows the pot, it is time to repot or replant it carefully. Orchids do not like to be too crowded, and if too much of its roots are spilling over the pot – it definitely is! 

5. Pets

You might think that keeping your orchid indoors protects it from pests, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Sometimes you can notice tiny aphids attached to leaves, or spot the sooty mold they tend to create - these aphids can slow the growth and should be, therefore, dealt with as soon as you spot the problem.To get rid of them use water and spray the orchid to wash them off.

Mites can also be an issue. If your orchid has mites, the leaves will develop silvery or brownish color. To take them off, soak a ball of cotton with alcohol and gently wipe off the parts of your plant that have been infested.

6. Diseases

Orchids are not immune to common diseases that plants tend to develop. Sick orchids have black or dark brown leaves or stem, and their roots smell rotten. If this is the problem with your orchid as well, you will have to perform surgery to save it.

Namely, you will have to sterilize a sharp knife and cut off the diseased parts, making sure you do not damage the rest of the plant. You will then have to disinfect the spot where you have performed the cut. You can use a powdered fungicide that can be purchased in any specialized store, or if you have an organic approach- a pinch of cinnamon will do.

Finally, you will have to purchase a new potting mix and repot the orchid into a new container to prevent the disease spreading to the other parts of the plant that have avoided the initial infection.

How to Revive an Orchid: Solution for Every Problem

Now that you have carefully read the previous section you should be able to recognize the source of your troubles and act accordingly. If you are determined to breathe life back into your beloved and beautiful orchid, you simply need to follow the subsequent advice:

  • If you concluded your orchid has dehydrated you should position the whole pot under the faucet and let the water gently soak the planting medium. When you lift the pot, it should feel heavy; this means that you have performed the task successfully. You should do this every week

You can also help hydrate the orchid by increasing the level of moisture around it. You can achieve this by positioning the orchid on a shallow tray filled with water and pebbles. The orchid should sit on top of the stones. You should also spray some clean water onto the leaves at least once a week.

Cutting orchid roots

Cutting orchid roots

  • If you have watered the orchid too much, remove the damaged roots and replant the orchid into the fresh potting mix. From that moment make sure to supply adequate water and humidity for it to thrive
  • If you have not provided enough nourishment for your orchid, or you have used too much fertilizer, the solution is quite easy. Namely, my advice is that you opt for a weaker fertilizer and feed the plant more often, but also be extra careful not to apply the fertilizing solution before you have watered the orchid first.
  • If your orchid has suffered due to too much or too little sunlight exposure, move the plant to a more appropriate place. In essence, you should find a place that will provide your orchid with indirect light during the whole day. If you cannot provide enough light for your orchid to grow, you can try LED lights as a modern alternative.

Hoping that you succeeded in reviving your orchid, we leave you to enjoy its immense beauty until you need our advice again!

About the Author

I’m Emily and after a ten year career as a journalist I have moved on to share my passion for gardening. While getting out in the garden is one of my favourite hobbies, and helps me de-stress after a long day in the office, I often found myself frustrated at not getting the results I wanted from my plants. Through blogging, I have uncovered the answer to lots of common problems and now I want to share my knowledge with other horticulture enthusiasts.

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