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How To Revive Orchids In 11 Stress-Free Ways

Orchids have been known as the exquisitely beautiful yet expensive and high maintenance specialist plant.

Potted orchids are available at the florist’s and in most retail stores

Potted orchids are available at the florist’s and in most retail stores

Recently, I have been getting a lot of questions about orchids. I might not be able to address every single orchid-related question from you today, my dear readers and fellow orchid enthusiasts, but let me answer the question I get frequently asked – How to revive orchids? Now, before I go in-depth on how to revive orchids, let me give you a quick glance on what orchids are like and what makes them so special.

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A normal healthy orchid can bloom several times a year

A normal healthy orchid can bloom several times a year

Orchids are, admittedly, delicate and could be slightly complicated to care for. I hope that the next things I am going to tell you will help you understand what orchids are really like. Check out some facts I’ve listed for you to help you determine what changes you need to make in order to keep your orchids healthy, and would not need any “reviving” for that matter.

Why We Should Be Gentle With Orchids

Orchids are, admittedly, delicate and could be slightly complicated to care for. I hope that the next things I am going to tell you will help you understand what orchids are really like. Check out some facts I’ve listed for you to help you determine what changes you need to make in order to keep your orchids healthy, and would not need any “reviving” for that matter.

Fact #1 – Orchids Are Prone To Rotting

Crown rot is the most common reason why most orchids die. Damaged orchid tissues that are neglected gradually develop necrosis (death of the plant’s cells and/or tissues) that will ultimately lead to plant death. It is worth to mention that necrosis in orchids is merely a manifestation of morphological distresses your orchid might be in.

Orchid blooms have butterfly-like texture; they are soft and fragile

Orchid blooms have butterfly-like texture; they are soft and fragile

Fact #2 – Most Orchids Dont's Do Very Well In Regular Garden Soil Media

Unlike any houseplants, most orchids are epiphytes (plants that feed off of the nutrients from precipitation and moisture in the air while growing upon another plant). Hence, our knowledge of orchids hanging from trees. Now, when potting your orchids, please don’t just use any garden soil. Use bark chips instead. This mimics the natural host that orchids grow upon. Also, soil retains so much moisture which is detrimental to the orchid.

Orchids thrive by getting nutrition from the air and rain

Orchids thrive by getting nutrition from the air and rain

Fact #3 – Water Is Not The Orchids’ Best Friend

Please read on before you pick up that watering can. Most of you might be tempted to overwater your orchids. Please do not expose your orchids to too much water. Orchids are not aquatic plants, and they could not withstand excessive hydration or what other houseplant growers refer to as hyperhydration. Too much moisture could reduce the photosynthetic ability of the orchid roots.

Earlier in this article, I talked about crown rot which kills many orchids. The excess moisture left on orchid leaves can create mold spots that catalyze the rotting of orchids. To avoid this, after watering the plant, wipe or blot the water droplets left on the leaves with clean paper towel. Don’t forget to drain excess water off your orchid pots.

Orchids continue to develop bulbs after the first bulbs have bloomed

Orchids continue to develop bulbs after the first bulbs have bloomed

How To Revive Orchids? – A Sweet Piece Of Cake

Now, what if your potted orchid is already showing signs of stress? Here are some tips to give you a walkthrough on how to revive orchids. Would you believe that there are eleven (11) very simple steps on how to revive orchids? What’s more, you only need very few items for this project. Following is a list of the materials that you will need in rejuvenating stressed out orchids.

What you will need:

  • Clear plastic pot or any clay pot with holes at the bottom
  • Bark chips (preferably from pine trees)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide 3% solution
  • Water
  • Clean washcloth or paper towels
  • Rubber gloves
  • Hand pruners or sharp secateurs
  • Spray bottle
  • Decorative pot (optional or as desired)
Keeping your gardening tools clean and organized will help you care for your plants better

Keeping your gardening tools clean and organized will help you care for your plants better

Once you have prepared the materials, follow these key procedures on how to revive orchids:

Step #1

Before you start, make sure to put on rubber gloves. This is to protect your hands from splinters or any crawling insect that might be living around your orchid. I personally prefer using surgical gloves, those thin white gloves you can buy at any drugstore. They fit better as compared to ordinary rubber cleaning gloves.

Step #2

Gently remove the orchid from its old pot. Include the substrate (the medium where you grew your orchid in) when removing the plant. This is important to avoid breaking any of its functioning roots.

Step #3

Carefully spread the roots to separate them from the substrate. Remove the inert materials from the old substrate that got caught in between the root system of the orchid.

Different orchids planted in white decorative pots

Different orchids planted in white decorative pots

Step #4

Once the roots have been rid of the substrate, gently wash the roots under running water. The water will remove any stubborn traces of the substrate and will reveal the colors of the roots. You can judge root health by its color. The green, crisp roots are the good ones while the yellow or brown, limp roots should be severed.

Note: If you see any white but crisp roots, don’t cut them off. They are just roots that have been buried way too deep in the substrate and haven’t been exposed to light.

Step #5

Gently shake off excess water from the roots and pat them dry with a clean washcloth or paper towels.

Step #6

Take your hand pruners and sever the bad roots. Now, your orchid will be ready for repotting.

Step #7

Prepare the new substrate. Pine tree bark chips are an excellent choice. They are nutrient-rich, so there would be less need for store-bought fertilizers for the orchid.

Bark chips are excellent orchid medium as they don’t retain so much moisture that can damage the roots

Bark chips are excellent orchid medium as they don’t retain so much moisture that can damage the roots

Step #8

Using the spray bottle, mist the roots with hydrogen peroxide 3% solution. Hydrogen Peroxide will disinfect the roots and kill snails and any unwanted organisms that may impede the growth of your orchid.

Step #9

Carefully place the orchid halfway inside the new pot, making sure that the aerial roots (roots that are closest to the leaves) are hanging off of the pot’s mouth.

Step #10

Gently pour substrate towards the bottom of the pot until the long roots have been covered. Be careful not to pack the substrate into the pot as it will cut off the ventilation that the roots need.

Step #11

Store your repotted orchid where it can get enough sunlight, but make sure that it is not directly exposed to the sun as it can wilt and dehydrate your orchid.

Keeping your orchids in bright places help them photosynthesize better

Keeping your orchids in bright places help them photosynthesize better

Once you have carefully followed these steps on how to revive orchids, all that’s left is to wait for your orchids to regain its health.

Orchids – A Timeless Beauty

Growing orchids can be a real task. Just like rearing a child, it takes time, patience, and dedication. Orchids respond to the attention you give them by giving soft, beautiful flowers.

What can say about my take on how to revive orchids? I’d love to know how these methods have helped you. If you find this article helpful, don’t hesitate to share this so that we can help others too.

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Lucy M. Clark
 

Hi there! I’m Lucy, and I’m a self-confessed garden fanatic. Gardening has always been a passion of mine and will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and have one adorable son, I have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other garden enthusiasts like me.

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