How to Revive an Orchid with Dead Roots

Are you having trouble keeping your orchid alive for more than a couple of years? You're not the only one. Many people see their orchids deteriorate because of underwatering. But there is a simple way to bring an orchid back to life even if its roots are dead.

Get ready to learn how to save your dry orchid. Soon, you can enjoy its beautiful blooms for many more years.

Identifying the Signs of a Dehydrated Orchid

Orchid lovers need to keep a close eye on their plants. Dehydration is a common problem for them. Signs include leaves that feel leathery and won’t bend easily. These leaves might also look smaller and not full.

Look at the roots for another clue. When orchids lack water, their roots become dry and look leathery. They lose their healthy green. If the problem is really bad, you might see fewer leaves and flowers. Sometimes, there are no flowers at all.

  • Leathery, floppy, and not firm leaves that resist bending backwards
  • Withered, leathery roots
  • Small leaves
  • Small bloom stems with just a few flowers or no bloom stems at all

For slightly dehydrated orchids, more water and a bit of fertilizer might help. But, for worse cases, use the soaking method. This article will tell you how. It helps bring the orchid back to good health.

The Soaking Method: A Simple Solution to Revive Your Orchid

Orchids are known to last many years, yet many struggle to keep them from dying after just a few. The soaking method is a straightforward way to breathe new life into dehydrated orchids. It can bring back their vibrant charm.

To rehydrate your orchid, follow a six-step process. First, take it out of its pot and remove old potting material. Then, rinse its roots to spot which ones are healthy and which are not. Cut off any dead parts and remove dry bloom stems if needed.

  1. Unpack the orchid and gently remove all potting material from the roots.
  2. Rinse the roots to release any stuck-on potting medium and reveal healthy (bright green) and dead (brown and leathery) roots.
  3. Prune away any dead or decaying roots.
  4. Remove the bloom stem if it is dry and dead or if the orchid is struggling to survive.
  5. Soak the orchid in a tea/water bath, ensuring the crown is out of the water.
  6. Alternate between soaking the roots and allowing them to dry out completely to avoid root rot.
See also
How to Plant New Grass Seed Over Old Lawn

It may take a month to see the orchid's leaves improve after soaking, and even longer for new leaves to grow. Yet, orchids can adapt well, growing new roots that are better at soaking up water.

Alternating between soaking and drying will prevent root rot. Use the Miracle-Gro Orchid Potting Mix Coarse Blend to keep your orchid healthy. This mix drains well and provides your plant with the nutrition it needs.

You'll know the soaking method is working when you see leaves perk up and new roots and leaves growing. Follow these steps to bring your orchid back to life and enjoy it for many years.

Preparing Your Orchid for Revival

Once an orchid is back to health, consider repotting in a fresh mix. The best mix includes 2 parts orchid bark and 1 part orchid peat moss. This mixture helps orchids drain well and gives them the airy space they love.

Choose the right size pot for your orchid. It should fit the root system well: not too cramped or too big. Also, make sure the pot has enough holes at the bottom. This is crucial to avoid making the roots sit in water, which can harm them.

Orchids need careful watering, which depends on the type. To keep your orchid healthy, use a proper orchid potting mix. Let the soil dry a bit between waterings. This helps avoid common issues like overwatering.

To revive your orchid, focus on the best soil, pot size, and watering plan. By setting up the right conditions, you pave the way for your orchid's success.

See also
Can You Grow an Orchid from a Leaf

How to Revive an Orchid with Dead Roots

Reviving an orchid with dead roots is possible with the right method. The main steps are cleaning the roots, cutting any dead parts, and then moving it to a new pot. Use a fresh, well-draining mix for the best results.

Start by rinsing the orchid's roots under running water. Do this gently to see all the roots clearly. Then, look closely to find and remove any dead or damaged areas.

  1. Use sharp, clean scissors to cut off brown or soft roots. Cut them off well, as they're not helpful to the plant.
  2. Rinse the roots again to make sure they are clean. This step is important for the orchid's health.
  3. Mix orchid bark and peat moss for a new potting mix. This mix helps the roots grow well.
  4. Plant the orchid carefully in the new pot. Make sure the roots can get enough air. Don't press the mix too hard around the roots.

Now, it's time to take care of the orchid after planting. Soak the roots in water every few days. Let the water drain well after each soak. With good care, your orchid will show new, healthy roots soon.

Monitoring and Adjusting Your Orchid's Care

Reviving an orchid with dead roots is just the start. To keep it healthy, regular monitoring and some care adjustments are essential. Watch out for signs like too much or too little water, and ensure the orchid gets the right light and temperature.

Overwatering is a common problem for orchid owners. It can cause root rot and harm the plant. Look for mushy roots, discolored leaves, and wilting. If you see these, change your orchid watering schedule.

See also
How to Get Rid of Rust on Plants

If your orchid isn't getting enough water, it will show. Dry, shriveled roots and wrinkled leaves are signs. Boost watering to meet your orchid's water needs.

Orchids need plenty of light but not direct sunlight. Too much direct light can harm them. Look for leaf discoloration or pitting. If you see these signs, find a place with more suitable light for your plant.

Orchids are picky about temperature range, preferring 50-80°F. They can show unhappy signs if it's too hot or cold for them. Avoid putting them in extreme temperatures.

Keeping an eye on your orchid and adjusting its care can make a big difference. By changing the watering, light, and temperature to suit the plant, you can help it grow strong and beautiful.


You've learned how to bring back an orchid with dead roots by following simple steps. We covered recognizing signs of dehydration and using the soaking method. You also know to keep caring for your orchid. With these expert tips, you give your orchid a good chance to grow and bloom again. It's all about patience and doing things the right way.

Our talk about orchid roots gave us some key lessons. We looked at parts like the velamen and how it helps the plant get water. There was an experiment with catasetum plants showing the need for good air flow. This stops the roots from getting hurt and keeps the plant healthy. We also saw how important the velamen is because it acts like a sponge for the orchid.

Now, you know more about where living cells are in orchid roots. This lets us deal better with issues like algae and bacteria. And we talked about what happens when the velamen dies and its effects on the root’s water transport. This points to some areas that need more study in the future.

Was This Helpful?
Spring Portal Blog