Orchids are known to live for a long period of time. However, improper handling and watering, and unsuitable environment and light may cause the plant to become dry, dehydrated or overwatered, or withered from rotting. The worst thing that may happen to your Orchid plants is to die due to improper nourishment.
Your Orchids can look unhealthy with leaves starting to droop and become yellowish and buds drop before they open. Almost all Orchid flowers that are not healthy do not even flower at all. Aside from dropping flowers and bud blasts, the roots slowly rot and start to die. However, even if all these signs appear, giving up on your Orchid plants is not an option. You have to look for any signs of life left on the plant. By diagnosing and inspecting the plant from roots to tips, you will know whether the orchids will regrow or die sooner. You can still revive your plant to regrow after extreme stress or disease. Inspect your plant and look for the following to determine if the orchid is dead or still alive:
Look for Signs of Life
A dead orchid plant is one with all roots already rotten and leaves already withered and shriveled. Rotten roots appear mushy and brown, sometimes black, and that means they cannot absorb water, oxygen, and nutrients anymore. If roots are still green, it means they are still alive. If some of the roots are still alive, you can still bring back your plant into life.
There are specific times when the Orchid plants shed their leaves and have their roots die, and this is a part of their life cycle. The best way to determine the condition of your Orchids is to inspect thoroughly the roots. One rotten root will invite fungus and bacteria that will invade and infect the entire plant. While one or only a few of the roots rot, cut them out immediately while the plant is not blooming. This will save the plant from dying and encourage regrow.
Consider the Dormancy Stage
One reason why Orchid plants shed leaves and blooms is the dormancy stage. Orchid plants go through the dormancy stage as a normal cycle of its life. Most home growers mistake the natural dormancy of the Orchids as the decline of health or as the death of the plant. Some varieties shed their leaves completely during this stage while some drop off only the blooms. When the plant enters the dormancy stage or resting period, which usually takes place after blooming, old spikes and stems can be pruned. If it is time for repotting, which is best done when flowers dropped off completely, this is also the best time to cut off old roots. By doing so, you can help the plant regrow beautifully and healthfully.
Find the Cause of Disease
The Orchid plants become unhealthy and appear dry and withered when they are infected by a bacterial and fungal infection. The black spots on the leaf start as a nasty-smelling spot and will expand quickly to the entire plant. This is the sign that the plant is infected. Don’t wait too long before treating the plant. The best way to treat the plant is to isolate it from the rest of the orchids. You can use a fungicide to treat the fungal infection or use cinnamon ground to stop the spread of the disease. If the plant still has roots and leaves not infected by spots, you can also help the plant regrow by cutting the affected area and by repotting the plant to a new and clean, fungal or bacteria-free potting media.
A dead orchid, especially those that are already severely infected by fungus and bacteria, should be destroyed immediately so that it will not affect the other plants. However, if the Orchid plant is still alive, you can regrow it again and bring it back to life. It is very important to know that Orchids, in its different types and varieties, are different from other houseplants.
A healthy environment is what you can give your Orchids after being sick or after some of its roots and parts become dry or withered. Aside from bright light, appropriate humidity, temperature, and the right amount of water, your plants need nutrients from fertilizers. The right balance of these essential things will make the orchid thrive the stress and trauma.
Most Orchids are epiphytic. They cling to and hang their roots on the trunks and branches of the trees. To help them grow healthier, this type of habitat should be mimicked and adhered to. The conditions of the environment that you offer the Orchids should be matched according to their natural habitat. Using proper caution in maintaining such habitat will benefit the Orchids and enhance its development and health. It may take extra effort to master the techniques but once you do, you will reap the reward soon as the Orchid plants regrow, become healthier, and bloom.
Orchids don’t have to die, but if the blooms, leaves, and roots turn dry and its color turns into yellow and brown, all you have to do is inspect your plants and diagnose the problems. It could be that the plant is still alive and it needs your utmost care. If the plant is dead and there is nothing to do to regrow it, you simply have to let it go or else, it will affect other plants.