Why is My Orchid Dying? (8 Solutions That Actually Work)


Why is my orchid dying

Do you think your orchid is dying, but you are not sure what is causing it? If you have grown orchids for long enough, it is likely that you are going encounter a problem, as I can attest they are notoriously fussy plants!

I have personally grown orchids all my life, both at home and in my job at a garden nursery, and I have been fortunate enough to speak to experts, so I have learned a lot about not only how to care for orchids but how to save them if they are dying.

In this post I share with you the tips and tricks of how to pinpoint the problem with your orchid and how to solve it.

The reason your orchids are dying is often because of overwatering or due to planting in the wrong potting medium. Overwatering or potting mediums that retain too much moisture promote the conditions for root rot, which causes the orchid leaves to wilt, turn yellow, and die.

However, orchids are sensitive to a range of environmental factors which can cause them to die back.

I made a table detailing the most common reasons that I see for orchids dying:

Common Reasons for Dying Orchids:Explanation:
Overwatering:Orchids typically should only be watered once per week. Watering too often causes root rot.
Potting Medium Retains too Much Moisture:Orchids need aerated well-draining potting mediums such as pine bark. Moss or regular potting soil can retain too much moisture around the roots or limit the available oxygen, which causes root rot.
Underwatering:Orchid roots shrivel and the leaves turn yellow with a wilted appearance because of underwatering or watering too lightly. Orchids should be watered thoroughly once every 7 days.
Humidity is too Low:Orchids are tropical plants that prefer humidity of at least 65%. If the air to too dry then orchid leaves and roots visibly shrivel.
Draughts, Air Currents, and Sources of Heat Drying Orchid out:Too much airflow or fluctuations in temperature from cold draughts can cause orchid flowers to drop, and the orchid can turn yellow as a sign of stress.
Too Much Sunlight:Orchids require partial sun or filtered light. Too much direct sunlight results in scorched yellow/brown leaves.
Not Enough Sunlight:Too much shade results in poor growth, and the orchid displays fewer flowers.
Temperature too Hot or Too Cold:Orchids grow best in a temperature range of 55°F (12°C) and 75°F (23°C). Temperatures hotter or cooler than this for a prolonged period can be the cause of a dying orchid.
Crown Rot:Crown rot is caused by fungal disease pathogens in stagnant water that collects in the crown of the plant due to overhead watering turning the leaves, and stems yellow and eventually spreading around the orchid, killing the roots.
Too Much Fertilizer Can Burn the Roots:Orchids should have a specialized fertilizer to prevent burning the roots as regular houseplant fertilizer is too strong for the roots and can kill the orchid.

To save our dying orchids, we need to snip away any diseased or rotting roots and recreate some of the conditions of their natural tropical forest canopy environment with higher humidity, indirect light, well-draining aerated pine bark-based potting mediums, and watering once a week.

Keep reading to learn the cause of your dying orchid and how to solve the problem…

1. Orchid Dying due to Overwatering (Root rot)

The most common reason for orchids dying is because of overwatering. Orchids that are watered too often develop root rot, which turns leaves yellow with a dying appearance. Typically your orchids only require watering once per week.

If you are watering more than once a week, this is the reason your orchid is dying.

Symptoms of overwatering and root rot:

  • Yellowing, drooping leaves.
  • Roots turn rotten with an unpleasant smell.
  • Roots eventually die back and turn to a papery texture and white in color.

Most of the common household species of orchids, that we grow in our homes, such as phalaenopsis or ‘moth’ orchids, as shown in the photo, are epiphytes, which means that they actually grow on other trees rather than in soil in humid forests.

Phalaenopsis or 'Moth' orchids are by far the most common type of orchid grown as houseplants
Phalaenopsis or ‘Moth’ orchids are by far the most common type of orchid grown as houseplants

This means that they are used to growing conditions that have excellent drainage with moderate rainfall and high humidity.

I know it may look alarming, but the reason the roots extend out of the potting medium the way they do is that the orchids are actually capable of absorbing water vapor from the surrounding humid air rather than drawing up moisture from the soil. (I always thought it was an amazing adaptation!)

A classic mistake that we’ve all made is watering our orchids too often to the point the potting medium stays too damp for the orchid roots to tolerate, which results in root rot.

Sometimes, I find just individual roots appear to rot, which then shrivel, die back, and turn a papery white, and therefore can no longer transport water and nutrients around the plant, which causes the leaves to turn yellow and droop.

Roots from an overwatered orchid that have rotted due to too much moisture and turned papery white as they die back.
To give you an idea here are some roots from an overwatered orchid have rotted due to too much moisture and actually turned papery white as they die back. They did look brown, rotten and mushy, before turning white like this.

My Tips for Saving Overwatered Orchids with Root Rot…

  • The key to saving overwatered orchids with root rot is to scale back the watering. Your orchids should only be watered once a week in the Spring and Summer and once every 7-10 days in Fall and Winter.
  • Allow the potting medium to dry out, and inspect the roots for signs of disease. Healthy roots look green (and light gray) in color with a plump feel to them. Orchid roots with root rot can look brown and feel soft or rotten and sometimes an unpleasant smell is the biggest giveaway. Eventually, the roots look papery white and die back.
  • Remove the orchid from the potting medium and snip back any diseased or dying-looking roots back to the base of the plant or to healthy growth. This prevents the rot from spreading and causing the entire orchid to die back.
  • You need to use a sterile pair of pruners or scissors to cut the roots and always wipe the blades with a cloth soaked in alcohol disinfectant between each cut, as this can prevent the spread of fungal disease pathogens to otherwise healthy parts of the plant. I use hand gel and a cloth.
  • Any roots that are green or shriveled and grey but not rotten can be revived and can still function properly.
  • Once you have snipped back the diseased roots replant your orchid in a new pine bark-based potting medium to improve the drainage and either plant it back in a new pot (with drainage holes in the base) or clean the current pot out with disinfectant then replant your orchid. I usually just wash my pot in hot soapy water.
  • Give the orchid a good soak after replanting in its new potting medium to help mitigate the transplant shock and water it again after a week.
  • Sometimes the orchid’s yellow leaves continue to die back and eventually fall off. Orchids are actually capable of photosynthesizing with their roots so even if the leaves fall off the orchid can still potentially recover.
  • Mist the orchid every few days to maintain a humid micro-climate which emulates the humid conditions of its native environment and helps to mitigate stress after cutting the orchid’s roots back.

Whether or not the orchid can recover really depends on how long it has been overwatered and how many roots are rotten or dying.

If nearly all the roots are dying back or diseased then in my experience the orchid is unlikely to recover. The more healthy roots that remain the better the orchid’s chances are of recovery.

I should emphasize that the most important steps are to cut back the diseased or dying roots and to replant in a new pine-based potting medium as this prevents the spread of rot and the pine bark potting medium drastically improves drainage which reduces the risk of root rot.

If yours does recover, you should see new growth within about 3 weeks during the Spring and Summer.

Always plant orchids in pots with drainage holes in the base to allow excess water to escape after watering. (Read my article choosing the best pots for orchids).

2. Potting Medium Retains Too Much Moisture Around Orchids Roots

Orchids can turn yellow and wilt if they are planted in moss or soil-based potting mediums. Tropical orchids naturally grow in trees rather than soil and prefer an aerated pine bark-based potting medium.

Pine bark based potting medium for orchid
This is the pine bark potting mix that I use for my orchids (on the left), which is the best potting medium for orchids.

I often see peat moss used which does not work as well. I have seen far more cases of root rot with orchids planted in moss than pine bark!

All the experts I have spoken to unanimously recommended using pine bark instead of moss when repotting orchids!

The vast majority of orchids grown in our homes are tropical ‘Moth’ (phalaenopsis) orchids, which grow on other trees in tropical forests, so their roots are not rooted in soil like most plants.

Therefore potting mediums that are soil or moss based do not allow enough flow of air or water vapor around the roots and retains too much moisture which promote the conditions for root rot.

Both the restriction of airflow (which prevents root respiration) around the roots and root rot from too much moisture turns the orchid leaves yellow and cause them to wilt. Flowers can also fall off as an early sign of stress.

This results in the roots of the orchid turning from a healthy and plump green or light grey color to shriveled grey roots which eventually die back.

Healthy green orchid roots on the left and grey diseased, dying roots on the right due to being planted in a soil based potting medium rather then pine bark.
Healthy green orchid roots are on the left, and grey, diseased, dying roots are on the right due to being planted in a soil-based potting medium rather than pine bark.

The less healthy roots the orchid has the less water and nutrients they can uptake and transport around the plant causing the leaves to wilt, turn yellow, and die back.

We need to remember that orchid roots are unusual in that they are capable of photosynthesis, so a soil-based potting medium would also exclude light and restrict their function.

However, we should also note that pine bark is, of course, an organic material that decomposes into a compost-like structure over time.

Therefore your orchid could be planted in the correct potting medium but the pine bark has broken down and no longer retains the same aerated and well draining structure which leads to the leaves wilting and turning yellow because of root rot.

In my experience, I personally find my pine bark potting mix decomposes to the point it should be replaced every 2-3 years.

How I Save Orchids Turning Yellow and Wilting

  • When the orchid is taken out of its pot, gently remove the moss or soil from around the roots and inspect them for any signs of disease or stress. I use a skewer to gently ger between the roots. Healthy roots appear green or light gray and feel plump. Unhealthy roots are thin and shriveled and can be yellow, brown, or papery gray.
  • Again, we need to use a sterile pair of pruners or scissors cut back any unhealthy diseased roots back to the base and wipe the blades with a cloth soaked in disinfectant between cuts to prevent the potential spread of any fungal disease to otherwise healthy growth.
  • Replace the potting soil with brand new pine bark potting medium that has been specifically made for orchids. As we discussed, the individual pine bark pieces are large enough to allow more air to circulate and allow excess water to drain efficiently. The pine bark pieces absorb some water which then evaporates and creates the water vapour from which the orchid draws up moisture, replicating the conditions of its native environment.
Pine bark based potting medium
I personally recommend miracle-gro orchid potting medium for growing orchids.

If enough healthy plump roots are remaining then I can assure you that the orchid can recover even if the leaves are yellow and fall off.

As orchid roots are capable of photosynthesis (which is usually the function of the leaves) the plant can still live and revive in the absence of leaves. Within a few weeks, new leaves should emerge from the base of the plant.

With new potting medium and proper care practices, your orchid has the best chance of recovery.

3. Your Orchid is Dying Due to Underwatering

If the orchid is not watered often enough or watered too lightly then the orchid’s roots cannot access the moisture or water vapor they require which causes the roots to die back and the orchid’s leaves to droop and turn yellow.

I find that the advice ‘orchids do not need much water’ is occasionally misinterpreted by growers as to mean that orchids should be watered with only a small quantity of water.

If you water orchids too lightly then only the top inch or so of the potting medium becomes moist and the water does not reach the roots that are deeper in the medium.

This results in drought stress and causes the roots, with no access to water to shrivel in size and die back. If their are fewer healthy roots then there is less water and nutrients drawn up which results in the leaves drooping and turning yellow.

In my experience, orchids thrive when watered once a week in Spring and Summer with a generous soak so that excess water trickles from the base of the pot and watered once every 7-10 days in Fall and Winter when the plant’s growth slows down in response to fewer hours of light.

However I should point out that it is difficult to give out universal advice for watering due to difference in climates.

But typically, from my observations, if you are watering your orchids less often than once every 7 days, then your orchid is underwatered, and this is the cause of the orchid leaves turning yellow and the plant dying back.

(Read my article, how often to water orchids).

How I Save Underwatered, Drooping, and Yellowing Orchids

  • I always water orchids with a generous soak rather than a light watering. This ensures that moisture can reach the roots deep in the pot rather than just the roots at the surface. This keeps the roots healthy, plump, and functional so they can transport moisture and nutrients around the orchid rather than the leaves turning yellow and wilting.
  • Underwatered roots tend to shrivel up as the plant uses its stored moisture reserves. This is good news for us because it means that unhealthy shriveled roots can revive if they are watered with a really good soak. Once the orchid’s roots can uptake water, they can replenish their moisture reserves and return to a plump texture.
  • Water your orchids once every 7 days in Spring and Summer to avoid drought stress and once every 7-10 days in Fall and Winter. I’ve found through trial and error that watering with this frequency is key to avoiding drought stress and saving your orchid. Do not overcompensate and water more often than once per week as one extreme to the other is likely to cause root rot.
  • I personally recommend Misting your orchids every day whilst they are recovering and then once every 2 or 3 days depending on the humidity of your climate and the room in which you keep the orchid (bathrooms and kitchens tend to have higher levels of humidity which suits the orchid).
  • Misting your orchid emulates the higher levels of humidity of the orchid’s native tropical forest environment which helps to reduce water loss (transpiration) from the leaves to help alleviate drought stress.
  • Ensure that your orchid is a a room that is consistently in the temperature range of 55°F (12°C) at night and a maximum daytime temperature of 75°F (23°C) as excess heat from indoor heating can increase the rate of evaporation from the soil and increase water loss from the leaves and exacerbate the drought stress for your orchid.
  • Keep orchids out of the way of draughts or air conditioning as the dry air saps moisture away from the leaves, soil, and roots and it creates conditions that are contrary to their natural humid tropical environment.

With the right care, the orchid can be saved. However, the leaves that have turned yellow may drop off depending on the severity of the drought stress, and some of the roots may not be revived.

Ideally, what you need to do is cut away any dead roots, if possible, with a pair of sharp, sterile scissors if they are accessible.

However, if they are deep in the orchid pot, it is often better to leave it as roots that die from underwatering are not diseased (as may be the case with overwatered orchid roots) but rather have shriveled and died due to drought stress.

This way, you do not have to disturb the healthy remaining roots too significantly, so the plant has a better chance of recovery.

Some people I have spoken to do recommend cutting away shriveled roots from underwatering, but every time I have done this, I have found it adds more stress to an already suffering the trauma of dehydration, so in my experience, I have had better results at reviving the orchid when I just leave it alone to recover.

In my experience, the orchid should show signs of new growth in the following weeks or if it is in Fall or Winter, by the following Spring time.

(Read my article, how to tell if an orchid is over or underwatered).

4. Low Humidity and Air Currents (Flowers and Buds Drop off)

As we discussed, most of our household orchids are moth orchids which are native to tropical forests with a typical humidity level of 60-70%. Climates of low humidity and draughts from air conditioning can sap moisture from the orchid’s leaves causing them to lose too much water, resulting in a dying orchid.

The humidity in our homes is almost always much lower than outside and lower than the 60-70% humidity to which moth orchids are adapted.

Therefore this dry air increases the rate at which water is lost from the leaves, dries out the soil too quickly and causes the orchids roots to use their moisture reserves causing them to shrivel.

I have seen low humidity cause a range of symptoms such as the leaves to turn yellow, the orchid droops and the flowers or flower buds can drop.

We should also be mindful that draughts from air conditioning or air currents caused by indoor heating can also cause orchids to shrivel up and die back.

My Tips for Saving Orchids Dying in Low Humidity

I’ve also found the key to saving orchids dropping flowers and dying in low humidity is to emulate the conditions of the orchid’s native environment.

I had this problem when I lived in my apartment, and my orchid had to contend with air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter, both of which created chronically low humidity.

There are three popular recommended ways to increase that I read about, so I tested them all to see what is best. The three methods of increasing humidity are:

  1. Misting the leaves.
  2. Placing pebbles in a tray of water and propping the orchid’s point just above the waterline (the theory is that constant evaporation creates a humid microenvironment).
  3. Using a humidifier.

Out of the three, in my opinion, I found using a humidifier was most effective at increasing the humidity to the right level, and it was best at alleviating the symptoms of low humidity, such as shriveled leaves and roots, and I found it particularly effective at preventing flowers falling off. (I bought mine on amazon).

Misting the plant regularly was also a good way to counteract the dry air, but the reason I prefer a humidifier is that I found I had to mist the orchid daily, which can be inconvenient, although it did work well.

I think the method of using a tray of water under your orchid is only applicable to home environments that are only slightly too low in humidity for orchids because I observed that the evaporation effect was not potent enough to tackle really dry air from indoor heating.

Here are two other top tips that I found work really well:

Pro tip: Locate all your tropical houseplants close together, as this can create a nice little humid climate in a corner of a room, from which they all benefit.

Pro tip: Orchids are often well suited to bathrooms or kitchens as they are typically much higher in humidity than other rooms in the house.

If you decide to mist, then mist both the leaves and any roots that are outstretched from the potting medium, as the roots can absorb moisture from water vapor, which can help mitigate stress.

Ensuring that the orchid is out of the way of any draughts from air conditioning or doors that open frequently is a good way to help maintain the right level of humidity for your orchids and prevent dry air from sapping moisture.

Once the orchid is in the right environment with the right level of humidity, I saw my orchid recover in as little as 2 or 3 weeks in the summer, although it can take longer to recover when the plant is dormant in winter.

5. Too Much or Not Enough Sunlight (Leaves Scorch Yellow or Brown)

Our orchid leaves are very sensitive to light and can scorch to a yellow or brown color in direct sunlight. As we previously mentioned, orchids are adapted to the forest canopy, so they require partial sun or filtered light in the home to provide enough sun for flowering yet also protect the leaves from burning.

If your orchid is on a window sill with direct sunlight then this can burn the leaves, which can prevent the orchid from flowering or cause flowers and flower buds to drop off and cause similar symptoms to drought stress as the extra heat and light dry out the orchids roots and leaves.

If the orchid is in a room that experiences particularly low levels of light, then I find that it typically displays far fewer flowers and may have stunted growth.

The best place for your orchids is an area of bright, indirect light or an area of filtered light, as this replicates the levels of light intensity typically experienced in the native environment and ensures the orchid has enough light for flowering.

I now place my orchids in my bathroom because it has frosted glass which I’ve found, does a great job of diffusing the light so that it is softer and my orchid has enough light for flowering yet it does not get scorched.

Another method that I tested was to use a sheer curtain on the window with direct light. I can report it worked really well as (like with the frosted glass) the light was diffused and my orchids look great. from my experiments both methods have great results.

If your orchid’s leaves turn a brown or yellow color, then the specific leaves are unlikely to recover and usually turn brown before dropping off.

I would caution against trying to force a dying leaf off, as this can create an unnecessary wound, which, if infected, can cause more harm to the plant.

Place the orchid in an area of bright, indirect light, mist the leaves, and water thoroughly once a week and the orchid should be able to recover with new leaves emerging from the base of the plant in Spring and Summer.

6. Hot and Cold Temperatures- Dying Orchids

Moth orchids require a temperature range of 55°F (12°C) at night and a maximum daytime temperature of 75°F (23°C). If orchids are exposed to temperatures outside of this range, they can drop flowers, stop growing, turn yellow, and droop with a dying appearance.

Our orchids are sensitive to extremes of temperature and are particularly sensitive to sudden fluctuations in temperature, which can be caused by the opening and closing of an outside door that lets all the cold air in, causing the temperature to drop suddenly.

Fortunately, 55°F (12°C) and 75°F (23°C) is typically within the bounds of room temperature, so it is often not the problem.

However, in my experience, it is common to see individual orchid leaves dying as the orchid is on a window sill and the leaves are in contact with a cold window frame, which can cause the leaf to turn brown or yellow.

(This has happened to me before!)

Also, orchids that are too close to sources of heat in the home often drop their flowers or developing flower buds if the temperature increases significantly.

My only real solution is to relocate your orchid to a room with the right temperature range and is not subject to frequent draughts or heat, which can significantly alter the temperature.

Any damaged leaves may die back and fall off; however, new leaves emerge in the main growing season.

If excess heat was the problem, then look for signs of drought stress, as increased temperatures are likely to dry the orchid out much quicker.

What I found works is to just spray the leaves and give the orchid a good soak to help it recover.

7. Causes of Dying Orchids- Crown Rot

Orchid leaves can form a funnel shape around the stems which collects water and can prevent it from draining away. The stagnant water contained in the funnel can cause crown rot, which causes the orchid’s leaves and stems to turn yellow and wilt with a dying appearance.

This does not necessarily occur with every orchid, but often, the way the leaves are shaped and arranged can cause water to pool around the crown of the orchid.

In the phalaenopsis orchid’s native environment, it grows on trees, usually at an angle of around 45°, which allows any water to drain safely away from the crown rather than get trapped by the leaves.

In our household environment, our orchids are grown vertically, and therefore, overhead watering onto the leaves channels the water onto the crown of our orchids without having a chance to drain away effectively.

This is why I recommend watering at the base of the plant directly onto the potting medium rather than overhead onto the leaves.

If you accidentally pour water onto the leaves and it collects in the crown, my best tip is to use a hairdryer on a cool setting to help dry out the crown. I find a quite cool blast is all that is needed.

Saving an orchid with crown rot can be very difficult as the fungal pathogens responsible for the disease can spread around other organs of the plant. However, with some drastic action, there is a chance it can be saved.

As saving an orchid with crown rot is a tricky visual process to explain, I recommend watching the video for a visual guide on how to save orchids with crown rot:

8. Too Much or Not Enough Fertilizer- Dying Orchids

Orchid roots are very sensitive and can easily burn if you apply a regular houseplant fertilizer or use fertilizer too often or in too high a concentration, which causes the roots to turn dark brown or black depending on the severity of the root burn.

I recommend always using a specific orchid fertilizer as they are formulated to provide the orchid with the right balance of nutrients at the right concentration.

Orchid fertilizers contains all the nutrients orchids require at the level of concentration to support healthy growth and flowering and to prevent root burn.
I use this orchid fertilizer. Orchid fertilizers contain all the nutrients orchids require at the concentration needed to support healthy growth and flowering and prevent root burn.

If there is only mild damage to the roots with some discoloration, then my method for saving the orchid is to leave it in a basin of water for 10 minutes or so or run the faucet over the potting medium to help dilute the excess salts from the fertilizer that cause the damage.

For more severe root burns, your orchid must be removed from the pot, and any dead or dying roots must be cut away with a sterile pair of scissors or pruners.

As I previously recommended, repot your orchid with a new pine bark-based potting medium. The old medium is likely to contain a high concentration of harmful salts from fertilizer use.

If enough viable, healthy green (or light gray) roots feel firm, then the orchid has a good chance of being saved. However, if most of the roots are thin, papery, and dying, then the orchid can be difficult to save.

But I would still give it a go. I have found that orchids are surprisingly resilient and can grow new roots in the Spring and Summer if you care for them consistently (bright light, humidity, water every seven days, etc.).

Pro tip: By far, the most effective and important tip for reviving orchids I have learned from experts is to use a transparent pot to let light reach the roots. As we discussed, orchid roots can photosynthesize and contribute energy to the plant, which can provide it with the resources it needs to recover. Transparent pots also help you to keep an eye on the state of the orchid’s roots.

Orchid pot
This is the sort of transparent pot I use to grow my orchids. It allows the roots to photosynthesize, which is a real game changer for helping your orchids recover.

After repotting, give the orchid a thorough watering and ensure the pot has drainage holes in the base to prevent root rot.

(Read my article, How to Care for Orchids Indoors).

Key Takeaways:

  • Overwatering and the wrong potting medium promote the conditions for root rot, which causes orchids to turn yellow, wilt, and die back. Orchids prefer to grow in 60-70% humidity. Low humidity saps moisture from the leaves and roots, which causes the orchid to wilt and die.
  • Moth orchids grow best in a pine-based potting medium, as the aerated, well-draining structure recreates the typical growing conditions of the orchid’s native environment. Moss and soil-based mediums retain too much moisture and restrict air flow, which causes root rot, resulting in a wilting and dying orchid.
  • If orchids are not watered often enough or watered too lightly, the roots shrivel and die, causing the orchid’s leaves to turn yellow with a dying appearance. To avoid dying from drought stress, orchids should be watered thoroughly once a week in the Spring and Summer and every 7-10 days in the Fall and Winter.
  • Draughts and air currents from air conditioning or sources of heat sap moisture from orchid leaves and roots, causing them to wilt, turn yellow, and die back, and the flowers or developing flower buds to drop off. Mist orchids regularly to increase humidity and prevent flowers from dropping.
  • Orchids naturally grow in forest canopies and are very sensitive to direct sunlight. Too much sun causes orchid leaves to turn a scorched yellow or brown color, dry out, and drop off. Intense sun also causes flowers to drop and can exacerbate symptoms of drought stress.
  • Orchids grow best in a temperature range of 55°F (12°C) and 75°F (23°C). If the temperature is too hot or too cold, the orchid leaves turn yellow, and the flowers drop off. Orchids are sensitive to significant fluctuations in temperature from draughts or indoor heating, which can cause them to die back.
  • Watering orchids overhead can cause the leaves to channel water onto the crown of the plant, which causes the leaves and stems to turn yellow and die of crown rot. If left untreated, the crown rot spreads to other parts of the orchid, killing the roots and causing the orchid to die back.
  • House plant fertilizer is too strong for orchids and burns the roots. If the root burn is severe, the orchid’s roots die back and can no longer uptake moisture and nutrients to transport around the orchid, which results in the leaves and stems turning yellow, flowers dropping, and the orchid dying back.

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