Orchids need a solid green foliage to survive. If it changes I them, then the plants need help, because something is wrong, and urgent action is needed. For example, if her orchid gets soft or limp leaves. It is best to immediately begin to investigate the cause and immediately initiate the appropriate countermeasure so that the orchid can survive.
Orchid gets soft, limp leaves
If some leaves of an orchid become limp, soft or yellow, then you do not have to worry seriously yet, because then it is probably a natural phenomenon. However, if limp leaves take over, then you should look for the reasons and act quickly to save the plant. Because in this case, it is very likely that the orchid has been cared for incorrectly.
Causes and measures
Unnatural causes of soft and limp leaves on the orchid are many. However, as a rule, they can be attributed to one of the following reasons:
- Care error
In principle, a combination of causes is also possible. If this is the case, then all causes must be eliminated so that the plant can survive. It is important not to cut off the leaves, even if they are unsightly, because the interfaces are gateways for pests that further harm the weakened plant.
Orchids are considered to be demanding plants. The most common care mistake occurs during watering, because both too much and too little water will cause the leaves of the orchid to become limp.
If orchids get too little water, then they suffer. They will show you this by the following characteristics:
- soft foliage
- falling buds
- wilted flowers
If the plants show this picture, then you should not hesitate long and act immediately. The simplest and most proven method of water shortage is a so-called immersion bath. To prepare the immersion bath, proceed as follows:
- Fill the vessel with lime-free, lukewarm water.
- Size of the vessel: the pot of the orchid must fit well into it.
If everything is ready, then you can start the immersion bath:
- Place the orchid together with the pot in the prepared immersion bath.
- the foliage must not get wet
- wait a few minutes (until no more bubbles appear)
- remove the plant from the immersion bath
- put it on a saucer
- wait a few minutes
- Remove water from the saucer
- Put the plant back into the saucer if necessary.
Although the immersion bath helps the orchid in its fight for survival, it cannot work miracles either. Therefore, you should give the orchid some time to recover. The plant will show you whether the rescue attempt was successful by sprouting new and healthy shoots. To help it do this, it is advisable to put the plant in the immersion bath once a week.
Tip: To ensure that your orchids do not suffer from a lack of water in the future, you should also immerse them instead of watering them for the normal water supply. This is better for the plants.
If the orchid gets too much water, even if it is well-intentioned, then it will constantly have “wet feet”, i.e. the roots are permanently under water. Over time, this causes the roots to begin to rot (root rot) and the orchid’s water supply is disrupted. Signs of incipient root rot on the orchid are soft, floppy and wilted leaves. As in the case of water shortage, you should immediately initiate helping measures in the case of waterlogging:
- Lift the orchid out of the pot
- carefully shake off the substrate
- cut off muddy and brown roots with a sharp and clean knife
- remove all flower shoots
- plant needs strength for root formation
- carefully rinse root ball under running water
- let the orchid dry well
- plant in new, dry substrate
Do not water and do not fertilize for the time being
The orchid needs water so that the too-much-water does not turn into a water shortage. Therefore, it is best for the plant in the following days or weeks if you spray it with lime-free, lukewarm water. Once the plant is well rooted again, then watering or dipping may resume, but in any case more sparingly than before.
Tip: A typical characteristic of waterlogging is when water accumulates in the planter or saucer. To prevent your orchids from getting too much water in the future, reduce watering, or switch to immersion for water supply.
If watering errors can be ruled out as the cause, then you should consider water quality, because the plants do not tolerate lime. And European tap water is unfortunately very chalky in many places. So watering with tap water can mean that the roots can no longer absorb nutrients. This is manifested by soft and flabby leaves of the orchid. The solution to the problem is to reduce lime. There are the following ways to do this:
- Use rainwater for watering
- Filter tap water before watering
- Boil tap water
- Location error
If the orchid stands in the full sun, the leaves become soft and limp, because the tropical plant does not tolerate too much sun. In this case, it needs a new location that is
- bright to semi-shady and
- warm (with a temperature of 20 °C to 25 °C).
- temperature). Ideally, the location also has a humidity of 50 to 80 percent.
An orchid does not like temperature fluctuations at all. For example, if it is placed in winter in a room that is not heated regularly or evenly, its leaves will become limp and floppy. Proximity to a fireplace stove, which generates a lot of heat during the day and cools down at night, also causes problems for the plants.
The solution to the problem here is very simple. Because you just need to relocate the plant to a site with uniform temperatures without direct sunlight. Ideally, the new location will be on a north, east or west window.
While care and location errors are ultimately homemade, pest infestations can be difficult to prevent. Therefore, soft and droopy orchid leaves can also result from pest infestations, primarily pests that feed on the plant’s sap. These include all plant lice, but especially scale, mealybugs and mealybugs.
Since aphids spread very quickly, there is an immediate need for action. Proven measures against the plague are:
- Cloth with spirit to wipe the leaves.
- Dabbing the plant with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol.
- Packing the orchid in an airtight container for two to three days (oxygen supply is interrupted)
- Spraying the plant with a soft soap solution