Between blooming cycles, orchids need to take a break to recharge their batteries. Nutrients are replaced throughout this period of spectacular blossoming, which is why it’s so important. Dormant plants lose their flowers and leave just their naked stalks behind during the dormant phase, leading many owners to believe that their plants have disappeared to the great greenhouse in the sky. Your orchid, like Sleeping Beauty, isn’t actually dead; it’s just taking a well-deserved nap.
To tell if an orchid is resting or dying, here’s what you need to know.
The telltale differences:
Crown and roots: If the crown–the part of the plant that connects the leaves and the roots–is brown and mushy (this can occur from too much water), the orchid is likely dead. Roots that are green or white and plump or firm to the touch are indicative of a healthy orchid.
Tips: To avoid overwatering, keep up with your regular schedule of watering your resting orchid with the same amount of three ice cubes once each week for a full-size, premium orchid.
If only the lowest leaf turns yellow, there’s no reason to panic. A mature leaf is naturally discarded by the plant in order to grow a new one.
Recommendation: Make sure your orchid is receiving adequate light exposure. A south-facing window is the best place to put your plant.
Low humidity is often indicated by wrinkled leaves. Phalaenopsis is a tropical plant that does well in humid environments (55 to 75 percent relative humidity).
Use a humidifier in cooler climates to counteract the drying effects of indoor-forced heat.
Is My Orchid Dead? 4 Telltale Signs
It Has No Roots
A healthy orchid has strong roots. Despite the fact that it may seem strange for an orchid to have no roots, overwatering can cause this.
The roots of your orchid plant might be severely damaged by root rot if it is overwatered.
The brown and mushy roots of a plant indicate root rot, and since nutrients are transported to the plant’s roots, a plant without roots is nearly certain to die. Keep in mind that healthy orchid roots are plump, green and firm while evaluating them.
Even while root rot can usually be repaired, if your plant’s roots have turned brown and there are no more healthy green spots, it’s time to toss it. Another indication that your plant’s roots are beyond saving is if the region between the roots and the leaves is mushy..
The Crown is Rotten:
Verify that the plant’s core is intact. Is it tan or brown in color? Is its base discolored and mushy looking? As a result, you may be dealing with crown rot. Phalaenopsis orchids are more susceptible to crown and root rot in pots than they are in the wild because of the moving air they are exposed to.
If you don’t see any yellowing or blackening of your plant’s leaves, it may already be too late. Rot spreads swiftly.
It’s Not Producing Viable Buds
Phalaenopsis orchids are notorious for suffering from bud blast. Flower buds shrivel and fall off otherwise healthy plants as a result of this. While bud burst can be caused by a variety of factors, some orchids have a genetic defect that prevents them from producing viable blooms.
It Has a Severe Mealybug Infestation
Mealybugs, which feed on orchids, are a nuisance. There are situations when an infestation is so bad that the plant needs to be destroyed, even if it can be treated with rubbing alcohol, pesticides, or horticultural soap. The plant should be discarded if it shows signs of decline, such as unhealthy-looking leaves, buds, or stems, and you can’t contain or eliminate the infection.
It’s a good thing Phalaenopsis orchids can put up with a lot and still look stunning. You may want to replace your orchid if you observe any of the above indicators or if it hasn’t recovered from an infestation or case of rot.
How to Tell If Your Orchid Is Alive or Dead
1 – Look at the Roots and Crown
The orchid is most certainly dead if the crown linking the leaves and roots is brown and mushy. The roots of a healthy orchid are green or white, and they feel firm to touch. There will be a crown for that too.
Many orchid growers are plagued by root rot. Because they were so excited to have a new plant in their yard or house, they overwatered it to the point of death. When re-potting, be sure to remove any dead roots.
Root rot can be avoided by watering only when the soil is completely dry. This means that your orchid’s roots have been infected by the root rot, if it has advanced all the way to the crown.
If the roots of a plant have turned dark and mushy, is it too late to save it? In all likelihood, the plant succumbed to root rot as a result of being overwatered. A lesson has been learned, therefore take it as such.
Please keep in mind that your plant may only be partially affected by root rot. In certain cases, you may be able to save the entire plant if you simply remove the decaying roots.
To ensure the health of your orchid, you should perform this trimming on a regular basis.
2. – Look for Yellow Leaves
You should not be alarmed if only the lower leaves of the plant are turning yellow. Older leaves are being replaced by new ones as the plant continues to grow.
If, on the other hand, all of your plant’s leaves turn yellow at the same time, it’s time to call an expert.
How late can you save a plant with a lot of yellow leaves? No, you can assist your orchid in gaining access to more light and nutrients. It is highly likely that it will succeed.
Orchids, on the other hand, prefer indirect light. Putting orchids under direct sunlight can cause some issues.
3 Look for Wrinkled Leaves
Wrinkled leaves may indicate a problem with humidity or dehydration in your plant. Orchids thrive in humid tropical climates with temperatures between 40 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
To avoid overwatering, some gardeners take the opposite tack and intentionally withhold water from their plants.
Do wrinkled leaves on a plant mean it’s too late to save it? Do not do this; instead, use the steps outlined in the second section of this article to adjust the humidity using a humidifier if necessary.
4 – Look for Skipped Blooming
Orchids only blossom if the conditions are just right for them. This can lead to an orchid not flowering at all during a given year since the environment isn’t ideal. If the weather is unusually warm, this could become a more common problem.
If an orchid hasn’t bloomed in a while, can I bring it back to life? In fact, if you go over all of these adjustments in this article, you’ll have set the environment for it to bloom in the next year.
Keep up with your water, light, and nutrient regimen.
5 – Look for Leaves Falling Off
Orchids shed their leaves and grow new ones, as described previously in the section on yellow leaves. This is a natural pattern that you may see and detect during the course of your orchid’s annual cycle.
The leaves of some varieties of orchids fall off when they go into dormancy and then reappear when they awaken in the spring.
If all of the leaves turn yellow and begin to fall off, your plant is in peril. Take immediate action based on the other action steps in the article to fix the problem.
Is it possible to resuscitate an orchid that has lost its leaves and gone yellow? No, your plant is probably already dead.
To ensure that your plant is truly dead, you should also check its roots. As soon as you discover that your orchid is in distress, you must take action.
6 – Look for Dark Spots and Bleaching on the Leaves
Having dark patches or bleaching on the leaves of your plant is a sign that it’s in peril. It’s possible that a problem exists, such as a fungus, an insect infestation, or too much sun exposure.
Rub the affected areas with rubbing alcohol if you’re having problems with pests. In order to avoid a recurrence, use a product like neem oil in the future.
My orchid’s leaves have dark blotches or bleaching. Can I bring it back to life?” The answer is yes, but it will require a lot of care and attention.
Spray with a pesticide and remove any dead roots before relocating your plant to a less sunny place.
Instead of using water, try watering your plant using ice cubes to better regulate the flow of water to the roots.
7 – Look for Changes in the Plant’s Natural Cycle
In the end, there are certain alterations to the natural life cycle that are okay. For example, if the seasons don’t change as they normally do, your plant may skip a year of dormancy.
It’s also possible that your plant will go dormant for a week longer than it did the year before. Taking action is necessary when any of the above-mentioned alterations to the plant’s leaves or stems occur.
The Best Ways to Revive Your Orchid
Even in some of the most hostile environments on Earth, orchids are able to thrive. Orchids flourish in environments with the right ratio of water, light, and humidity.
As soon as you notice browning, crinkling, barren stems, or falling leaves on your orchid, you have the opportunity to act and alter its course.
- Liquid: Use lukewarm water to moisten the orchid. Fill the pot all the way to the brim. You’ll need some time to let the water drain out. For three days, do this every day. After that, water once a week or whenever the pot feels light to the touch.
- Sunlight: Place your plant in an area that receives indirect sunlight. Temperatures should never go below 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Maintain a temperature of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit inside your home at all times during the night.
- After eight weeks, remove the spikes if no flowers appear. Cut from the base with care.
- Water the plant and provide it with nutrients. Follow the package guidelines and soak the roots in half-diluted orchid food.
- You may need to repot your orchid if none of the preceding methods have proven to be effective. Wire can be used as a substitute for damaged roots. Wire should be wound around the plant’s base and buried after problematic roots have been removed. Put the plant in its original container.
Tips for Healthier Orchids
- Avoid exposing your orchid to direct sunlight at all costs. A stem that is even slightly green should not be cut. It replenishes the spike’s supply of nutrients and hydration. The roots of an orchid can be destroyed by overfeeding.
- Regular fertilization is essential for a strong and healthy plant. Always use an orchid fertilizer approved by the manufacturer. Fertilize your orchids with an orchid-specific fertilizer on a regular basis. You’ll typically find these in the form of a 20/20-20 formula (equal amounts potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus).
- Seasonal blooming is the norm for orchids, therefore it’s important to keep an eye on the weather forecast. In the colder months, placing your orchid near a window may help it establish a flower spike.
Your orchids are in good hands! I wish you and your family a lifetime of joy and beauty from your new additions.
A little-known fact: Plants help keep our atmosphere stable. For example, they expel oxygen and take up CO2.
For all living things, oxygen is a necessity. The ozone layer, which shields Earth’s life from harmful UV rays, is also protected. Global warming and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced through the use of plants.
For those of you who are interested in keeping track of your gardening progress, here is a garden journal that I’ve prepared. To see it in action and to obtain your own copy, simply click on the image to the right.
The Benefits of Using a Greenhouse to Grow Orchids
Once they begin blooming, orchids are a stunning addition to any garden. Growing them in an open area, on the other hand, might be a hassle. Pests, heavy rains, and strong winds are all more likely to affect them.
A greenhouse is the only place you can cultivate your orchids and see them bloom. It is possible to control the environment in a greenhouse so that your favorite orchids can thrive. Orchids grown in a greenhouse also have the following advantages:
You can control the humidity
Orchids thrive in humid environments because there is less air movement, which means less water evaporation. This means that the plants are more likely to thrive. If you’re growing orchids, you should aim for a humidity level of 60% to 80%. You can better control the humidity in your greenhouse, allowing your plants to absorb the proper quantity of moisture and preventing them from drying out.
Better light control
In order to keep them alive, orchids require light, but they dislike being in direct sunshine, therefore it is necessary to place them in a shady area where they will receive the light they require. To keep your plants safe from the harsh rays of the sun, consider installing a greenhouse with shade cloths or roller blinds.
When orchids are exposed to too much or too little airflow, they can suffer damage and even die. It is possible to manage the quantity of air movement in greenhouses by growing orchids within. Your orchids will be able to get rid of hazardous germs if you utilize greenhouse fans to keep the air moving around them constantly.
Final Thoughts on “How Do I Know If My Orchid is Dead?”
Orchids are an excellent way to spice up your garden or greenhouse with a splash of color and variety. If you want to keep your orchids blooming for a long time, you’ll need to learn more about their growing requirements. You may easily answer the usual question, “How do I tell whether or not my orchid is dead?” with the appropriate information.