How to Revive a Wilting Orchid

How to Revive a Wilting Orchid

Overwatering or a potting material that is excessively compacted and contains too much moisture are typically the causes of orchid wilting. Orchids need air to move around the roots and have proper drainage. If the potting soil is too wet, the roots will die and the leaves and blooms of orchids will begin to wilt.

It should be emphasised that because orchids are sensitive to environmental change, they can wilt for a variety of reasons, including stress.

It’s crucial to establish the right conditions for wilting plants to recover, including greater humidity levels, indirect sunshine, weekly watering, and growing orchids in pine-based potting soil with adequate drainage and air circulation around the roots.

The following are the most typical causes of orchids wilting:

Environmental AspectsWhat Causes Orchids to Wilt?
reduced humidityMoth orchids may survive in tropical forests with a humidity level of at least 65%. Low humidity stresses plants, causing them to wilt and lose their colour.
Temperature:Orchids thrive in a temperature range between 55°F (12°C) and 75°F (23°C), and they wilt in extremes of heat or cold.
Drought PressureTypically, orchids require a good bath and watering once every week. Too little watering results in drought and drooping foliage and flowers.
Flows in the airConvection currents from heat sources and air conditioning drain moisture from the leaves, causing the orchid to wilt.
Overwatering:The roots rot and die when there is too much moisture surrounding them due to overwatering, which leaves less roots to provide water and nutrients to the leaves, causing them to yellow and wilt.
incorrect potting mediumAround the roots of the orchid, moss and potting soil can trap too much moisture, leading to root rot and wilting leaves. The ideal potting soil for orchids is pine bark.
Too Much Time Spent Growing Orchids in the Same Potting Medium:All potting materials have the potential to breakdown, which means that over time, the structure of the potting material might become less aerated and store too much moisture, depriving the roots of oxygen and causing the orchid to wilt as a sign of stress.
Planting orchids in containers without drainage holes in the bottom:Without proper drainage, pots with saucers or trays underneath pool water around the roots of the orchid, which encourages root rot and causes the orchid to wilt.
Plant Shock Following Repotting:Orchids are sensitive to environmental change, and if they are moved or repotted, the sudden disparity in conditions sometimes causes them to wilt as an indication of stress.
Repotting an orchid during the incorrect season:Repotting orchids is best done in the spring or right after they have blossomed. The leaves and petals of orchids may droop as an indication of stress after repotting during flowering or during the winter dormancy.

Continue reading to learn the causes of your orchid’s withering and how to remedy the issues to bring it back to life.

Orchid Leaves and Flowers Wilting

Low humidity, extremely hot or cold conditions, drought stress, or overwatering are the causes of withering orchid leaves. Wilting and yellowing orchid leaves suggest overwatering or excessive moisture retention in the potting material.

The ideal temperature range for orchid growth is between 55°F (12°C) to 75°F (23°C).

While orchids may endure temperatures outside of this range on occasion, a sustained hot or cold spell stresses the plants and causes the leaves and blooms to droop.

Temperature changes and low humidity are the two main causes of withering orchid blossoms. Because orchid blooms are extremely sensitive to unexpected temperature fluctuations, especially cold snaps, the blossoms may wilt and wither as a result.

If your orchid is on a window sill, the leaves may even be in contact with the window, which means the window frame may be considerably colder than the rest of the room, the orchid’s leaves and flowers may wilt as a result of the cold shock.

The most popular varieties of houseplant orchids (phalaenopsis moth orchids) are indigenous to tropical regions where they thrive in environments with humidity levels of at least 65%.

The humidity in homes is frequently significantly lower than 65%, and air currents from heat sources, draughty locations, and air conditioning units can all contribute to a climate that is too dry for orchids, causing their leaves and blooms to wilt.

Flowers and buds frequently wilt and drop off due to low humidity as well as cold temperatures.

Every time you water an orchid, it needs to have a really good soak otherwise the leaves will droop and shrivel. Normally, watering an orchid once a week is sufficient to meet its hydration needs and prevent root rot.

When orchids are watered too lightly, only the top inch of the potting soil becomes moist, the water does not get to the roots where it is needed, and the leaves and flowers begin to wilt.

Orchids Wilting Due to Overwatering

The most popular variety of orchid for indoor use, the moth orchid, is an epipthyes, which means that in its natural forest habitat, it grows on other trees or in soft, gravelly soil.

This implies that rather than having their roots sat in permanently soggy, compacted soil, orchid roots prefer environments where air can flow around them and water drains away relatively rapidly.

Due to the fact that they mimic the specialised, well-draining conditions to which the roots of orchids have become acclimated, pine bark-based potting mediums are the finest for growing orchids.

Orchids are extremely sensitive to overwatering and having their roots in soil that retains too much moisture and restricts the flow of oxygen around the roots, which causes the roots to rot and die and makes them unable to transport nutrients and water to the leaves, causing the leaves to wilt and turn yellow.

You are probably overwatering orchids if you give them water more than twice a week.

If orchids are grown in pots without drainage holes or if saucers or trays beneath the pot are collecting water, the potting media will remain constantly damp, which may lead to root rot, the plants may also wilt and exhibit other signs of overwatering.

(To learn how to save orchids with root rot, read my post titled Why is my orchid dying.)

Orchids Wilting Due to Being in the Same Potting Medium for Too Long

If orchid leaves are kept in the same potting medium for too long, they may begin to wilt. To provide proper drainage and to let air to circulate around the roots, orchids need a loose, open structure in their potting medium. Potting mixtures eventually breakdown, retain too much moisture, and block oxygen.

This can become a problem even if the orchid is planted in the correct wood bark-based potting mix.

Even when kept indoors, organic matter decomposes over time (much like a compost pile). Because of this, any existing potting material for orchids, including pine bark and moss, degrades to the point that it no longer has the same open, well-draining structure that orchids need.

The potting medium can retain a lot more water after it has broken down and suffocate the roots, which require more air and even light than most plants do.

The leaves and blooms of an orchid might wilt if the roots are starved of oxygen because the potting medium has dissolved or they are surrounded by materials that retain too much water.

In order to maintain the health of the orchid roots and stop the leaves from drooping, it is best practise to repot your orchid every two years in fresh potting soil based on pine bark.

How to Revive a Orchids with Wilting Leaves and Flowers

How to Revive a Orchids with Wilting Leaves and Flowers

Wilting leaves and flowers are a symptom of stress since the orchid doesn’t like the environment, thus rescuing a wilting orchid usually involves identifying the environmental stressors and addressing any issues to create the ideal habitat for your orchid in your house.

  • Place orchids in a space where the temperature stays between 55°F (12°C) and 75°F (23°C) and make sure it doesn’t change too much. Keep orchids away from cold windows, especially at night when they can be significantly cooler than the rest of the room.
  • Keep the orchid away from direct sunlight and out of a dim area of the room because they like strong indirect light or filtered light.
  • Use a mist sprayer to mist your orchids at least once every few days. Spray orchid leaves and blooms every other day in very arid climates to assist maintain the ideal humidity level and stop the orchid from losing too much moisture from the leaves and roots (which can result in wilting wrinkled leaves and flowers dropping off).
  • Keep draughts, heat sources, and air conditioning away from orchids. Orchid leaves and blossoms become dry due to air currents. Locate your orchid in a less draughty area if it is too close to a radiator or in the way of air conditioning.
  • Ordinarily, orchids prefer to have their soil moistened every seven days in the spring and summer and every ten to fourteen days in the fall and winter. When orchids are watered too frequently, oxygen is removed from the potting soil, which affects the roots’ ability to absorb moisture and nutrients and causes the leaves to wilt. Reduce watering and read my post on how to save an orchid with yellow leaves if the leaves are drooping and becoming yellow.
  • Replant the orchid in a potting soil made of pine bark. The most popular variety of orchid houseplant, moth orchids, need a specially designed potting media since potting soil and occasionally even moss hold on to too much moisture, causing them to wilt and die. Pine bark’s large particle size replicates the type of growing media used by orchids in their natural habitat and enables the roots to access the oxygen and moisture they need.
  • Make sure your orchid is placed in a container with drainage holes on the bottom to let excess water drain away from the roots. You should also routinely empty any saucers or trays that may be filled with water so the potting medium can dry out in between watering sessions.
  • Decomposed organic matter has a structure that might smother orchid roots and retain too much moisture, thus it should be replaced in the potting medium every two years. Change the potting soil with a medium produced specifically for orchids that is based on pine bark since it has the ideal structure to promote airflow around the roots and doesn’t hold onto moisture. This maintains the roots of the orchids strong, allowing them to provide the leaves with water and nutrients and keep them from wilting.
  • Always give orchids a thorough soak as opposed to a little misting. A drought-stressed orchid can be revived by submerging it in water for five minutes to ensure that the potting medium is evenly saturated and that the roots are able to suck up the water they need. To assist the orchid recover, water the leaves frequently and put it in a cool area away from direct sunshine.

It can take a while for orchid blossoms to recover once they have wilted or fallen off.

Once the environment has been changed to be more conducive for the orchid, orchid leaves typically recover more quickly.

To learn more about watering orchids at different seasons of the year, read my post on how to water orchids. If your orchid appears to be dying, read my article on how to resuscitate a dying orchid.

Orchid Wilting After Repotting

Reasons:Wilting Orchids Following Repotting:
Repotting Orchids in the Wrong Potting MediumBecause it has an aerated structure and is simple to drain, most orchids should be planted in potting soil with a pine basis. The open soil structure that orchids need is not present in moss and soil-based potting mediums, which hold too much moisture.
Pots without base drainage holes:Without enough drainage, water will collect around the roots of your orchid and rob them of oxygen, leading to root rot and withering leaves.
Surgical Shock:When moved, an abrupt disparity in the growing environment (such as light, air flow, or temperature) causes orchid leaves and flowers to wilt as an indication of stress.
Shaken Roots System:Repotted plants have their established root systems disturbed, which can cause serious harm and temporarily prevent the roots from absorbing moisture, wilting the leaves and flowers.
Repotted Orchid at the Inappropriate Season:Repottering orchids should take place in the spring or after they have blossomed. Repotting them during the winter dormancy or while they are in bloom can make the leaves and blooms wilt.

Planting the orchid in the incorrect potting medium, transplant shock, or overwatering are the causes of orchids drooping after repotting. Because they are sensitive to environmental changes and take some time to get used to a new environment, orchids frequently momentarily wilt as a symptom of stress.

The most frequent cause of orchid wilting after repotting is incorrect potting material selection, which is overly compacted, absorbs too much moisture, and prevents airflow around the roots.

Because they are epiphytes, orchids grow on other trees in the forest canopy.

As a result, they have evolved to thrive in soil that quickly drains and allows air to flow around the roots.

Regular potting soil does not have an areaeted structure that allows oxygen to reach the roots as quickly and absorbs too much moisture, which might inhibit efficient root respiration (and causes wilting orchid leaves).

Moss is another material that is frequently used as a potting media for orchids, but when it decomposes, it might retain too much moisture for the roots of the orchids, which causes the leaves to wilt and turn yellow.

Planting orchids in pine bark is the best way to mimic the conditions they would experience in the wild because the size of each piece of pine bark is large enough to create enough space throughout the potting medium, allowing air to freely circulate around the roots and water to drain effectively to prevent root rot. The exact arrangement of a forest canopy, however, is too difficult and impractical to replicate indoors.

Be sure your new pot has drainage holes in the base and that any saucers or trays underneath the pot are routinely emptied of extra water when you repot your orchid.

Orchids Leaves and Flower Wilting Due to Transplant Shock After Repotting

Orchids frequently wilt because individuals transfer them to different locations when they repot them, which is a common cause.

Because they acquire accustomed to their current environment, orchids frequently react by momentarily withering if their growing conditions suddenly shift.

Sunlight, a regular watering schedule that should be adjusted based on the season, and protection from draughts and major temperature changes are all preferences of orchids.

Your orchid may temporarily be unable to absorb water as effectively as it adjusts to the conditions in its new pot and potting medium if you have recently repotted it and moved it. This is due to the orchid having to deal with new environmental conditions and interference with the root system.

The orchid wilts due to dehydration if the roots are unable to absorb moisture as effectively and you have transferred the orchid to a room with a higher average temperature or an area with more sun.

How to Revive Orchids Wilting After Repotting

How to Revive Orchids Wilting After Repotting

  • Make careful to use a pine bark-based potting medium rather than moss or soil when planting your orchid. Always use pine bark based potting soil to provide the best aerated soil structure for your orchids’ roots. Moth orchids need an aerated potting medium to let oxygen to circulate around the roots and to maintain proper drainage to prevent root rot.
  • Plant orchids in clear plastic or other containers with drainage holes in the bottom. Because orchid roots can photosynthesise, which is uncommon for plants, a clear plastic pot can let light to the roots and help the orchid recover when the leaves are drooping.
  • To prevent extra water from collecting beneath the orchid pot and to guarantee proper drainage, constantly empty saucers and trays.
  • Make sure the orchid is in a location with bright, indirect light, between 55°F (12°C) and 75°F (23°C) degrees, and in a room without any strong air currents. You should also mist the leaves and flowers every two days to increase humidity and prevent water loss from the leaves, and soak the potting soil thoroughly once a week to keep it consistently moist. If an orchid is given these ideal conditions, it should eventually recover.
  • Your orchid may experience a considerable damage to its roots and may briefly wilt. Place your orchid in a bowl of water for five minutes after repotting to give the potting medium a thorough soak. Then, spritz the leaves as frequently as once daily to prevent further water loss from the foliage. After repotting, roots frequently find it difficult to absorb moisture, therefore it’s crucial to give the orchid a deep soak so that the roots can maintain their hydration levels and keep the leaves from wilting.
  • The mist spray aids in the creation of a humid micro-climate that replicates the humid circumstances of the orchid’s natural habitat in a tropical forest and keeps the orchid from losing too much moisture from the leaves, which would otherwise cause them to shrivel and look wilted.

Your orchid should be able to recover after repotting if you provide the right atmosphere for it and generally replicate the habitat of the species.

(Read my post on selecting the best orchid pots.)

Key Takeaways:

  • A withering orchid is a sign of stress, which can be brought on by low humidity, extreme high or low temperatures, too much or too little water, or by the potting media holding onto too much moisture around the roots. Due to root rot, orchid leaves wilt and turn yellow.
  • A fading orchid can be revived by simulating the conditions of its natural habitat, which includes spraying the leaves and flowers frequently to enhance humidity, checking the temperature, planting the orchid in a pine-based potting mix, and watering it thoroughly once a week.
  • The abrupt shift in temperature and humidity that causes orchid blooms to wilt can also produce root rot from overwatering or a potting medium that retains too much moisture. To keep their blossoms from wilting, orchids need a temperature range of between 55°F and 75°F as well as sufficient humidity.
  • When orchids are replanted, transplant shock from a change in environment or drought stress is the cause of wilting. A abrupt shift in humidity, temperature, or airflow causes orchids to wilt. To be able to draw up moisture to prevent withering leaves, orchid roots require time to get used to fresh potting soil.


Should I remove wilted orchid flowers?

Reduce the fading blooms while the orchid is still in bloom. Removing the finished orchid blossoms can keep your plant looking tidy and will also give it more life. Cut the branch cleanly and evenly all the way to the main branch. Continue doing this while the plant is in bloom.

Where do you cut an orchid after the flowers fall off?

Look for a node under the lowest flower bloom for strong, green spikes. Trim the orchid spike 1 inch above that node or hump. Cut all the way down to the plant’s root system if the spikes are sickly or brown. 2 days ago

When should I remove orchid flowers?

It’s time to pull the flower if the flower spike is drooping, discoloured, and has brownish borders. Numerous orchids have multiple blooms on a spike-like stem.

Should I remove drooping orchid flowers?

It’s time to pull the flower if the flower spike is drooping, discoloured, and has brownish borders. Numerous orchids have multiple blooms on a spike-like stem.

When should I cut the flowers off my orchid?