Orchid Problems : Overwatering Your Orchid

One of the most common orchid care problems beginner orchid growers typically face is overwatering.

Here’s a question I received via email from Bev :

I have a Phalaenopsis Orchid. I think I have over watered it and now all the blooms have fallen off except one.  It’s in a plastic pot with moss and it is damp. What should I do?  Look forward to hearing from you.  Regards, Bev L.

Here’s a photograph of an overwatered phalaenopsis :

Orchid Care, Orchid Problems, How to Care for Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

Orchids can become sick and even be killed when overwatered. Therefore, it is extremely important to determine whether improper watering is damaging your orchid. Don’t know if you are watering your orchid plant correctly? Check out my special Orchid Care and Maintenance post to learn how to water your orchid.


What are the signs of  an overwatered orchid?

Pleated, soft, yellow leaves are a sign of overwatering. Your orchid may also suffer bud blast (all of the buds fall off before they open). When examined out of the pot, orchid roots may be soggy, mushy and black.


What should I do if my orchid has been overwatered?

If the damage on the roots in limited, you can simply repot your orchid in a clay pot and fresh orchid potting mix (bark based if possible) and adjust the frequency of your watering schedule—making sure to water only in the mornings. Don’t forget to adjust temperature and humidity levels if necessary.

On the other hand, if the damage of the roots is severe, you will need to remove the diseased portions of the roots with a sterilized blade and carefully repot the plant in a clay pot and bark potting mix (otherwise you rise losing your orchid.) I recommend you refer to Ryan’s “My orchid has been over/underwatered. Now what do I do?” section in his book Orchids Made Easy, for detailed information.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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4 Responses to “Orchid Problems : Overwatering Your Orchid”

the leaves on my orchid all fell of after it bloomed, they just rotted, is that toomuch water and should I just throw it away

My orchid plant droped all its leaves after it bloomed, I might have watered it because it looks like they rotted at the bottom of the leaf. Should I keep it? or just throw it away

Hi Bernabela,

Thanks for you question! Have you looked at the roots at all?

I’d recommend you gently remove the orchid from the pot and examine the condition of the roots. What kind of damage do they have? How much damage do they have? This will help you determine what kind of state they are in. If there are a few healthy roots you can definitely nurse your orchid back to health.

Good Luck!

Carol :-)

I bought my Orchid last week Sunday (a week today) and on Thursday I decided to give it some water as it felt a bit dry on the top. As the man in the garden centre told me to water it from the bottom, I put it on a plate with water and let it stand on it for a few hours… as this was how he had explained it to me. Looking at the plant now (and browsing the internet) I can now see I did it all wrong as everywhere it says to water them normally as any plant from the top… I probably drowned it now and therefore the flowers are getting wrinkled and yellow and are falling off… I am soo annoyed with myself as I so wanted to do a good job… how do I go from here ?!? I don´t want them to die… any help really welcome !!! Thanks Sara…

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