I have a Phalaenopsis single-stemmed moth orchid which has flowered well for 3 years. However, a well-meaning friend overwatered it and it’s now slowly dying with only two healthy young leaves left in the centre. Can you suggest any way to rescue this beauty?
Unfortunately overwatering is one of the worst things that can happen to a Phalaenopsis. However, your friend can rest assured that overwatering it is a very common occurrence, and unfortunately many people do it unawares.
The Phalaenopsis orchid is a tropical plant that prefers its potting mix to be kept on the drier side. When overwatered, the soil stays soggy causing the roots to rot - which may have occurred in this instance.
In attempt to resurrect the plant, it would be worth re-potting it immediately. To get the best growth from orchids you need to use the correct soil. Re-pot the plant back into the same sized pot using Daltons Premium Orchid Mix - it is specially formulated for growing orchids in containers and has the right blend of bark chip, fertiliser and nutrients.
Water your orchid lightly twice a week with lukewarm water during the winter months (cold water can shock the plant), and more regularly over summer when it becomes apparent the potting mix has dried out. If it has not made new growth by December, you may need to purchase a new plant.