Orchids have a reputation for being fickle plants that succumb to new environments easily and quickly. But luckily orchids only need a few key conditions to thrive: proper water, adequate light, and access to rich nutrients.
Like all plants, orchids are good communicators, and they’ll show a few telltale signs to indicate when they’re happy and healthy.
Let’s dive into the 5 signs that your orchid is in excellent health so you can learn what to look for to be sure your plant is thriving year-round.
Good Health Sign #1: Thick, sturdy, and shiny leaves
Plant leaves absorb light and turn it into energy in a process called photosynthesis. Since leaves are responsible for keeping plants alive, they’re often fantastic indicators of plant health.
You can be sure your Phalaenopsis orchid is in good health if it boasts thick, sturdy leaves. Often, healthy orchid leaves also look rubbery and shiny.
If you notice your orchid’s leaves appearing listless or shriveling, your plant may be in distress. This is a good time to troubleshoot your care routine so your orchid can get back to being a healthy, vibrant plant.
Professional Tip: Wilting leaves may indicate root rot, a condition in which your orchid’s root system is deteriorating. To remedy listless leaves caused by root rot, pull back on your watering routine and be sure your orchid is potted in a well-draining potting mix.
Good Health Sign #2: Uniformly green foliage
Along with thick, sturdy, shiny leaves, another sign your orchid is in excellent health is when its foliage appears uniformly medium-green. For most orchids, a rich-green leaf and stem color indicates the plant is receiving the perfect amount of light—not too much and not too little.
If your orchid’s leaves begin turning yellow, it may be a bleaching effect caused by too much direct sunlight. In this scenario, move your orchid a few feet back from its light source and out of the line of direct sun rays.
If your orchid’s leaves are deep, dark green, or almost black, your plant is likely receiving too little light. Reposition your orchid in a room with plenty of indirect sunlight, such as a south-facing room with big windows.
Professional Tip: If your orchid’s leaves aren’t uniformly green, try using a moisture meter to better measure the moisture content of your potting mix and dial in your watering routine.
Good Health Sign #3: Plentiful and vibrant blooms
An orchid in good health will naturally bloom during its blooming season, which typically takes place for a few months every year. If your orchid boasts big, bountiful blooms during bloom season, it’s a sign your plant is thriving.
On the other hand, if your orchid’s blooms appear wilted or drop early, it’s a sign your watering routine needs adjusting. If the potting mix is damp to the touch, you may be overwatering, whereas bone-dry potting mix may indicate underwatering.
Professional Tip: Shriveled blooms can also be the cause of too little environmental humidity. Be sure to place your orchid on a humidity tray so it’s able to bask in moist air.
Good Health Sign #4: White roots with green tips
Although most of your orchid’s roots will be covered by potting mix and out of sight, it’s common for orchid roots to grow above the media and along the pot’s rim. When this happens, your orchid’s roots should appear white with green tips. The longer the green tips, the healthier the plant.
Roots that appear shriveled, mushy, or show signs of decomposition are likely suffering from root rot. In this case, remove the dead roots with a pair of sharp garden shears and repot your plant in a well-draining potting mix. Root rot can progress quickly, so it’s best to take action right away to prevent plant death.
Professional Tip: To best protect your orchid’s delicate root system, we recommend using our Root Supplement. It’s a ready-to-use supplement that will ensure your plant maintains a healthy root system so it’s able to absorb nutrients and avoid fast-spreading diseases.
Good Health Sign #5: New growth
New shoots, buds, or leaves on your orchid is a definite sign that your plant is alive and well. Though sometimes plants can still grow while under stress, fresh growth indicates your plant is not only functioning, but processing and using nutrients properly.
Professional Tip: During dormant periods, which typically take place over winter months, pull back on your watering routine. Your orchid won’t need much water while it’s dormant since it won’t produce new growth until bloom season.
A Recap: The 5 Signs Your Orchid Is in Good Health
There you have it! You’ve learned the 5 signs your orchid is in perfect health. Here’s a quick recap so you can be sure your plant is happy and healthy:
- Sign #1: Your orchid boasts thick, rubbery leaves.
- Sign #2: Your plant’s foliage is uniformly green, not mottled or yellowing.
- Sign #3: Your orchid’s roots appear white with green tips.
- Sign #4: Your plant’s blooms are plentiful and vibrant.
- Sign #5: Your orchid is showing signs of new growth.
Professional Tip: For more tips on how to grow a healthy orchid, check out our article 5 Simple Secrets to Growing a Healthy Orchid.
Bonus Tip: Use Premium Orchid Food to Keep Your Orchid in Good Health Year-Round.
Whether you’re caring for one orchid or a whole fleet of orchid plants, you should use a reliable orchid fertilizer to nourish your plants and keep them healthy.
The trick is to use a fertilizer that’s engineered for orchids rather than using a fertilizer designed for a wide variety of houseplants. Regular fertilizers are too harsh for your orchid’s complex root systems and can easily burn your plant.
Premium Orchid Food is specifically formulated for your plant’s unique needs and gentle enough so that you won’t risk damaging your orchid. To nourish your orchid with this easy-to-use spray formula, simply spray the Orchid Food on your plant’s leaves, roots, and potting mix every time you water. Then sit back and watch your plant bloom!