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Unread 04-13-2010, 03:19 PM
Justine Justine is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 20
Default Extremely Dehydrated Orchid: What to do?

Before I really knew anything about orchids, I received one as a gift. I ended up being sort of neglectful to it and it is now severely underwatered. I'm wondering if there's anything in particular I can do to bring it back to life.

The stalks are brown and pretty dry, and the leaves are really limp, but still green. I soaked it in a pot of water the other day and noticed that the roots still look pretty good-- nice and green when wet.

Anything else I should know/do? And does anyone know how likely it is that it will come back after being neglected so badly??

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Unread 04-13-2010, 03:28 PM
Justine Justine is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 20

Also, if it makes any difference-- the orchid is a Phal.
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Unread 04-13-2010, 03:45 PM
Triffid's Avatar
Triffid Triffid is offline
Senior Member


Hello and welcome to the wonderful world of the OB,

It sounds like it's time to cut back those stalks.
What ever you use to cut them back (various methods have been mentioned before) make sure it's clean. Cut back to the near base of the Stalk.

See Member Articles section left menu bar, and you will find the care sheets.

The leaves are hopefully just limp through lack of moisture and so with any luck should hopefully recover.

Hopefully with time and the proper care it will survive. But I'm sure some one else will provide better reassurances.

By the way be warned, Orchids can become something of an addiction if you not careful, but where's the fun in careful
"Permanently Baffled & Constantly Distracted."
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Unread 04-13-2010, 03:47 PM
Orchid126 Orchid126 is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 393

You didn't specify what kind of orchid it is. That would be most helpful. In the meantime here are two "revive" formulas, mostly for plants that have been dehydrated in transit:

Revive Formula #1, courtesy of Daniel Barrett, Chester, Va:

Mix well to one gallon of water:
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1 finely crushed Centrum with minerals tablet
1/2 t. epsom salts
1 t. liquid detergent
Submerge plant, pot and all, four hours. Drain. Bare root take towel wetted by solution and wrung out, wrap plants in moist towel overnight in a warm (70-75) place. In A.M. unwrap and run under tepid water to remove residue sugar.

Revive Formula #2, Courtesy of Susan Taylor, Bella On Line's Orchid Editor, Growing Tip #6:

Soak plants for several hours in:
2 parts sugar
1 Part drinking alcohol (any kind)
7 parts water
1 pinch epsom salts
1 drop Superthrive
1 drop dish liquid

If you don't have a centrum vitamin with minerals, I would think a tablespoon of liquid seaweed would be a good substitute.

The above formulas are stop-gap measures, and not meant to be substitutes for good culture. Do some research on your orchid to find out what it needs, and then by all means, do it.

Last edited by Orchid126; 04-13-2010 at 03:51 PM..
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good--, green, nice, pretty, roots, orchid, dehydrated, extremely

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