How To Revive Orchid Phalaenopsis? Step By Step Guide

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There are usually no problems with the rejuvenation of sympodial orchids (Cattleya, Miltonia, Dendrobium, etc.). They do it on their own when new pseudobulbs are formed and old ones die off. It is enough only to periodically replant the plant, cutting out dry parts. The situation is different with monopodial orchids. This article, using the example of Phalaenopsis, will tell you how to rejuvenate an old orchid with a monopodial type of growth.

how to revive orchid phalaenopsis

is it possible to revive orchid phalaenopsis

The first step is to correctly determine when it is time to start rejuvenating the plant. Here you need to focus not on the age of the phalaenopsis all the more, it is not always possible to accurately establish it. In this case, you need to look at the state of the orchid.

Phalaenopsis in need of rejuvenation looks like this:

  • forms aerial roots not on the root collar, but high on the trunk;
  • “Runs away” from the pot, rising from it and falling on its side.

Often, among the old roots of such a bush, many empty or completely dry roots are found. The orchid stays in the resting phase for a long time, blooms reluctantly and sparsely. Babies can begin to form on the trunk and root collar.

Important! Phalaenopsis rejuvenation procedure is associated with cutting and re-rooting of the plant. It does not always pass painlessly and successfully. Therefore, it must be carried out, making sure that the orchid really needs rejuvenation.

preparing tools for revive orchid phalaenopsis

A good cutting tool is required for the procedure. Many orchid growers get by with a sharp garden knife, but sometimes it is more convenient to use a pruner. The lower part of the trunk of an old phalaenopsis is often harder than it seems and does not lend itself well to a knife.

In addition to a knife or secateurs, you must prepare:

  • additional pot with holes in the bottom and walls;
  • alcohol for disinfecting instruments;
  • ground cinnamon or brilliant green for processing slices;
  • a clean cloth.

An additional pot is needed because phalaenopsis rejuvenation occurs by dividing the trunk into two parts. Thus, one procedure allows you to “kill two birds with one stone” – to give a second life to an old orchid and propagate it.

Tip#1. Orchid rejuvenation is best done in spring when daylight hours and the intensity of insolation increase. This is the period when all biochemical processes are activated in plants, and re-rooting is most successful. In summer, it can already be too hot, and in autumn and winter, the orchid does not have enough light.

Check out guide on Growing Phalaenopsis Orchids under Lights.

Preparing soil for reviving orchid phalaenopsis

The next point to take care of is the preparation of the substrate. There are many ready-made orchid planting mixes available on the market. But from the point of view of their suitability for re-rooting phalaenopsis, not all of them are equally good:

Soil CompositionSuitability for planting phalaenopsis
Larch bark, high peat, charcoal, expanded clay
Tree bark, high moor peat, low peat, lime, fertilizer
Pine bark (55%), sphagnum moss (30%), charcoal.+
Horse peat, dolomite flour, fertilizer
Pine bark, sphagnum moss, coconut substrate+
A mixture of high-moor and lowland peat, pine bark, limestone materials, fertilizer

From the table above, it can be seen that choosing a ready-made soil for orchids with all the wealth of choice is not an easy task. Therefore, in most cases, it makes sense to independently prepare the substrate for re-rooting. You can compose it in any of the following options:

  • 3 parts pine bark, 1 part fern roots, 1 part perlite;
  • 5 parts of pine bark, 1 part of sphagnum moss;
  • 3 parts pine bark, 1 part coconut fiber, 1 part expanded clay;
  • 4 parts pine bark, 1 part charcoal, 1 part sphagnum moss.

You should not get carried away with moisture-consuming materials such as sphagnum. It is also strongly discouraged to add peat to the substrate.

Step by step guide to revive orchid phalaenopsis

Having prepared everything necessary for the procedure, you can proceed directly to the division of the orchid. This is done as follows:

  • a cotton or gauze swab is moistened with alcohol, the instrument is wiped;
  • the plant is removed from the pot;
  • the roots are freed from the old substrate, examined;
  • all empty and dry roots are cut off;
  • the place on the trunk is determined where the cut will be made;
  • the plant is quickly cut in half in one motion.

Determining where to cut is easy. This is done at the point above which aerial roots have begun to develop from the leaf axils. Thus, the old phalaenopsis is divided into two parts: the young (with leaves and new aerial roots) and the old (on the old root system). Sometimes the old part of the leaves may not remain – only the roots and part of the trunk.

After that, the slices are processed. You can cover them with ordinary pharmacy greenery, but practice shows that it is better to powder the “stumps” with ground cinnamon. Plants treated with cinnamon grow more easily.

You should not use any fungicides to treat the sections if the orchid was healthy. This can only aggravate the mechanical trauma of pesticide stress. Moreover, you cannot smear or spray the separated phalaenopsis with stimulants – cytokinin paste, Kornevin, etc. At first, both parts of the orchid must devote energy to recovery and adaptation. It is still unprofitable for them to give energy to growth.

Facing problem of Why do Miltonia Orchid leaves turning yellow?

Divided phalaenopsis does not need to be potted out immediately. First, you need to dry it for a day, putting it on a dry, clean napkin. During this time, the cut will be slightly delayed, and the risk of infection will be lower.

step by step guide to revive orchid phalaenopsis
Sometimes old phalaenopsis divide without extraction from the substrate. But this method does not allow freeing the lower part of dry or rotten biomass, and the percentage of old “hemp” dying off increases.

Planting the prune pieces in new substrate

A day after the separation, a substrate is prepared for re-rooting. The selected components are mixed in a separate bowl, slightly moistened with clean water. Parts of phalaenopsis are placed in pots, the roots are sprinkled with a substrate.

It is very important at this stage not to damage the roots. Therefore, the substrate is not pressed or rammed during pouring. To distribute well around the roots, you just need to tap the pot lightly.

Planting is carried out in such a way that the root collar of the plants is in a position slightly raised above the ground surface. In the future, when the phalaenopsis take root and grow, it will be possible to fill up the substrate if it seems necessary.

Care of overrooted parts of an orchid

For the first 7-10 days, the planted parts of the phalaenopsis are not touched. The pots are placed under the phytolamp in a warm, but well-ventilated place. The aftercare strategy includes only the most essential treatments:

ProcedureFeatures of execution
SprayingIt must be done, especially at low air humidity. It is carried out only with warm water, into which occasionally you can add 2 drops of “Epina-Extra” per 0.5 liter or 1 ampoule of pharmacy glucose per 1 liter.
WateringUntil fully rooted – only from the watering can. While the root system is not working at full capacity and has poorly mastered the volume of the pot, the waterlogged substrate will provoke its rotting. Therefore, diving is prohibited. The moisture content of the soil is maintained at a moderate level. The substrate should dry completely between waterings.
AiringCold drafts must be completely eliminated. However, air circulation must be good – this is necessary to prevent fungal infections and decay of plants that have survived stress.

How successful is the process of phalaenopsis rejuvenation will become apparent in about a month. If all goes well, the upper-division will have a rapid root growth by this time. At the bottom, you can also notice the appearance of young roots, as well as new growth from the root collar.

As soon as the divided parts of the phalaenopsis begin to show signs of active growth, you can begin neat feeding. Fertilizers are best given in highly diluted form, at half of the manufacturer’s recommended doses.

The growth of a new trunk from the old root collar and the intensive growth of roots in a young delen are signs of a successful revive of the phalaenopsis. At this stage, plants are useful for feeding with a full complex fertilizer with nitrogen.

Check out Orchid Growing New Leaves But Not Flowers.

Can a garden pitch be used to process orchid trunk cuts?

It is forbidden. The florist’s task is to quickly dry the orchid slices. And paraffin is added to the garden pitch, under which they become damp and begin to rot. That is, the opposite result is obtained. Garden var is only suitable for tree crops.

Can you save an cut stems of orchid with yellow leaves?

Not necessary. You need to look at the roots. If they are okay and growing well, there is no reason to panic. In this case, you just need to feed the plants with nitrogen-containing fertilizer. Of course, the yellowed leaves will die off over time, but this will not affect the development as a whole. If the roots do not grow, they darken, the baby does not grow on the lower maternal part, and many leaves turn yellow and lose turgor at the upper part, which means that the orchids are infected. It is necessary to immediately remove them from the substrate, determine the cause and place the plants in intensive care.