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Orchids are a whole family of plants with incredibly diverse flowers that, despite everything, coincide in the great beauty of their flowering, which is always very striking and makes them very popular in gardening and decoration. These pretty plants have an undeserved reputation for being difficult to care for, but this doesn't extend to all of them far from it. In fact, knowing the plant a little makes it very easy to keep them healthy and, even when it seems that the orchid has dried up or died, many times it is possible to revive it.
If you want to learn how to revive an orchid dead, join us in this Green Ecologist article. Orchids have very different needs depending on their broad morphology, so we are going to focus on the Phalaenopsis type, which are epiphytes and by far the most common in most homes.
How to revive a dried orchid
The orchid is a plant of tropical origin that has quite high humidity needs. In a temperate Mediterranean type climate or similar, an orchid will usually need weekly waterings that maintain a certain level of humidity in the substrate between them, increasing the frequency in the warmer months. When this does not happen, the orchid begins to dry out. If you want retrieve a dried orchid, follow these steps:
- Remove the leaves and stems that are completely dry, thus saving the plant the effort of trying to feed useless parts.
- Water it abundantly until the substrate is well soaked, although always without flooding it, that is, trying not to retain too much water for too long. You can soak the bottom of the pot in water for a few minutes and then let drain excess water before returning it to its location. Remember that the container needs to have drainage holes.
- Once the orchid is watered, look at its roots. If they are completely white and dry, it is likely that your plant has died and its recovery is not possible. If, on the other hand, you see roots are green again at least at the tips, it means that the orchid still has life and strength to recover.
- Afterwards, it will be necessary to provide the plant with humidity conditions as similar as possible to those of its original environment. If your climate is very dry or it is very hot, spray water on its leaves regularly to give them that extra contribution, although it is very important that when you do this the plant is not exposed to direct sun. These plants tend to always prefer indirect light, but if you expose them to direct light after wetting their leaves, the water will make a magnifying glass effect and burn them.
Learn more with this other post on How to water an orchid to prevent yours from drying out again and dying.
How to revive a drowned orchid
You may also need to retrieve a rotten orchid, which has been watered too much or has not been given the drainage it needs. When it comes to how to revive a withered orchid, these are the steps to follow:
- Remove the plant from its pot being very careful with the roots, which may be soft due to excess moisture.
- Remove the flower stalks if it has them, whether they are new or old, as these consume a lot of energy for the plant and it needs to focus on recovering and surviving. Do the pruning with properly sharpened and disinfected scissors, as it should always be done with any plant.
- Also cut off any roots or parts that are in poor condition, blackened or brownish. Leave the roots green or white.
- Prepare a new pot or disinfect the old one thoroughly, replacing the substrate with a new one and adequate: it must be loose and offer very good drainage. Here we tell you how to make a substrate for orchids.
- When planting again, do not force the roots to all enter the pot, as it is not necessary: the orchid can survive without problems with its aerial roots. Add some sphagnum to the surface of the substrate.
- Lightly spray the plant with a little leaf revitalizer, focusing on the underside of the leaves.
- Put the pot in a lighted area, but without direct sunlight and do not water the plant until after 24 to 48 hours.
We recommend you read these other articles on How to plant orchids and How to transplant an orchid.
How to revive a leafless orchid
The orchid recovery It is also necessary when the plant barely has leaves or has directly lost all of them. In this case, a aggressive pruning, removing the flower stems if you have them, except the newest ones that are in good condition. Here we tell you everything about How to prune an orchid.
Give the plant a lighted location, add moisture to it, and make sure it has adequate drainage. In this case, the invigorating foliar specific can also be a great ally to recover your plant, as well as orchid fertilizer.
How to recover an orchid that has almost no roots
If what you want is to know how to revive an orchid with dried roots, the most common is to use a technique with sphagnum and a plastic bag to be able to recreate a high humidity environment.
- Remove all its substrate from your orchid, being careful with the roots, and prune those that seem drier or unrecoverable.
- In a container with warm water add specific rooting agent for orchids and soak the roots of the plant in it for about an hour.
- Meanwhile, in a transparent plastic bag, add sphagnum moss soaked in water and place it in a corner of it.
- Remove the plant from the water, apply orchid fungicide to the roots, and put it in the bag so that the roots are not in direct contact with the moss.
- Close the bag being careful not to damage the plant. So you will have created a small greenhouse.
- Place it in a warm area with indirect light and in a few weeks you should be able to see the new root shoots if your orchid has managed to recover. If you have white spots or other signs of fungus, apply fungicide again. When you see it with enough roots, put it back in a pot with new substrate.
Now that you know how to recover an orchid, we encourage you to learn much more about these curious plants with these guides on How to make compost for orchids, How to reproduce orchids, Cymbidium orchid care and Phalaenopsis orchid care.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to revive an orchid, we recommend that you enter our category of Cultivation and care of plants.