Orchids are beautiful and elegant plants that add life, color, and a sense of luxury to any home. If you are an orchid lover, you can find them in almost every color of the rainbow, in hundreds of varieties.
However, if you are a beginner orchid grower, you may be surprised to learn just how difficult it is to keep an orchid alive for more than a few weeks.
Orchids require very specific growing conditions that must be closely monitored and maintained.
Most beginning growers don’t know how to care for their orchids properly, and as a result, their plants often end up dying in less than two months. The question that then arises is: Why is my orchid dying?
This article will discuss the common reasons why orchids die so quickly after being purchased. We will also give some helpful tips on what you can do to ensure your orchid thrives!
Why is My Orchid Dying?
Orchids are a very delicate plant to take care of. Common reasons your orchid is dying include, overwatering, not enough sunlight or too much sun, underwatering, using too much fertilizer, and more. Let’s take a look in detail.
Reviving a Dying Orchid?
People often underestimate the amount of care and attention they must give to their orchids if they want them to thrive.
Orchid #1: The Neglected Purple Orchid
First, inspect the plant. Some parts of the plant may be yellowing. If so, these parts will need to be removed. However, other plant parts may be healthy but need more sunlight to thrive.
In this case, move your plant towards a brighter area within your home so that it’ll receive more sunlight.
Orchid #2: The Neglected Green Orchid
Inspect the leaves of your plant. Dead or brown leaves should be removed because they do not help the plant grow further.
Also, while inspecting the leaves, look out for bugs that may have invaded your home and have taken refuge on your orchid.
These bugs can cause damage to the leaves of your plant and inhibit its growth by sucking out its nutrients, so you should remove these bugs immediately.
Wilting of Orchid Leaves and Stems (Overwatering)
Orchid leaves and stems can wilt and show other signs of stress for several reasons. The most common cause is overwatering.
Orchid potting mix should be slightly moist but not wet. Overwatering can also occur if the orchid is not getting enough air circulation around the roots.
Reviving Orchids with Stems Wilting, Turning Yellow (Overwatering)
- Scale Back How Often You Water
- Let the Soil Dry Out
- Plant in the Right Pot
- Check for Root Disease
- Cut Off Unhealthy Roots
- Cut the Stem Back to the Base
- Replant Your Orchid
- Maintain the Right Temperature
- Mist the Leaves
Orchid Leaves Yellow or Brown Because of Sunburn
Orchids often suffer from sunburn when exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods. This can cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown and drop off.
Much like humans, orchids who experience sunburn will have a harder time recovering from it if not treated promptly.
To avoid sunburn and treat existing cases, it is important to understand why sunburn happens in the first place.
Reviving Orchids Leaves That Are Discolored Because of Sunburn
- Move away from direct sunlight
- Let dried up leaves fall off on their own
Repot Orchids That Die Due to Drought
If you’ve ever been worried about your orchids dying from drought but didn’t know how to solve the problem, you’re not alone.
It can take a lot of trial and error to repot an orchid suffering from drought, but it’s worth it.
Because an orchid suffering from drought will begin to droup its leaves and look sad, but if you repot that plant into soil that drains better, it’ll perk right up!
To repot an orchid suffering from drought, follow these steps:
1: Find a pot with drainage holes that fits snugly around your pot.
2: Remove the old soil and compost from the orchid pot.
3: Add new soil into the pot until it is halfway full.
4: Place the plant into its new pot and fill with more new soil until the pot is full.
5: Water well!
Fertilizer Burning Orchid Roots
The roots of too many orchids are burned because of the wrong fertilizer application. Many people think that more is better, so they can’t imagine why this would be a problem, but if it’s too much, the plant can get burned.
If you’re going to care for an orchid plant, you need to know exactly how much fertilizer to use. Here are some things to keep in mind about using fertilizer on your orchid plants.
Reviving an Orchid with Burned Roots
The orchid can survive in a container of water for up to one week. If it is not in a container, move it to one and fill the container with lukewarm water.
Change the water daily and check the roots each time. Some of them may have wilted, but they will begin to grow again when you remove them.
The best way to prevent scarring is to change the water before adding more nutrients. To prevent bacteria from forming, add just half a teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water.
Orchid Flowers and Flower Buds Falling Off
Orchid flower buds can dry out quickly if the temperature is too hot or cold or if the plant’s humidity is too low or too high.
If your orchid’s environment is significantly different from its usual environment, it may drop its flowers as it reacts to changes in conditions.
Reviving Orchids with Flowers Dropping Off
If you notice your orchid isn’t flowering, try adjusting the temperature and humidity around it. Keep an eye out for any signs of moisture problems in the future, and ensure that you don’t overwater your orchid.
The best way to be sure you aren’t overwatering is to check the potting medium every few days.
Water should seep out of the bottom of the pot when you water; if it’s soaked in within 24 hours, then you’re likely overwatering your orchid.
Orchid Dying After Repotting
Orchid plants are delicate and require special care, but with the right know-how, they can thrive. The first time you repot your orchid, it is likely to die. This is normal.
Orchids are tropical plants that need high humidity, so keeping them away from drafts and heat sources is important.
The first step in repotting is to prepare your orchid for the process. Ideally, your plant should have outgrown its pot and have roots growing through the drainage holes of its container.
If you’re unsure if it’s time, give the plant a thorough watering and wait a few days to see if it needs more water. If it does, then it’s time to repot!
If you’re moving the plant from a container with drainage holes, remove those before transferring the orchid into a new pot.
The main goal of this process is to get as much of the old soil out of the roots as possible without damaging them.
You can use tweezers, a spoon, or your hands—whatever seems easiest and safest for you. Put some fresh potting medium into the new container and place your plant there when you’re done.
Then give it some freshwater!