How To Save a Dying Orchid?

Orchids are the most beautiful plant that plant lovers enjoy growing. But this isn’t referred to as the easiest plant to take care of. Most orchids die due to different reasons. Obviously, they show symptoms of having problems looking after them. Here, we are going to discuss the reasons for dying an orchid, its symptoms, and how you can look after this plant from dying and help them out to groom and grow more beautifully.

What Is The Difference Between Dormant And Dead Orchids?

What is the difference between Dormant and Dead Orchids

Mostly, the reason for dying is dehydration and excessive watering, bad soil, and lack of oxygen provided to roots. Orchids Care is a bit tricky to understand. Orchids do not require slow drying soil, and it needs proper watering as well. Because if the roots of the plant do not get enough oxygen around the roots, then there is much chance of resulting rotten roots and result in a dying plant. In persistent damp soil, the leaves start to turn blue and yellow and gradually die.

Orchids are epiphytic plants that usually require more oxygen around their roots. Additionally, they require indirect bright light that temperature approximately between the range of 12C to 15C. So these flowers are famous for being the most tricky to grow.

Now let’s come on, making the difference whether the orchid is dormant or dead. The question arises is my orchid dead, or what does a dying orchid look alike?

Why Is My Orchid Dying?

Symptoms That When The Orchid Behaves Dormant Or Doing Rest:

It is noticeable that normally in Autumn, the flowers of this plant fade and fall off, especially after the bloom season. Notably, this is part of their growing journey. So, if it happens to your orchid, then there is nothing to worry about or to panic about because this situation doesn’t mean that your plant is dead. This refers to the fact that the bloom season of the Orchid is now dormant.

Usually, in this dormant period, the leaves and roots mostly grow fast, and your plant starts to thrive again with proper care and the required climate. Mostly, when the flowers turn yellow, the plant lovers cut the spikes after falling off the flowers. Importantly, it is recommended to cut it half-inch from the base so that the plant’s energy doesn’t divert to these fallen flower areas.

What Does A Dying Orchid Look Like? Symptoms Of A Dying Orchid:

What Does a Dying Orchid Look Like? /Symptoms of a Dying Orchid

1. Roots Color:

If the connection point of leaves and roots turns mushy and brown, then your plant is almost dead. Notably, the healthy orchid always has greenish or white, and they present a firm look of this connection point.

2. Rotten Roots:

Mostly, the rotten roots are the major problems that plant owners usually face. These problems occur when the owner wants more fast progress by planting and overwatering it. So, to avoid this issue, always cut the rotten roots if you are re-potting the plant.

3. Leaves Turn Yellow:

If the leaves start to turn yellow, then it’s a symptom of a dying Orchid. It depends if only one leaf of the plant turns yellow, which means the plant is starting to discard the old leaves. On the other hand, if the whole plant starts to turn yellow, then it may be an alarming situation that can lead the plant to become a dead plant.

4. Wrinkled Leaves:

Wrinkled leaves could happen by dehydration or by humidity issues. As orchids are topical. The best suitable humidity level is between 40 and 70 percent. Some owners can overwater the plant by focusing on the other aspect instead of considering this point.

5. Skipped Blooming:

Normally, the Orchids bloom when you provide the proper atmosphere that they love to stay in. Sometimes Orchids skip the Blooming season because of unfavorable and unlikely conditions.

The question arrives: is it possible to revive a dying orchid? The answer is Yes, it’s possible. In the above article, we are going to discuss its steps.

6. Bleaching and Dark Spots on Leaves:

If small dark spots or any bleaching appear gradually on the surface of leaves, then it can be a serious problem. It’s alarming that the plant is facing pest infestation, fungal disease, or exposure to direct sun.

How to revive a dying orchid whose leaves have bleaching spots?

  • For Pest issues, there is a solution that is to spray rubbing alcohol on affected areas. Most importantly, you can take Neem oil to cure your plant. The bleach spotted leaves can be revived only if they are cured carefully.
  • To avoid exposure to the sun, move the orchid to another place and spray it with any suitable pest control liquid. Additionally, trim the dead roots.
  • Some plant lovers sometimes water the plants with water cubes instead of water. The reason is to control and check the rate of the water reaching the roots.

5 Ways To Bring An Orchid Back To Life?

If your orchid is not completely dead and showing the early stage of concerns, then solving the question of how to revive an orchid looks possible. To save your dying orchid, you just need to follow these five following steps. It can take some time, so just be patient.

Most plant lovers suggest taking the plant inside the home and to water it once a week, to bring it back to life. Noticeably, keep in observation the roots don’t get too dry in this time period. The second tip that seems more great is to put the plant into a humid place like the bathroom, because these plants like humidity.

Thirdly, fertilization of the Orchid makes it healthy and regular fertilization is also recommended. Basically, fertilizing once a month by the method using liquid fertilizer or feed that dips into the soul slowly, a thorough plant can get consistent nutrients on a regular basis over the month.

1.   Observe The Plant Is Dormant Or Partially Dead:

Firstly, observe the symptoms or changes occurring in your Orchid plant. It is the basic step that helps you to take your plant back to life and makes you decide whether the plant is completely or partially dead.

If your plant’s leaves turn yellow or dry, it does not mean it is dead. Sometimes, the stem on which the flowers grow turns brown as it gets mature after intervals. This orchid stem turning brown is mostly because of winters.

When your plant’s growth gets retarded, check your Orchid plant thoroughly–it may be its resting zone.

2.   Remove Dead Areas Of The Plant:

carefully without damaging the healthy parts of the plant

Take out the orchid and remove the dead areas that are not growing from the last two months. For this, take a sharp knife, razor, or sterilized pruning shear and cut the dead orchid stem that has stopped blooming.

How much you need to cut is, cut the stalk and leave it about 1.5 or 2 inches so it can grow again.

Additionally, if you notice the orchid roots dying, then cut the dead roots carefully without damaging the healthy parts of the plant.

3.   Replace The Pot:

Plant the Orchid into a new pot by following the best method. First, water the plant and then firmly pull the plant out of its pot. By using your hand gently loosen the roots. Check out if there any dust media stocking in roots, if there any then put it out by shaking slowly. Finally, put the plant into a new pot.

Again there are two tips to follow for turning back your plant from dying position.

First, buy a pot that is specially designed for Orchids. If you didn’t find out the specific pot then pick the pot having enough draining holes that lets the air and water drain out with firm flow. Also, you can put any small bowl underneath the pot that can catch the excessive water.

Second, if the roots of the plants started coming out of the pot that clearly indicates that the pot is small for your growing plant. Here, immediately move the plant to a bigger pot. Consequently, always buy a bigger pot to plant the Orchid so that you don’t need to change the pot.

4.   Apply Fresh Media:

The best technique for re-blooming of your Orchid is to introduce a new fresh medium to provide it a fast growing boost by adding up nutrients. In this method, you can make the nutrients media or supplement by yourself by mixing two supplements.

  1. Peat Moss
  2. Bark Designed for orchids

How to implement this supplement/media for bringing an orchid back to life?

Firstly, To make this you need to add one part of Peat moss and two parts of Bark designed for orchids and it’s very easy to implement it. You just need to fill this supplement into the surrounding space of the roots and also spread it on the surface of the soil. Notably, do not use the casual soil as the Orchid likes a well-drained soil that drains the water and air pockets firmly.

5. Suitable Sunlight:

Plant the Orchid into a new pot by following the best method

An important thing that Orchid plants owners do is to not provide the plant with enough indirect sunlight. Some Orchid plant growers use it to arrange root hormones and artificial light for better results.

But for people growing plants at home, as per my experience i will suggest they put the pot into a shaded area having a lot of indirect sunlight.

I used to put my Orchid plants as well as all my indoor plants into my balcony getting partial direct sunlight and a lot of indirect sunlight and my plants are blooming fast.

Possibility To Save An Orchid Without Roots:

If your Orchid loses its roots due to any reason including root rotting or hydration etc. it doesn’t mean the plant is dead or there is no possibility of reviving it. There are still chances to take it back to natural blooming.

For this, firstly cut off all unnecessary weight with the help of sharp sterilized pruners or scissor. Secondly, spray the Hydrogen Peroxide 3% that will start eliminating the fungus. Now, repot the plant and put in fresh supplement or media that has been discussed above.

By using the unique discovery, now put the plant pot into a plastic container and let the lid on but make sure you could see through the condition of the plant. Also, make sure the fresh air is crossing the plant daily.

You need to do so because this method will create a full functional humid atmosphere for the plant that helps a lot to regrow the roots.

Reviving An Orchid By Using Tea:

One more clever way of reviving the droopy Orchid is through the tea bag method. Importantly, this method helps to bring it back to life and adds up to re-blooming and more glory.

This tremendously effective method creates tannic acid in the rotten roots of the plant. Through, it produces the natural rain effect that brings a strong signal for roots to revive again.

What makes this method more effective is the emulsion of nature to force the dehydrating orchid to adopt the natural relieving process.

Process Of Tea Bag Method:


  • Clippers
  • Isopropyl Alcohol 70%
  • Small Bowl
  • Small container
  • Black tea tea-bags


  • Deluge the plant clippers in canister filled up with Alcohol
  • Remove the plant gently from its pot, pull it out to examine its roots thoroughly.
  • Now remove the old soil and cut the old flower and their spikes by use of clippers.
  • Drench out the roots swiftly.
  • Now examine the roots again thoroughly and cut out the dead and dried parts of roots. Leave the green parts only.
  • Next, prepare the tea bag mixture. Here, use the distilled water to steep the tea bag for five minutes. Notably, we only need a slight color, not a string one.
  • Further, put the plant into a small canister and pour the tea. Make sure the tea solution is covering the leaves and roots.
  • Now leave the plant at day time and remove it at night.
  • You need to repeat this amazing method for four days to let your Orchid revive healthy and grow again.


As per my experience, I have given you enough information to retrieve the dying orchid or how you can take precautions to save it before getting in trouble. Now you are completely ready to buy Orchid, or to grow your own plants healthy and regular growing.

Frequently Asked Question:

How to revive orchids?

There are five ways to revive a dying Orchid that we have discussed in the above article. You can read them out thoroughly. Below are basic points to define that 5 ways.

  • Observe the condition of the plant
  • Remove dead areas of the plant
  • Apply fresh Media
  • Replace the pot
  • Suitable sunlight

How to save an orchid that has been overwatered?

Mistakenly, if you have over-watered the Orchid then there is a possibility to revive the plant. First, observe the condition of the plant, if some roots look firm and healthy, then cut off the mushy, soft roots with the help of a sterilized tool. Secondly, repot the plant into new healthy Orchid soil and apply fresh media. Now, keep considering the watering process once a week. To water the plant uses a spray bottle. Lastly, mist the plant at least once every day.

How to save an orchid with yellow leaves?

First go through the reason for the yellow leaves of the plant. These reasons can possibly be unsuitable sunlight, overwatering or dehydration. Following are the points to save such plants.

  • Always put the plant into a shaded bright area that is getting enough indirect sunlight. Don’t put the plant in direct light because this can damage the leaves by putting sunburn or heavy heated stress on the plant.
  • When leaves start getting yellow, first always wait for the leaves to fall.
  • Ideally, for recovery purposes, repot the plant in a specific plastic pot.

What is the average life of an orchid?

There is no specific period fixed yet that declares the lifespan of Orchid plants. But you can take an idea by its condition because after 15 to 20 years, naturally the plant will produce less flowers and leaves and look weaker. As plants contain their own immune system, over time it is worn out by fungi and natural bacteria. So, it’s favorable to repot the plant after 2 to 3 years to prevent diseases.

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