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How to Care for a Wilting Orchid

Orchids are popular and exotic-looking plants that have an unfortunate reputation for being difficult to grow at home. The truth is that orchids aren't difficult, just specific; when their simple cultivation requirements are met, orchids make hardy, resilient houseplants. Extreme changes in temperature, exposure to ethylene gas and improper watering or feeding practices can cause your orchid to wilt. Perk up a wilting orchid by following a few simple steps.

Provide orchids with consistent indoor temperatures. Set your thermostat to between 16.6 and 23.8 degrees C during the day and 15.5 to 18.3 degrees C at night. Avoid placing your orchid near heaters, air conditioners or other appliances that cause extreme changes in temperature.

Keep orchids at least 6 feet away from apples, bananas and other ripe fruits that produce ethylene gas. Exposure to this type of natural gas can cause your orchid to wilt, reports to the Sacramento Orchid Society.

Make sure that your orchid is receiving the appropriate amount of sunlight. Place the orchid in a spot that is exposed to bright, but indirect, sunlight for four to six hours each day.

Water orchids sparingly to prevent wilting and other damage caused by overwatering. For best results, water your orchid weekly using the ice cube watering method. Lay three ice cubes on the surface of the orchid's growing medium; the ice cubes will evenly moisten the growing medium as they melt.

Fertilise orchids once each month with a water-soluble fertiliser that has been specially formulated to provide targeted nutrition for orchids. Mix and apply the fertiliser as directed on the product label.

Tip

Use a cool mist humidifier to provide your orchid with increased humidity, if desired.

Warning

Never allow your orchid to sit in standing water as this will wilt the foliage and cause the roots to rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice cubes
  • Orchid fertilisers
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About the Author

Megan Mattingly-Arthur has been writing professionally since 1998. She has contributed to various publications, including "Teen Voices" and "Positive Teens" magazines, as well as a book, "The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published." Mattingly-Arthur is studying travel and tourism through Penn Foster Career School.