Orchid plant Wilted Leaves: Reason and Ways to Fix them

I was facing the issue of my orchid plant having wilted leaves and I didn’t know why. However, after delving deeper into the details, I discovered several reasons why my orchid might be struggling. To revive it and bring it back to life, I researched extensively to find solutions. Now, I’m here with all the answers, including causes and signs that indicate why orchid leaves wilt.

In this informative guide, I’ve explained all the reasons why your orchid leaves may wilt or die, along with methods to revive them and promote healthy blooming. So, let’s not waste any time and learn how to rescue your orchid plant.

Orchid plant wilted leaves:

The leaves of the plant tell about the plant’s health by providing clues whenever the plant gets affected by the orchid’s health. Wilted leaves are an early sign that you need to take action. The following are the main causes of wilted leaves.


  • To check the overwatering first inspect the roots where if you find the roots green or silvery green and plump it means they are healthy roots or when you find the roots are Soft, dark-colored roots don’t take up nutrients for feeding that will cause wilting.  
  • If you make the pot sit in the water the roots will feel heavier than normal which means the orchid is oversaturated. 
Orchid plant Wilted Leaves: Reason and Ways to Fix them

Ways to save orchid plants from overwatering:

  • For saving the plant you need to prune out the damaged roots. 
  • There are cases in which you need to treat the plant with a fungicide to prevent the plant from root rot. 
  • If you notice the potting medium is soggy just repot the plant in fresh dry material.
  • Finding the plant root is overwatered but still healthy, so make the potting mix dry out and reduce the watering frequency. 


  • To check the underwatering first inspect whether the roots are too dry or not where if you find them dark-colored, shriveled, brittle, and flat it indicates there is a lack of moisture. 
Orchid plant Wilted Leaves: Reason and Ways to Fix them

Ways to save orchid plants from underwatering:

  • To heal the roots you need to water them for 10 to 15 minutes to saturate the roots. 
  • Just prune damaged roots to get back the healthy tissue and soak it frequently. 
  • There are some orchids where you need to water two to three times weekly

Watering Improperly:

  • When you water the orchid it drenches the potting mixture which is enough to remain moist for several days.
  • To protect the roots from excess water, plant it in a pot that has good drainage which will help in draining away.

Ways to save orchid plants:

  • To protect the orchid plants, keep the pot under a faucet for one or two miniature that will help to drain excess water before the plant returns to its saucer.
  • Soak the pot in water for several minutes by the process of aerial roots but avoid wetting of crown, leaves, and stems.
  • Providing the plant with room-temperature water is considered best. I will suggest you to use distilled or rainwater. 

Watering Orchids:

  • Maintaining a watering schedule is considered a key to orchid health.
  • In case you are growing orchid plants in pots just make sure to give the plant with light, soilless medium that drains perfectly.
  • Orchid plant’s watering frequency depends on species but most plants grow better in rainforest environments having plenty of moisture and humidity.

Ways to save orchid plants:

  • Just make sure to find the right balance of soil because some potting mixes dry out fairly quickly.

Temperature Fluctuations:

  • The orchid plant use to thrives best in specific temperature ranges i.e. nighttime temperatures around 10 degrees F which is lower temperature than during the day.
  • If the plant suffers from extreme temperature and wide fluctuation, it results in wilted leaves.
  • Plenty of species thrive best in the same spot at home. 

Ways to save orchid plants:

  • There is a need to find an ideal location to eliminate the problem. 
  • If the plant is suffering from a watering issue, just check the plant is not kept near an air vent, heat source, or too close to any open window. 
  • To find orchid plants with wilted leaves during season changes, you need to select different locations during the summer and winter seasons.

Air Circulation:

  • There are leaves and aerial roots that absorb moisture and nutrients from the air for adequate circulation.

Ways to save orchid plants:

  • For improving the air circulation just keep the plant in open space. 
  • Keeping the plant under ceiling fans is ideal but floor fans work well as long as they don’t point directly onto the orchid.


  • The plant is kept in the air that is too saturated and will make wilted leaves.

Ways to save orchid plants:

  • Make sure to maintain a humidity level of 40 to 70 percent which is adequate for most orchids because they are native to habitats to humid.
  • To save the plant, release mist all around the orchid space but not directly onto it.
  • If you find the humidity is low, just set the pot on a layer of moistened gravel or install a humidifier.

Air Pollutants:

  • The appliances that emit Ethylene such as pilot lights, stoves, and heaters will cause plants to get wilted leaves.

Ways to save orchid plants:

  • You need to avoid keeping the orchids planted in a room such as the kitchen because here the appliances affect air quality.
  • Stop using room sprays and cleaning agents all around the orchid plant to avoid wilting leaves.

Too Much Light:

  • Providing orchid plants with direct or too much bright light will cause leaves to wilt, die and sunburn having dark, flaky spots on the leaf tips and margins. 

Ways to save orchid plants:

  • The light requirements of different orchids are different but they thrive best in direct light.
  • Just let the affected leaves mature and fall naturally rather than cutting out damaged parts. 
  • You need to move the plant to a location where it gets indirect light.

Inadequate Light:

  • Providing the plant with Inadequate light levels and length of exposure will make the photosynthesis and growing process slow.
  • The plant getting inadequate light will made them chlorotic and yellow. 

Ways to save orchid plants:

  • You can remove all yellow leaves but don’t remove leaves that are slightly faded because they can recover. 
  • To protect the orchid plant just move it to a new spot where it will get better light requirements or add an artificial light. 


  • Orchid plants do need a lot of energy to bloom and just potting mix will not provide much nutrition so fertilizing the plant is the main for maintaining the plant’s health.
  • The plant suffering from nutrient deficiency will result in fewer blooms, smaller plants, and the weakening of the leaves.

Ways to save orchid plants:

  • To protect the plant increase feeding frequency with fertilizer or with a balanced fertilizer diluted from 1/4 to 1/2 strength.
  • You should fertilize the plant weekly to monthly. That depends on the species and variety of plants.
  • Make sure to water the plant before fertilizing.

Insect Pests:

  • The insects that sap sucks does cause leaves to wilt. 
  • Finding any chlorotic spots is a sign that a plant is attacked by pests that will make them darken, wilt, and droop.

Ways to save orchid plants:

  • You need to regularly check the plant for any pests.
  • If the plant has cottony webbing and discoloration on the undersides of leaves and at the junction of leaves and stems.
  •  You need to isolate the plant and treat it quickly with horticultural oil or mild soap solution.

Orchid Flowers Wilting When Finished Blooming

  • The flowers wilting is because when the plant finishes blooming.
  • Wilted leaves are also caused when they may or may not be accompanied by a yellow stem.
  • The blooming of plants gets finished within a year and will return back next year such as from January to April.
  • The orchid flowers wilt because of sympodial orchids such as cattleya, cymbidium, or paphiopedilum.
  • In case it’s a sympodial orchid then it’s normal for the older growth to wilt and then dry because the plant continues to grow, get bigger, and produce new growth.
  • The orchid flowers that are wilting are common when the flowers are finished.

Root Issues:

  • Orchid plants need to maintain healthy roots to keep overall plant health.
  • In case the root gets damaged or diseased is because the plant is not getting water and nutrients which will result in wilted leaves.
  • To check the root, you need to remove the orchid from its pot to inspect the roots. 
  • Orchid leaves wilting is a sign when underlying issues such as overwatering, underwatering, improper lighting, temperature and humidity fluctuations, nutrient deficiency, or pest infestation.

Ways to save orchid plants:

  •  You need to repot the orchid plant in a fresh, well-draining orchid mix and trim all the soft, mushy leaves or discolored roots.
  • When you understand all the common causes, just take appropriate action that will help orchids regain their vigor and beauty.
  • You know the leaves of the orchid is the perfect source for giving useful information regarding the health of the plant.
  • Make sure to identify the signs of orchid distress with an understanding of the implications of changes in the appearance of the plant’s leaves. 
  • The plant leaves help in detecting any problem the plant is facing or any serious problem that is affecting the health. 

Signs of Unhealthy Orchid Leaves:

The following are some signs that show orchid leaves are unhealthy:

Yellowing leaves: 

  • The orchid plant leaves turn yellow and fall off over time to make space for the new leaf to grow. Leaves turning yellow are a sign that the orchid plant is getting too much light, enduring low temperatures, or will start to develop root rot due to overwatering. 
  • There is a need to assess the orchid’s surroundings and ensure to check the roots for any gauge issues.
  • The orchid plants suffering from root rot have slimy brown, mushy roots but the healthy roots will be plump and green.

Very dark green leaves: 

  • The plant has dark green leaves due to the plant not getting enough light.
  • To cure leaves you need to move the plant to a place where it gets plenty of bright, indirect sunlight and monitor it.

White leaves: 

  • The plant has white leaves because the plant is getting too much sunlight. 
  • To prevent the plant from turning to white leaves just move it to an area where it doesn’t get to sit in bright, direct sunlight.

Limp, wrinkled, or torn leaves: 

  • The leaves of the plant getting limp, wrinkled, or torn is a straight sign of dehydration.
  • To cure it you need to increase the water capacity and inspect the plant root for any sign of stress.
  • The healthy roots will look firm and green while the dehydrated roots are white, brown, or shriveled.

Purple or reddish leaves: 

  • Turning of orchid’s top leaves red means the plant is suffering from sunburn or a nitrogen or phosphorus deficiency.
  • To cure the plant just move the orchid from direct sunlight and provide it fertilizer.

Signs of Healthy Orchid Leaves:

The following are some signs that show orchid leaves are healthy:

  • The orchid leaves will look green, firm, and rubbery.
  • Leaves will look uniformly green and will not be varying in color from each other.
  • The aerial roofs will look silver, and white with green shiny tips.
  • Having multiple air roots is a good sign that an orchid is growing actively.
  • Orchid plants do have potting mix with barely moist not dry or dripping wet.

How to Revive Wilted Orchids?

The procedure to revive a wilted orchid depends on what the reason is.

If orchid flowers are getting wilted it can be due to plants’ natural life cycle. There is a need to continue to follow all the general and basic caring tips so that it flowers again.

In the case of orchid leaves dropping because of under or over watering it is necessary to repot the plant immediately and I have explained the right way of watering to care for orchid plants.  Need to place the plant in a suitable spot where it should be away from sources of heat which will make the plant dry out.

By providing the orchid plants with correct conditions will make the plant grow happily indoors.

Is it possible for a wilted orchid flower to come back? 

There are most cases when wilted orchid flowers do come back because the flower’s wilting is the part of flower’s normal growing pattern. You need to continue to take care of the plant so that it will flower again.

You can also bring an orchid back to life when the plant goes to a dormant stage for a prolonged period.

Final Thoughts:

I will conclude here that providing the orchid plant with the right balance of light, water, and humidity does make it tough to grow orchids healthy. To help you I have explained everything about their basic requirements. 

For your clearance, different types of orchids have different requirements so it’s necessary to research the species of orchid that you grow so that you can provide the right environment for encouraging maximum growth and flower formation. 

Not every orchid loves the same amount of light and water so knowing all the basic requirements gives you a major advantage in keeping an orchid healthy and thriving.

Becky Decker

Becky Decker, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief, is a passionate gardener with years of experience in the world of horticulture. With her guidance, BonjourGreen.com aims to be your trusted companion on your gardening journey. Featured In   Becky Decker’s expertise and gardening wisdom have been recognized and featured in various prominent publications, including:   Homesandgardens.com Yahoo.com Urbansplatter.com Inkl.com Foliagefriend.com Yahoonews  Experience & Background   Becky Decker’s love for gardening has been a lifelong journey. She has honed her skills through countless seasons of planting, nurturing, and harvesting a wide variety of plants, flowers, and vegetables. Her deep-rooted knowledge is complemented by her Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from the University of Green Valley.   Prior to leading BonjourGreen.com, Becky worked as a garden consultant, helping countless individuals turn their outdoor spaces into vibrant, thriving gardens. Her experience spans over a decade, making her a trusted authority in the gardening community.   The Birth of BonjourGreen.com   Inspired by her passion for gardening and her desire to share her expertise with a wider audience, Becky Decker launched BonjourGreen.com in 2021. This platform serves as a hub for gardening enthusiasts of all levels, from beginners to seasoned pros.   At BonjourGreen.com, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive guides, expert advice, and hands-on tips to help you achieve success in your gardening endeavors. Whether you have a small balcony garden or a sprawling backyard paradise, we have the information you need to make your garden flourish.   Our Mission   BonjourGreen.com is more than just a gardening website; it’s a community of gardeners who share a common love for nurturing the Earth. Our mission is to empower you with the knowledge and resources to create beautiful, sustainable gardens that bring joy and tranquility to your life.   Join Us on This Green Journey   We invite you to explore BonjourGreen.com and embark on your gardening journey with us. Whether you’re seeking advice on planting techniques, pest control, landscaping ideas, or the latest gardening trends, you’ll find it all right here.   Connect with us, ask questions, and share your gardening stories. Together, we’ll cultivate a thriving community of gardeners and help each other make the world a greener, more beautiful place.   Let’s dig in and grow together at BonjourGreen.com, where gardening dreams bloom!

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