Orchid - Dead Or Alive?

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Cloverjo | 11:49 Sat 24th Oct 2020 | Home & Garden
9 Answers
I’ve got an orchid which I’ve managed to keep alive for several years, despite my being a serial plant killer.
It looks on its last legs now. Is this just a ‘dormant’ phase or should I chuck the poor thing out?


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Take it out of the pot and look at the roots. If they look healthy just put it in a corner and leave it. I never throw anything out and you would be surprised how the worse looking plants can spring back to life. My daughter calls my house 'the plant hospital' as its full of convalescing plants.
Question Author
Thanks, AuntPollyGrey. I hate throwing plants away too. I’ll keep it for a while and see what happens. I don’t think I have your talent for resurrecting them, though.

For most of the commonly sold houseplants orchids
If it's roots look green take it out of its container and compost and soak it in a solution of half the recommended strength orchid feed for about twenty minutes to plump up any roots that are still alive . Repot in a clear container in a loose orchid compost leaving as many of the roots exposed to the light as possible. From then on water weekly and spray with diluted feed daily. Keep in a well lit spot out of draughts and give it a month. If it's making more roots it will be fine.
Remember the compost is only to keep it stable in the pot most orchids are "air plants" that get their moisture from the humidity in their natural habitat.
I have a common or garden mother's day type of orchid which I've had for ages, it thrives in neglect! Cut away any brown bits then leave it, look out for potential new growth on the green stems, it almost always works.
I had one that someone bought me from a supermarket. It eventually 'died' and was all but 'dead' for about three years. It had one spindly sorry-looking green leaf on it so I just left it by a window, watering it only when I remembered which was very rarely. It flowered this year - just one beautiful flower that lasted for months. Never say never.
They are very tough and hard to kill I have one on my windowsill that has produced three flower stems this year after doing nothing for about two years. Can't even remember what colour it will be.
I have one that was put out to the greenhouse when it stopped flowering and was left there for age until I notice it had flowered - so it lives in the kitchen and constantly flowers.

I had three at work which only flowered once - but all went on to produce baby plants.

When work closed in March I took them home with me.

Have now repotted the babies and all have flowered bar one - but it is growing another baby!

Chuck it out and buy a new healthy one.
Probably just dormant. Leave in a cool room in semi shade and water lightly when dry. Fingers crossed for next spring.

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