Orchid Leaves Wrinkled And Limp: Causes and Fix (Pro Guide)

Orchids are quite capricious plants, care for them should be carried out according to the recommendations that experts have developed. With improper care, the plant will start to hurt.

The fact that something is wrong with the plant will become clear from its appearance, one of these signs will be the orchid leaves wrinkled and limp and loss of turgor due to dehydration and other problems.

orchid leaves wrinkled and limp

What is loss of turgor in orchid?

Turgor is the natural state of a living cell, in which its shell is tense, and stretched. This is provided by internal hydrostatic pressure. For plants, turgor is an indicator of the fullness of cells with liquid.

With normal turgor, the orchid has straight, dense, elastic, smooth, fleshy leaves.

For a phalaenopsis orchid, an indicator of good turgor is also the brightness of the leaf color and the presence of a wax coating on the leaf plate, which makes the leaf slightly shiny. The loss of turgor means that there is not enough fluid in the cells, this manifests itself in sluggish, shriveled leaves and shoot tips. Here is fix for Why Do Orchid Leaves Curling?

Causes of orchid leaves wrinkled and limp

causes of orchid leaves wrinkled and limp

 Why do leaves lose turgor and become orchid leaves wrinkled and limp? This may be due to the following reasons:

  • Dehydration of the plant due to a long lack of watering. This is the most common reason. The plant has nowhere to take water and it dries;
  • Root rot. This happens with excessive watering, the soil does not have time to dry out, but it is watered again. Roots are constantly wet and root rot begins. Due to rotting, the root cells are unable to conduct water. The owner of the orchid sees that the plant has become lethargic, believes that it has dried up, and continues to water it, not realizing that he is making it worse;
  • Insufficient humidity and high air temperature. Orchids are tropical plants and it is important for them to get moisture from the air. If the air in the room with the orchid is very dry and at the same time the temperature is high, then the plant will begin to evaporate water very quickly. If this fact is not taken into account when choosing an irrigation scheme, then the plant can be dried out;
  • Excessive fertilization. If you make a large portion of fertilizers, then salts and other substances will not have time to be absorbed by the orchid and accumulate on the walls of the pot and in the ground, this can cause burns and injuries, which will lead to leaf lethargy;
  • Small pot. If the root system has grown too much, then the roots become crowded, they can break and die, which will also make it difficult to conduct water.

Attention! The main sign of orchid leaves wrinkled and limp. They will sag, and shrink, the previously smooth surface will be covered with wrinkles, and the color will become less saturated.

Another symptom may be the fall of the buds and the drying of the peduncle.

It is important to take into account the age of the orchid, what phase of development it is in (the death of the peduncle may be a natural process), the presence or absence of stress in her life (a recent purchase or moving with a flower to a new place) in order to determine the real cause of wilting.

It should be remembered that the wilting of the lower leaves is a natural aging process. The outdated leaves, before they fall off, must give all the useful substances to the plant.

Therefore, they become lethargic. If there are no signs of illness, then you should not pay attention to this.

Check out the solution for Orchid Leaves Splitting Down The Middle.

how to Fix orchid leaves wrinkled and limp problem?

To restore orchid leaves wrinkled and limp issues, it is important to understand the reason for its loss.

To do this, you need to remember when the last time watering was carried out, whether fertilizers were applied, take into account the humidity of the air in the room, the place where the plant stands, and inspect it for rotting of the root system and its condition as a whole.

Depending on the identified cause, select the recovery option:

orchid leaves wrinkled and limp due to Insufficient watering

orchid leaves wrinkled and limp due to insufficient watering

How to return turgor or how to treat orchid leaves wrinkled and limp problem? It is necessary to water the flower, just as it is usually done. You can dip the pot in a container with warm settled water, so that the water does not touch the axils of the leaf, and leave the flower to soak for 40-60 minutes.

ATTENTION! When watering, the orchid should be in a well-lit place, so photosynthesis will help saturate and restore the flower.

If the orchid has dried up very much, and in addition to withered leaves, there are also dried wrinkled roots, then it is necessary to place the pot in a greenhouse. The flowers, if they were, most likely have already fallen off from the drought, so you need to cut the peduncle.

In any flower shop, you need to buy mineral fertilizer for orchids, dilute according to the instructions, place the pot in the solution for 20 minutes, then let it drain and dry.

After a couple of hours, you can place the plant in a constructed greenhouse. Due to the humidity from the fumes in the greenhouse, the plant will be able to recover. The main thing is not to forget to ventilate the greenhouse once a day and carefully monitored it so that rotting does not begin.

As soon as the plant recovers, it can be removed from the greenhouse and continue to adhere to the correct watering pattern.

Root rot

The plant needs to be revived. To do this, carefully pull it out of the pot, and rinse the roots from the rest of the bark.

Prepare in advance disinfected scissors or a knife, a fungicide (you can replace it with crushed activated carbon), and sterile gloves. After washing, put on gloves, cut off all rotten roots just above the place of decay, and treat the sections with fungicide or coal.

Leave the flower in a dark place to dry and heal the wounds for 3-6 hours. After that, the orchid needs to be planted in new soil. A day after planting, it is necessary to water the plant with a root stimulator.

The leaves can be wiped with warm settled water. The recovery process when cutting the roots is quite long. It will depend on the number of remaining roots and the general condition of the flower.

The root stimulator should be watered once a month for six months. In between, carry out regular watering. The leaves must be wiped with a cotton swab dipped in water once a week.

This is necessary, since the roots immediately after resuscitation cannot fully nourish the plants, and the leaves will take over this function.

Excess applied fertilizer

It is necessary to pull the plant out of the pot and rinse the roots with warm water from the rest of the soil. After the flower needs to be transplanted into a new substrate.


How to fix orchid leaves wrinkled and limp? The flower suffers from overheating, so it needs to be put in the shade for 3-4 hours, then moved to suitable microclimatic conditions, and put away from heating systems and direct sunlight.

After the plant must be sprayed or wiped the leaves.

IMPORTANT! Do not allow water to enter the axils of the leaves, this can cause rotting. If water gets into the sinuses, then it must be removed with a cotton swab or napkin.

small pot

When the root system grows very strong and the roots begin to bulge out of the pot, the orchid must be transplanted. This should be done after flowering when the orchid is in a dormant period.

The pot is chosen so that all the roots fit freely in it, but you should not take a pot in which there will be free space.

removal bacterial disease

The bacterial disease often causes serious problems with the plant. Bacteria can be introduced through inventory or from other nearby plants.

In addition to wilted leaves, the plant may have yellow, and black spots and the leaves may stick together. On closer examination, you can notice the presence of spiders, ticks, or beetles.

First of all, it is worth isolating the infected plant from healthy ones, and then taking treatment measures, depending on the cause of the disease. In any case, transplantation, washing with disinfectants and the use of special means for removing insects will be required.

Bacterial leaf spot.

Potting substrate

When buying an exotic plant in a store, they often do not pay attention to the quality of the soil. Improper dense soil will further retain moisture, deprive the roots of oxygen flow, and provoke decay.

Therefore, it is necessary to know which substrate is most suitable for an orchid. Experienced flower growers choose pine bark, charcoal, and moss as an orchid substrate. Coal is poured into the bottom of the pot, then bark and moss are placed on the top layer.

This composition is not random. Coal is needed to regulate the water balance. The bark is the natural habitat of orchids, the roots adhere to the bark over time, it retains moisture and, at the same time, provides airflow to the roots. Moss absorbs moisture during watering, and then evaporates it, saturating the plant with water vapor.

Many people ask question How To Care For Orchids When Flowers Die?

How to prevent orchid leaves wrinkled and limp Problem?

  • Timely watering. Watering is carried out 1 time in two weeks. In the summer, orchids must be sprayed every day or placed next to it a container of water, this will increase the humidity of the air;
  • Properly selected fertilizers and the frequency of their application.
  • The optimum temperature regime is 18-25 °С, and the difference between day and night temperatures is 3-7 °С.
  • Transplant every 3-4 years.


If orchid leaves wrinkled and limp it is not a big issue, it is a signal that the plant is being poorly cared for. Carrying out measures to restore turgor will return the orchid to a healthy appearance. Having restored the turgor, it is necessary to reconsider the process of maintaining the flower.

A few practical tips for beginner gardeners:

  • Once every 2-3 weeks, the leaves should be dusted so that the stomata of the leaf plate can breathe.
  • The pot should be chosen plastic transparent, to track the condition of the roots, there should be many holes in the pot, for better ventilation.
  • Before transplanting, only the acquired soil bark should be calcined in the oven for 10 minutes, this will dry it and destroy pests.

Due to attention and patience, even an inexperienced grower will give a beautiful healthy orchid.

I am an avid plant enthusiast and horticulture aficionado with a deep passion for houseplants. With years of nurturing green companions, my expertise in caring for indoor foliage is well-rooted. Through my journey, I've cultivated insights into optimal plant care, propagation techniques, and creating vibrant indoor ecosystems. Join me as we explore the verdant world of houseplants together. Let's turn your living space into a thriving oasis of botanical beauty. Connect with me on admin@houseplantspro.com and Facebook and explore more at Houseplantspro. 🌿🪴