Orchid Health: Rot

Help, my orchid has crown/root rot! What should I do?

Rot on orchids typically happens when water “pools” on an orchid. This can happen in their crown (where the leaves are growing at their base) and at their roots. It is very important to take care of this immediately because this can kill an 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

  • The leaves of these types of orchids act as a syphon for water and because of this water will 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 let over water that has pooled at their leaf base.
  • Rot in orchid roots is usually caused by over watering and also the common mistake of letting an 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). Please go to my post on How to water an Orchidย – for proper watering techniques.
  • 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;

  1. Treat the crown rot with full strength hydrogen peroxide. Pour it over the crown of your orchid.
  2. Repeat every 2-3 days until the rot no longer fizzes and bubbles with the hydrogen peroxide application.
  3. Then sprinkle cinnamon (yes, the regular spice from your cabinet – it’s a natural fungicide) to treat the fungus.

Hope that helps,

Hannah

Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at myfirstorchid@gmail.com with pictures of your orchid.

111 Comments on “Orchid Health: Rot

  1. Hannah,

    Thank you so much for this amazing blog! It is so informative and helpful, especially for me since I am just starting my orchid collection. So I bought a few moth orchids in moss from a big box store a few weeks ago and I have done everything you said including taking them out of the decorative pots that don’t have drainage holes but leaving them in their plastic sleeves that do have a hole at the bottom. I have let them dry out but even without watering I noticed some of the roots are black and showing signs of rot. They are in bloom right now but some flowers are starting to fall so I am wondering if I should wait until the flowers fall off in a few weeks to repot or if I should just go ahead and repot now while in bloom. I saw your advice for pouring hydrogen peroxide into the potting media but I’m wondering if this is enough to save the orchids or if reporting is best. Thank you for your advice!

    • Hi,

      You can always send me a picture at myfirstorchid@gmail.com and I can take a look. If you think they are totally rotting then I would repot now. You do risk the blooms falling off earlier though because it shocks them. If it’s only a bit of black then you can wait and use hydrogen peroxide.

      Hannah

  2. Hello Hannah,

    I received an orchid for Mother’s Day. The blooms have all shrivelled, but the leaves are healthy. After reading your instructions on care, I realized that my orchid is in a non-draining pot. I have pulled it out of the decorative pot and put it in the sink to dry out a bit before repotting. I stuck the moss that had been surrounding the roots in a colander out on the deck to air dry a little. I noticed a slightly moldy odor and wonder if I should pour some hydrogen peroxide over the roots and also if I should reuse the moss from the original pot or toss it.

    Laura

    • Hi,

      Yes you can pour some hydrogen peroxide on it. DON’T reuse the mix though. 1. If it’s moldy then it’s worthless 2. You want fresh new mix to give your orchid nutrients.

      Hannah

  3. Hi Hannah,
    I just spent the last few hours pursuing your website in hope that I could answer my own question, but think this calls for a more professional hand. I’ve sent you an email as well with pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

    About a month ago I was given 2 orchards, a big purple one and a mini white one as a teacher gift. They both came in decorative pots but had a plastic inserts with drainage holes inside as well as instructions for ice cube watering. After reading, I know that ice cubes aren’t the best choice and will be switching to your watering method once they dry out some, but in the meantime am curious if I’ve killed the little one. A week after I got the mini one, all the flowers dropped, the buds got bud blast and dropped and the stems turned brown. I hadn’t watered it at all at that point and cut back the stems and gave it an ice cube. I returned from vacation this week to find several of the roots look black and have a stink to them. The leaves still look green and there are a few healthy looking roots there too, but what do I do about the black roots? Have I already failed in my orchid ownership? The big one is looking ok from a flowering perspective, but has some black roots at the very bottom of the plastic insert and the top roots aren’t looking to hot either . Any advice? Thanks a lot, I don’t want to kill my only house plants ๐Ÿ™‚

    Elisabeth

    • I believe you emailed me – I will look at he pictures and get back to you. It’s a busy day prepping for the 4th over here so it may not be right away.

      Hannah

  4. Hi there,
    I have a gorgeous phal orchid that I have had fo about 9 weeks now, she had a lot of buds on her when i got her and they all finished blooming about a month ago.
    Now here’s the problem, her leaves and a lot of the petals of her flowers have been dropping a lot and the 2 bottom leaves are getting a little wrinkly.
    I only water her when the roots look silver and the ones I can touch are bone dry.
    She is currently in a bark mixture, but I am planning on putting her in moss when I re-pot.
    She still has all her blooms and I was wondering if it was okay for me to cut off the spikes (and put them in water or something) and re-pot to check for root rot (which i have a feeling is the problem) or should i just re-pot with the flowers still there?
    I can send you pictures of the leaves and blooms currently if that helps.
    Thanks in advance,
    Rachel.
    p.s. on the bright side i have a mini phal that is doing well, one stubborn flower still on the spike and a new leaf growing that is about an inch now!

    • Hi,

      Most times an orchids blooms falling early can be normal as shown here…

      Orchid blooms falling off naturally
      https://myfirstorchid.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/orchid-bloom-dying-naturally/

      Sometimes an orchids leaves turning yellow can be normal as shown here…

      Yellow leaves
      https://myfirstorchid.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/orchid-leaves-turning-yellow/

      But if you think it’s rotting then I would go ahead and repot it. Orchids typically only bloom once a year but if you need to save it then go ahead and cut the stem off and repot it.

      Hannah

      • Hello again, thought I’d give an update on how my big phal is.

        I did end up cutting the spikes off early (they are now in a vase of water and still looking good). I repotted my phal in moss (got rid of the bark yay!), and found no rot much to my relief, I did however find a couple of small pieces of very holey sponge/foam.

        Anyway she’s settling in to her new moss quite well, lots of good healthy roots and her leaves are not drooping as much now! They’re starting to perk up again!

        Thank you so much for your help, really appreciate it. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Rachel.

  5. Hi first i would like to thank you for what you are doing is the only plase i had found the most help. So far i had some luck with my orchids, but like a lot of biggeners i have a few questions a frind gave me this orchid wish he try to safe but i don’t know what to do the root are all gone except for some aerial roots he got it in water but after 3 weeks i see no improvement can you please help me, I’m going to send you some pictures to se what you can suggest. Thank you very much. Jose

  6. I currently have an orchid suffering from root rot. I’ve been battling it since I brought it home from the store back in February this year. I stumbled across your hydrogen peroxide suggestion and I have a few questions. How do I apply the peroxide? Pour it directly over the pot as I would water when watering the plant?
    Do I need to flush the pot with water afterward?
    Do I need to instead, repot with each application?
    Do I need to repot to apply the cinnamon?

    The rot is not visible unless the plant is removed from the pot ( inspected it three days ago when I replaced the medium it was potted in from the store).

    Sorry for the million questions, I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!

    • Hi,

      Yes you just pour it in like you would when watering. No you don’t need to flush it or repot it after. No you don’t need to repot to apply cinnamon just sprinkle it on the bad spot. If you can’t see the spot then you can sprinkle the top of the medium and the cinnamon will make its way down with watering and/or hydrogen peroxide.

      Hope that helps,

      Hannah

  7. Well over a year ago, my hubby gifted me with my first Phal. Didn’t seem to be able to kill it, so he gifted me with another about three months later. They now have been through a repotting, and still survived. A third has been added. The first bloomed nicely, then shot off another bloom stem from where the bloom stem ended. Now, a third stem is starting back nearer the plant. This plant has now supported blooms for at least 15 months. The second has had two stems, carrying 35 blooms at the highest count.
    Now for the alarm. Recently one had a lower leaf yellow and drop. The other started showing a black moldy place at the leaf junctures about halfway up the “stalk”, between leaves 4 and 5 of 10 leaves. Removing the damaged area resulted in losing one leaf after a few days, and the black looks like it is boring into the the stalk,
    I am going to start the peroxide and cinnamon in the morning!!! Is this even a possible rescue? Suddenly both are dropping blooms, as well. Haven’t changed watering schedules, light, temp, humidity. I had never worried about blowing water out of the leaf joints, because they would have that in nature. I water them via the shower in the bathroom, where they live in a window above the shower.
    Thanks for one of the most rational blogs on orchids that I have seen!
    ~~from a beginner who’s decided I don’t want them to die after all

  8. Hi,

    I tried sending you an email with attached pictures of my orchid wondering if it has root rot, but it says message failure because the email doesn’t exist? Also, this website is super helpful, thanks for doing this!

  9. Hi Hannah,

    My name is Kemerly I left a post on your page before not sure if exactly on this one. I also sent pictures to your email. Basically my aerial roots look like they’re dying…one of my leaves is starting to look yellow.
    I just bought this plant and as soon as I bought it I watered it and has been sitting indoors for about 3 days but I have a feeling my plant is not happy. I feel like it’s dying please look at my pictures I sent you. And thank you for helping me!

  10. Hi Hannah, what happens when the aerial roots look like they are rotting? Do I cut them and sprinkle cinnamon as well? Would I treat them similar to the root rot in the bottom? Thanks for your help!

    • Lana,

      Aerial roots don’t tend to rot unless there is something wrong with the plant. This is because they are exposed to air they don’t typically suffer from being overwatered.

      Is your orchid potted in a pot with a drainage hole?
      How do you water it? How much and how often?

      Any rotting tissue should be treated with hydrogen peroxide and cinnamon.

      Your welcome to send me a picture at myfirstorchid@gmail.com

      Hannah

  11. Hannah,
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom! I received my first Phaleonopsis Orchid from my husband almost two years ago. I have since collected three others two from him one from a co-worker. I noticed the leaves where drying out and wrinkling on my first one a few months ago. I called my dad (First mistake always talk to mom) anyways, he was the one who told me water with ice cubes that is what I had been doing for two years. This time he told me to use a soft mist water bottle with distilled water making sure to get the leaves because that’s what drinks the water. (Second mistake I blindly listened) Yes I am gullible and trusting… He also said because I live in Reno Nevada that it would be best to water at least once a day until the leafs plump up. With in three weeks all my orchids are dying… I called again and he told me to cut back the dead stalk. (So Third mistake) I just started chopping away like a derange plant serial killer. My husbands comes home to find an Orchid massacre and told me perhaps I should research the proper care methods. THANK GOLLY I FOUND YOU!! I just hope It isn’t to late…

    • Shondra,

      Hahahahahahaha!!!! That post was hilarious. I am so sorry that your orchids are dying though. Check out my post on how to water and that should help,

      Hannah

    • My orchids are watered by leaving them a few minutes in room.temperature water and never by pouring water on the top. Should any drop of water touch any part of the orchid above the medium it has been planted in I immediately dry it with a clean paper towel. I water my orchids once a week or less and never when the roots are green. There is no better way to water orchids. So why have at least 6 died of root rot/crown rot? Determined to find the reason I have thoroughly examined the medium. There were no spider mites, mealy bugs, snails nor any other natural preditators in either of the 6. The last of the 6 orchids had grey, squelchy roots in bark that was bone dry. Clinging to each was a piece of foam rubber. Round the base of the orchid , where the roots start from. bits of foam rubber had been purposefully wedged in. My orchids have not died. They have been killed. Unscrupulous producers have as profit-boosting practice the addition of the killer agent foam rubber. It is more effective than spaghnum moss for soaking the roots which go grey before they go black and since the bark is bone dry you are deceived into thinking that the roots are too. The prime reason for orchids not surviving is neither wrong watering, overwatering nor natural predators but the purposeful addition, by producers whose prime interest is not orchids but profit, of bits of foam rubber near or on the roots to ensure root rot. That is disgusting business ethics and must stop. Every one of the 6 orchids that did not survive had bits of foam rubber clinging to squelchy, rotted roots.

  12. Hi Hannah,

    I recently received a Phaleanopsis as an early birthday gift from my mom. This is my very first orchid and I am extremely excited to take care of it and I’ll do whatever it takes to keep it living for a very long period of time. Just recently (maybe 3-4 days ago) my mom had watered my orchid for me and I told her to water it gently since orchids do not consume so much water. My mistake as a beginner was I had forgotten to make sure if my orchid had been potted into a drainage pot and we were going out of town for two days. It wasn’t after we had just arrived back home that I had done a little research on how to take care of my new orchid due to concern that I had not been giving my new orchid that much attention to it since the time my mother had watered my orchid for me. As I went further into my research, I quickly went to my kitchen where I have my phal resting on a windowsill and checked to see if the display pot that my phal is in had a drainage. Unfortunately to my surprisement, I found that my phal was in a plastic drainage pot inside the display pot. Because I did not notice this before, my phal now has two roots in the bottom that are rotting. From what I read from your directions in treating your orchids from root rot, hydrogen peroxide cures root rotting between 2-3 days. If my phal has only two roots rotting, how much dosage of hydrogen peroxide should I give my new orchid? Oh and out of curiosity, how many blooms can an orchid have?:) mine came with 12. Is that the maximum they can have?

    • Hi,

      I would love to help and be assured that this is not your fault but the fault of people who sell them like this…

      https://myfirstorchid.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/orchid-disaster/

      As far as treating it you can pour the hydrogen peroxide over the rotting roots (maybe like 1/4 of a cup). But it will need to be repotted so that you can see what the other roots look like…

      https://myfirstorchid.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/32/

      As far as blooms go. Orchid can have as many blooms as it is healthy. I have had ones that have had 40 blooms and some that have 2. It all depends how old and how healthy it is. Orchids can live indefinitely so you could experience more or less depending on how yours is doing.

      Check out my post on Orchid Blooms dying naturally, how to water and how to cut a bloom stick back.

      Let me know if you have more questions,

      Hannah

    • I know I’m late with this reply, but Edwin is right. Here in Europe, they put little sponges around the orchids’ roots, so the first thing to do when you buy or receive an orchid is to get it out of its pot and initiate a search-and-distroy operation against these awful sponges, otherwise, obviously, your orchid is gonna rot and die. Of course, many people don’t know/don’t care about this, so the industry of expendable orchid is prosperous. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  13. Had to give HUGE orchid hugs from me & my two phila & cat orchids.

    You saved the first orchid I ever brought home with your hydrogen peroxide cure on the roots that had developed rot!

    I do have a question on placement for light for my philas. I have north-east facing windows that I had been putting them in with the blinds closed to filter the sun. This method worked beautifully when we lived in Georgia, but since moving to Florida both phila have drooped and one has developed dark spots and the leaves have gone from thick, full, lovely green, to very, very thin and limp.

    It is late fall (though here in FL we still have 80ish degrees. HeHe), and reading your post on seasonal changes orchids go through, I don’t want to do anything that might be adverse if they are just cycling through normal growth patterns.

    I got my orchids early Feb of 2014, so I haven’t had them for a full year, so unsure of their normal yearly progression.

    Many MANY thanks again for your amazing advice. I have done some considerable reading (luckily I read to water infrequently and in the tub as you water. HeHe), but one can NEVER have too much info or help.

    Thanks again.

    Suzi

    • Suzi,

      Thank you for the sweet compliment and I would love to help!

      When did you move? Did you move with the orchids? Sometimes that is stressful to them. I would place them in whatever window that gets good dapple light. If the leaves are hot to the touch then it’s getting too much sun. If they are turning dark then it needs more sun.

      You can always send me a pic at myfirstorchid@gmail.com if that helps,

      Hannah

      • We did move with them just under a month ago.

        I was thinking that stress might also being playing a role too in its condition.

        Thank you so much for the offer of help. I will absolutely send you a couple of photos.

        I’m thinking my two phila might need to be repotted as well, but I’m weary of doing that just yet after them moving with us just under a month ago.

        Placement for sun exposure is really where I’m challenged and most uncertain. I need to make some orchid friends I can invite over to give me hands on advice! HeHe

        Many thanks again!

      • Moving is super stressful to orchids so maybe give them some time. The fluctuation of temperature is what gets to them the most. So moving, transport and new location – they may just need sometime to adjust.

        Best of luck,

        Hannah

      • The first three photos are of my first phila I brought home. The burn mark is from when i first brought it home and was trying to find the best light for it. As you can see the leaves are wilty and very droopy. In all of my reading I had never come across that you DIDN’T want orchid leaves to be the deep, rich green that the plants all had when I brought them home! I just thought it was a sign of health! So thank you for the info on leaf color. The next three photos are of my second phila. As you can see the upper leaf has some dark spots. If they are normal, wonderful, but if there is an underlying issue, I of course want to be proactive! The last photo is of the screened in front porch that faces east. I was thinking perhaps of placing my orchids out there, but based on what I’ve read I’m thinking it might get too cold for them at night and during the winter, even here in Florida hehe. I luckily got the clear plastic pots that insert into my decortive pots. Thanks for the awsome tip of LOOKING at the roots to determine health and what to look for! HUGE help there as well! As I said in my second comment, I do think they are in need of repotting, but as you stated they could be under stress from the move, and I absolutely don’t want to be placing them under any more until they are back to health. Many Many thanks from your new Florida orchid buddies!! Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2014 17:09:54 +0000 To: sjonesgraham@hotmail.com

  14. Hi there! I was recently gifted an orchid (about two weeks ago) and have watered it once. I noticed the bottom leaf turned yellow today and upon lifting the clear sleeve out of the pot I think it may have a case of root rot. Is the hydrogen peroxide method still an option if the source of the rot is in the roots? When I watered it previously I did so by running water through it so and letting it drain completely before putting it back… Is this kind of thing unavoidable sometimes? Its such a pretty plant, I don’t want to lose it!

  15. Hi Hannah,

    I have a rescue orchid that was left unwatered for a long period of time this spring. Over the summer, all but one leaf fell off, and the blooms all dropped. I recently repotted it hoping that would help, however, I noticed about 75% of the roots were black and mushy. I trimmed those off and sprinkled it with cinnamon, but am not sure that there were enough healthy roots to sustain it. My question is- how do I know when it’s too late for the orchid, and to call it quits? There has been no new growth of any kind for about 4 months. I have a photo I can send to you via e-mail if you’d like. Thanks for the help!

    Kelly

    • Hi Kelly,

      You can send me a pic at myfirstorchid@gmail.com if you like. I would say that if it drops the last leaf or had no roots at all then it can not be saved. Orchids need roots and leaves to survive and without one or the other they can’t.

      That being said I have had an orchid come back with only leaf and orchids come back with very few roots – so don’t give up yet,

      Hannah

  16. Hi Hannah,

    I hope you can help me; two of my oldest and most faithful Phals have crown rot.
    1 has just one leaf at the base holding on quite well; and a few green fleshy roots; the rest of the crown is in a horrid horrid state- it is all dry and i can see the core, is there any way i can save it (she is 3 yrs old:( my first orchid)
    the 2nd one has no leaves just a couple of green fleshy roots can it still survive?

      • Thank you Hannah that is so sweet of you ๐Ÿ™‚ , it was watering i have no idea where i read watering between the leaves is good coz it is like a filter( and i tend to water them every alternate day (and my hubby and i killed them with loads of love :'()
        I have followed the steps you gave(and placed a cinamon piece too at the place) and re-potted it. There is a small portion where the leaf is attached (the leaf that exists is closer to the root) this part is not black and has no rot, two sad roots that look dead shoot out which branches into two (therefore 4) o.k looking roots.
        I really hope it lives it is my oldest orchid (3 years) flowerd twice and quite a fighter so i’ll cross my fingers and tell you about how it is doing

  17. Hello everybody,

    I would like to ask you a question concerning the roots of my orchid (phalaenopsis). So , I have noticed that they started to rot but I wonder if it`s a good idea to remove the rotten ones and repot it because I also have 2 buds on its stem?

    Thank you in advance!
    Milena

    • Hi,

      I would love to help!

      So you can see it rotting?
      What is it potted in?
      Is there a drainage hole?
      How do you water it? How much and how often?

      If it is indeed rotting then you need to take care of that first and foremost because that can kill an orchid. The blooms may suffer but it’s better in the long run to repot it and take care of the rot.

      Hannah

      • Hello Hannah,

        Thank you very much for your answer!
        Maybe I can send you some photos of my orchid , so that you can see what I am worried about? I think it starts to rot. It is potted in a plastic pot with some holes below. I water it once a week by holding it above the sink and I pour water to run through the pot just one time. Also it is not placed directly under the sun.

        Milena

  18. I have an orchid with crown rot that was given to me. When I received the orchid, all the leaves were gone and it only had the flower spikes with flowers. The spikes look good. I replanted the orchid using fresh media and cut off any soggy, limp, unhealthy roots. After a week it seems ok. I was wondering if there’s hope for this orchid.

    • Hi Marie,

      I would love to help. Unfortunately orchids cannot survive without leaves and/or roots. If there are no leaves, at all, then the orchid is on it’s way out.

      There are no leaves correct?

      You can always send me a picture at myfirstorchid@gmail.com if you need to.

      I wish I had better news and I am sorry,

      Hannah

  19. Hello Hannah,
    So unfortunately I have root rot at the crown of my orchid. I cut the spike way down and removed the yellow leaves (that were falling off anyway). After reading your blog, I feel MUCH more confident about treating my poor Phalae, but had a couple of additional questions. You mentioned putting cinnamon on the root rot, is that application supposed to be done each time I do the Hydrogen Peroxide treatment OR is that only supposed to be done after the peroxide no longer fizzes? Secondly, should the cinnamon be applied ONLY to the root rot area at the crown OR what about any roots that I remove that have already rotted? Thank you in advance for your help !!

    • Hi,

      I would love to help and I am so so sorry this happened to you. Right now I would concentrate on using the hydrogen peroxide every few days for about two weeks. You can sprinkle the cinnamon on any rotting part when it’s dry. Maybe in between the hydrogen treatment. You don’t need a lot of it – just a bit sprinkled on.

      Also you can hold off on watering it till it’s very dry.

      Hope that helps,

      Hannah

  20. With your good advice I will try to transfer a 2 year old keiki to independent living. And will use H202 to fight root rot, a common problem with my plants. Do you have any advice about a good medium to grow the keiki in? I worry that my coconut chips are too large and crude.

  21. Hi Hannah,

    Many thanks for such an informative blog. I have a question regarding crown rot. I was always careful watering my orchid but within a day it got rot crown and all its 3 leaves died too. I tried to save it with cinnamon and repot it with new bark. It has a spike left which is giving a tiny keiki (Apical one). This spike is half green half turned yellow but keiki is growing even on yellow part. What I wonder is, when I checked the roots, it has some green and white roots besides rotten one. This makes me believe that I can save it but looking at the dried rot crown and no leaves left with just a half green spike I think its time to say good bye? What do you think or what can you suggest? Thank you for your help in advance.

    Saadia

    • Hi,

      I would love to help. Unfortunately the main plant is probably dead because orchids can’t live without leaves but this is a new twist to me with a keiki without the main plant having any leaves. I say that there is hope because of the keiki. These types of keiki’s can’t take months to grow the amount of roots you need to snip it and pot it. You have to be patient and wait for two to three roots that are at least three inches long.

      I have a post on this on my blog titled keiki’s that explains this better. Let me know how it goes and good luck,

      Hope that helps!

      Hannah

      • Thanks Hannah,

        I think you are right, I went to a flower shop and lady said the same. The little Keiki is growing and I am so amazed. Maybe some of green roots left are giving some energy to it, I don’t know. I’ll certainly check the post on keiki you referred me.

        Thanks for your help!

      • Yes they is exactly what is happening. The orchid is desperately trying to save itself through the keiki. Quite cool if you think about.

        Hannah

  22. I have a mini Phal that is starting to bud flowers for me for the first time, but to my horror I noticed that all the roots are rotted but there is no crown rot and it looks perfectly fine other than the roots! I don’t even over water because I am the rare few that under water them unintentionally.
    Please help, I have no idea what to do.

  23. Hannah,

    I keep all of my orchids outside next to my pond. I rarely water them and allow nature to supply their needs. They seem to do very well in the area and re-bloom every year. I live in Florida.

    I went to move a couple of my orchids and had found the entire base(roots and 1/3 the way up the stems) had rotted.

    My question is; can I wrap some damp moss around the sides of the remaining stems in hopes that they will sprout side roots?

    Have you heard of or seen this done? Several years ago an elderly man who owned a nursery full of orchids told e about it, but I didn’t know if it would actually work. If so, do I need to treat the moss with anything? I just hate seeing another one die.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Kim

    • Hi Kim,

      I am so sorry about your orchids. I don’t know about the moss trick. It may work. Most rot is due to overwatering and then the water pooling at the bottom of the orchid base causing rot.

      How many years have they lived before this? Was there a lot of rain this season?

      My family grows orchids outside in Florida but they plant them high up in trees. That way the rain water flows freely out the bottom and through the roots.

      Hannah

  24. How much hydrogen peroxide is needed every few days? Because I have some on hand but I’m not sure how much to use :S

    • I just pour the solution through and watch it fizz on the roots. I give it a pretty healthy amount. Maybe (of the top of my head) like 1/4 to 1/2 a cup depending on how bad the rot is.

      Hannah

      • Does it matter how strong it hydrogen peroxide is? Eg 3%, 6%, 20% etc? I have 6%… And you’ve previously said that 3% is ok, so it means that 6% is okay too?

      • Sure – maybe just dilute it with water a bit. We only have 3% here. Hydrogen peroxide is what I tell everyone to use if they don’t have Physan 20. Honestly why would anyone have that laying around ๐Ÿ™‚ but people normally have peroxide for cuts and scrapes etc. It helps by aerating the roots… So when you use it it’s going to fizz.

        Hannah

  25. About two weeks ago I put orchid food spikes by miracle grow in my pot. Do you think this has caused my orchid to go bad?

  26. Hello Hannah, I think that one of my orchids has root rot or someting. The roots turned black with whitish mold on the roots.I just poured hydrogen peroxide on them and it fizzed and bubbled. I’m not sure how this happened it seems to have happened over night. Will the peroxide hurt the orchid? Do I need to flush the roots after the treatment? Should I repot the orchid after this and if yes, then when?

    • Hi,

      I am so sorry. No the peroxide will not hurt it and the fizzing thing is good. Repeat in a few days. And normal watering will flush it out.

      I would repot it when you naturally repot unless you see it getting really bad.

      How were you watering it before?
      Where was it placed in your home?

      Hannah

  27. I have come to this site to find out what’s causing the gray moldy thing on my phaelanopsis and it was too late, the beautiful leaves snapped off ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Thank you for the wealth of information! Next time my husband gifts me with these beauties I shall know what to do.

  28. My phalaenopsis seems to have developed a crown rot problem. The affected area is small and I’m hoping I’ve caught it in time. I have poured hydrogen peroxide on it and it audibly fizzed. I have not unpotted it yet to see if there was any damage to the roots.

    • Caitlyn,

      I am so sorry about that!

      Repeat with the peroxide every few days for a week and see how it looks.

      Hopefully you caught it in time.

      Hannah

      • I didn’t reach it in time. Two days after my post all 4 leaves popped off as the rot had gone through the base of the orchid. Time to find me a new one and try again.

  29. Hi Hannah,

    Need help. One of my Phalenopsis is showing signs of root rot. The rot has not spread up to the crown yet (like your photo shown above). I had cut off any dead brown/black roots that I saw and repotted with fresh mix. You mentioned about using Hydrogen Peroxide and in my case would you also use full strength of the Hydrogen Peroxide? or diluted strength. Txs in advancing for helping.

    Felicia

    • Felicia,

      Hi. I am so sorry about that. I dab on full strength on really bad spots and use the solution when pouring through the mix.

      So in your case I would probably use the solution.

      Then repeat every couple of days till it stops fizzing…

      Does that make sense,

      Hannah

  30. Just in case anyone does not know, the cinnamon got rid of the crown/root rot and my white Phaleonopsis is thriving and has developed another new branch on the spike. The buds ought to open this week or next. It is the 3rd or 4th time it has grown new branches on the spikes since it started blooming again after Christmas.

  31. I lost about 20 phals lately because of rotting just like shown in the picture….I dont know what happened coz i dont water my plants very often…it is sad…

    • Sam,

      20 Phals!! I am so sorry!! Did you have them for a long time? What’s the story behind them?

      How were you watering them?

      Hannah

  32. Even though it looks fine my white Phaleonopsis with the yellowed leaf got crown rot after I let it stand for a few minutes in a bowl of room temperature water. When I cut the yellowed leaf off a green, healthy-looking leaf also fell off. I have covered the base with cinnamon powder. Will it survive? It had 5 leaves and now only has 3. Never again shall I let my orchids stand in a bowl of water to water them! Instead I shall pour water over the bark mixture taking care that no water touches the plant and let it all run through and 5 minutes afterwards repeat the process and when no more water runs through I shall inspect the base and dry away any moisture there. I am so disappointed. It is the first time an orchid has ever reflowered for me and now I have destroyed it.

      • No. What is hydrogen peroxide? Where is it sold?

        Today I planted a keiki of an unknown orchid. Is there a forum for identifying keiki? I have taken a picture of it. It may be a Dendrobium but I am not sure.

      • Edwin,

        I can’t identify a specific Dendrobium for you. There are orchid forums in the Internet that may be able to help,

        Hannah

      • Honey contains hydrogen peroxide and is formed in contact with water, I have just googled.

      • Hydrogen peroxide is more expensive than a Phaleonopsis here. Also I wonder what strength is required. It is classed as dangerous. At the chemist it is only 3 percent therefore. For a quarter of a litre that solution costs 141 crowns (about 21 US dollars, over 14 GB pounds or Euros).

      • Edwin,

        I normally use physan 20 for root rot but if people don’t have that they normally have hydrogen peroxide which is cheap in the states.

        Hannah

      • Physan 20 is not available in Sweden. I have just been told health shops sell hydrogen peroxide (3%). Is that strong enough?. I shall look in healthshops and also see if there is anything against root rot in gardening shops in Stockholm.

  33. I have watered my Phaleonopsis by standing them in room temperature water for a minute or so, longer now that it is sunny I let them stay in the water till the pot feels heavy. Then I let all the water drain off. Is that wrong? Is it better to water over the bark and let the water run off as I water it? If so how long should I water it as the water runs straight through and I am afraid the bark mixture will be too dry.

    • Edwin,

      I normally just let water run through them for a minute (it drains out the bottom) and then wait like five minutes and then do it again. That is the way I have always done it and it works for me.

      If your orchids are doing fine watering them the way your doing it then keep doing it that way. As long as they are not submerged in water for too long and all the water drains out leaving a moist plant – your are good.

      Hannah

      • One of my orchids which I was given 18 June has reflowered with 5 very large flowers. Just the other day 3 new buds appeared. It is on a table near a room facing south and gets bright sunlight a few hours. One of the leaves is turning yellow. Otherwise it is thriving. I thought it was natural old age but now I am not so sure. I am going to stop watering by letting the orchids stand in water as I do not want to risk them getting crown rot. If in nature the water runs off them as it comes then it must be safer to water them as you have described and I shall water that way from now on. Thank you for letting me know.

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