How to revive and care for an orchid

Orchids are incredibly beautiful and ornate flowers that blossom in cycles. Often, they lie dormant for a season until the next cycle comes around. The orchid isn’t dead just because the flowers have fallen off; it’s simply in a dormant stage and will most likely flower again.

They have a reputation for being difficult to nurture, but it’s actually not that hard if you know what you’re doing. Orchids make for great gifts as they are beautiful and extravagant when in full bloom. Here are a few ways to revive an orchid and properly care for it so that it continues to bloom.

Taking care of your orchid

When the plant has finished blooming and the flowers have fallen off, clip the stem with a sharp, disinfected pair of pruning shears or a razor. Two-and-a-half centimetres of the stalk, or spike, should be left to allow it to regrow healthily. 

To encourage your orchid to rebloom, give it a nutrient boost by adding a fresh growing medium. Combine two parts orchid-specific bark with one part peat moss and be sure not to cover the leaves.

Overwatering is the most common cause of orchid problems. If your orchid has wet roots or rotting and discolored leaves, it may be getting too much water. If this is the case, simply reduce the amount and frequency with which you water it. It’s also important that your orchid does not sit in a pool of water, so make sure to dump out any excess water in the sink.

Some orchids, on the other hand, don’t get enough water and die as a result. If the roots appear dry and withered (rather than lush and plump), then your plant is dehydrated. To solve this problem, simply water your orchid more frequently.

Finding the right place for your orchid to thrive can be tricky. If its leaves are dark green, they need more sunlight. However, orchids that get too much sunlight can become sunburned, so you will have to find a happy medium for your plant. 

Repotting your orchid

Repotting may be the only method to save your orchid if none of the solutions above seem to work. After watering the orchid, gently pull it out of its pot. Use your hands to loosen the roots a little and dust off any growing medium that clings to the roots. The orchid should then be carefully placed in the new pot. 

If at all possible, choose an orchid-specific pot or one with multiple drainage holes to allow air to circulate in and water to drain out. To capture any surplus water, place a saucer underneath the pot.

To ensure that your orchid blooms in its new home, follow the steps above again to give it the nutrients and ideal conditions that it needs to grow and thrive. Caring for an orchid can be more complicated than regular house plants, but they are truly special when the flowers develop – creating a popular talking point for guests and visitors.


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Written by Taryn Hill

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