The right way to save a dying orchid based on its signs


As we have already explained to you, knowing how to decipher the signals sent by their plants allows gardeners to take care of them and meet their needs. This work of understanding green plants can in particular prove to be very useful for more fragile and capricious plants such as orchids. Yellow or soft leaves, gray roots, lack of leaves… Decoding these different symptoms will give you the key to a beautiful, healthy orchid. If your orchid is dying, these few gestures will bring it back to life very quickly!

If your dying orchid is all limp…

Dying Orchid Soft Leaves
Credits: iStock

The presence of limp, wrinkled leaves that fall along the pot is often a sign of too frequent or abundant watering. Indeed, even if it is a tropical plant, it is advisable to do not exceed one watering per week. In dry periods (in summer and winter, as soon as the heating is turned on, which can dry out the ambient air), we must also spray it every other day or sobut the supply of water stops there.

To save it, you will have to empty the excess water by overturning the pot. Next, take a look at the roots to identify any that are rotten, brown, or blackened. They may indeed need a pruning. Once that’s done, you can repot your orchid removing wet earth and soggy shavings. Above all, make sure the pot has a good hole for effective drainage.

If your dying orchid has yellow leaves…

yellow leaf dying orchid
Credits: iStock

Quite often, the yellow leaves appear if the living conditions of the orchid are not optimal. This may as well be related to too much heat (especially in the case of a radiator not far away), an overabundance of water, too direct sun exposure, illness… So make sure first of all that you know the BA-BA of a healthy orchid to eliminate all possible causes. Generally, however, it is a problem relating to watering, and in particular to stagnant water in the pot. In this case, improve the drainage with clay pebbles and a perforated pot.

The special case of dry yellow leaves and gray roots

dying dry orchid yellow leaf dry roots
Credits: iStock

The phalaenopsis orchid has the distinction of being a very expressive plant. When she is bad, we see it right away and she has several ways of showing it to us. The case of dry yellowed leaves with gray roots is special, because it clearly indicates a lack of water. In this case, it is advisable to act quickly by plunging the pot into a basin of water for 45 minutes. Then, the pot is allowed to drain out of the basin and the plant is simply put back in its place. In the future, do not forget about its watering, because although its leaves are thick, the orchid is not a succulent and needs a supply of water without excess, but sufficient!

If the leaves of your dying orchid show white spots…

sunburned orchid as shown by the white spot on the leaf
Credits: iStock

The orchid likes bright places, but does not tolerate direct sun. So, if it has white spots, it’s actually a sign of sunburn! To protect it from the sun’s rays and too much light, veil your windows with curtains for a good part of the year. In winter, you can however bring it closer to the windows so that it benefits from the full sun. It will then be less likely to burn. (However, this does not exempt you from watching it carefully to make sure!)

A dying orchid that has no more leaves…

phalaenopsis orchid roots
Credits: iStock

Between faded flowers and lost leaves, your orchid has lost its luster. But then who is to blame? Exactly, he is essential to ask the question and to identify which part of your good care was not carried out smoothly. Heat stroke, excess water, diseases, presence of pests or harmful insects, etc.

When he remains few leaves, but more flowers, this may indicate that the plant is exhausted and would benefit from receiving a little fertilizer. In contrast, complete absence of leaves is a trickier situation, but as they say: « as long as there is life, there is hope »! So, if the roots seem to be in good condition, continue watering and perhaps your plant will start up timidly in the weeks to come…

Small white bugs on a damaged orchid

scale insects orchid
Credits: iStock

Unfortunately, our orchids are the delight of mealybugs which risk causing their loss. To limit the damage, watch the leaves of your plants and in particular the underside where these parasites can settle. If you notice their presence, isolate affected plants time to deal with them. The treatment involves rinsing the plant to remove as many mealybugs as possible, then finishing with a cotton swab soaked in vinegar or 90° alcohol to dab the mealybugs and kill them. Repeat every four days to eliminate all eggs and larvae.

What to do if the orchid refuses to bloom again?

Credits: iStock

Sometimes the plant is in good condition, but the flower is wanting. This often means that the orchid is under attack. strong exhaustion. It must be said that our apartments and houses have an environment that is too hot and dry for these plants which, in the long run, can no longer bear it. So what can we do to help them?

The secret is to put the pot outside from the end of May to the end of September (excluding frost periods, to be seen depending on the region)! Make sure to leave the pot in the shade of a bush or a larger plant to protect its leaves. There will then be no need to water it : your orchid will draw its water from the humidity of the dew. As soon as the cold returns and it’s time to put the pot in, your orchid will thank you for this short four-month vacation by developing promising buds… The flower will then not be very far away if you continue your good care!

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