How To Save An Overwatered Orchid Successfully

There are three steps on how to save an overwatered orchid. You don’t have to be harsh on yourself when you overwatered your plants because you can still revive them. However, it’s essential to learn the proper watering management practices altogether to prevent these drawbacks. 

Perhaps this is one reason why there’s an increasing demand for Just Add Ice orchids since they have the premise of using ice cubes for watering. However, with the techniques below, you don’t have to feel limited to the orchid plants you can grow. After all, gardeners improve from experience, and you can use these mistakes to care for your orchids better in the upcoming years. 

How To Save An Overwatered Orchid Successfully

How To Save An Overwatered Orchid For Beginners


Check roots

The first solution or step that you can do to recover overwatered orchids is checking the roots. You want to remove the dead and damaged roots since you cannot salvage them. Be gentle in cutting the fragile roots, and a length of ¼ inches should be right for removing dead roots. 

Afterward, apply a liquid rooting hormone on the remaining roots to help them. Gardeners usually do these practices before repotting the orchids. Just make sure that the roots are dry for an hour, and the tool your use for cutting the soft and mushy roots is sharp and sterile. 


Control watering

One can assume that overwatered orchids will need a break from watering. Ideally, halt watering for a day, and then you can water once before putting them in a new location. While you want to stop watering for a day, don’t assume that the orchids will never need water until transfer. 

Watering will encourage new root development and replenish the ones you removed. You can use a mister on the orchids to keep the plant healthy. This should also prevent the development of dried leaves. 


Use a terrarium

After checking the roots and controlling orchids’ watering, you want to transfer it to new potting material. Greenhouse growers can also use a terrarium to help further the plants recover. You can make your own using an empty aquarium with moss or pebbles and then place it in the greenhouse area with diffused light but not direct sunlight. 

The location under fluorescent lights would work well, but ensure that the light diffuses well. You also want to use a thermostat for maintaining the conditions at 70°F to encourage rooting. This is why saving overwatered orchids is more ideal in the greenhouse since you can monitor, control, and maintain light and temperature for root development

It’s also worth noting that some gardeners use bark mix as the new medium for the overwatered orchids. Ensure moisture but drain the excess water for the roots. Then, you can water the orchid if the top two inches of the medium get dry. 


Signs Of An Overwatered Orchids

How would you know if you overwatered your orchids? The best way to identify overwatering is by the signs your plants will show. Or course, the roots look mush and dark, but even without taking out the orchids, you will notice that the leaves are yellowing or darkening, and some might even rot on their undersides.

The overall orchid plant looks weak, among others, and its buds tend to fall before opening. Besides checking the plant, you can also validate your suspicion by check the potting material as it can signal overwatering. Typically, the medium will be soggy and has a bad smell. 


What To Consider When Watering Orchids?

To further help you with your watering dilemma, take note of the factors that influence orchids’ watering. For starters, every type of orchid will have specific watering requirements. Make sure not to overwhelm yourself by using too many varieties to monitor as it can be confusing and tricky to water them. 

The next factor to consider is the media of the orchids. Almost all guides would recommend a well-draining medium for orchids. But if your medium retains water for a more extended period, you don’t have to water the orchids frequently. 

As mentioned earlier, the greenhouse is excellent for ensuring healthy orchids. Not only is it ideal for the recovery of overwatered plants, but you can prevent overwatering by checking the conditions indoors. If the temperature is high, then orchids will need more watering compared to colder locations. 

You should also check the humidity and airflow in your growing area. For example, a low humidity level will increase water intake. On the other hand, airflow can dry the plants faster, which means you will need to water them more. 



One can conclude that if you grow orchids in a fluctuating environment, it will be hard to ensure their water requirements. Orchids are not the easiest plant to grow, so don’t beat yourself too much if you suspect that you’ve overwatered them. After checking the signs, you can learn how to save an overwatered orchid in three steps. 

Start by removing the mushy and dead roots and use a rooting hormone on the surviving ones. Stop watering for a day but maintain orchid health by misting them once before putting them in new material and environment. Lastly, create the ideal setting for root development using a terrarium and a greenhouse. 

This way, you can maintain the temperature, humidity, and light conditions optimal for root health. 


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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.


What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.


What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.


Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.


What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.


3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.


Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.


Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.


Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.



No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.


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