Orchid Health: Rot
Help, my orchid has crown/root rot. What should I do?
Rot on orchids typically happens when water is trapped at their base in a non-draining pot and/or they are overwatered. Most orchids come in two pots with the inner pot having drainage and the outer pot not having drainage. This can effect both the crown and the roots causing rot. Please stop and click here before you proceed if this is the case with your orchid.
A lot of times we see signs of root rot in the leaves before we see it in the crown as shown below.
Preventing root/crown rot
- Make sure your orchid is potted in a free draining pot. Please click here.
- Only water your orchid when is DRY.
- Also never let your orchid sit in water… like you would a normal houseplant. Orchids are not like normal houseplants in that they HATE having their roots sitting in water. In nature they would typically be growing off a tree and experience natural rain forest water trickle through them (you can click on my post on Orchids Growing in Nature).
- The leaves of these types of orchids act as a syphon for water and because of this water can gather/pool at the base of their leaves. Make sure that when you water your orchids, especially ones like Phaleanopsis, that you take a paper towel and soak up any left over water that has pooled at their leaf base.
- Make sure there is air movement around your orchids. Most homes have air movement from the general air conditioning but a fan or an open window can help.
Treating root/crown rot
I use Physan 20 to treat rot but if you don’t have this then do the following;
- Treat the crown rot with full strength hydrogen peroxide. Pour it over the crown of your orchid.
- Repeat every 2-3 days until the rot no longer fizzes and bubbles with the hydrogen peroxide application.
- Then sprinkle cinnamon (yes, the regular spice from your cabinet – it’s a natural fungicide) to treat the fungus.
Hope that helps,
Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at email@example.com with pictures of your orchid.