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This is a discussion on Plants starting to look "dried out" within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; We've gotten a few emails and calls about this happening so I wanted to address ...
We've gotten a few emails and calls about this happening so I wanted to address it here...
Quite a few folks getting an orchid as a gift or buying a first few for themselves start noticing that, afer some time, the plant's pseudobulbs start to shrink. Several people, after calling and innocently asking "should I start watering it now?" are trying to make a pseudobulb that has shrunken "puff up" again.
It won't happen!
If we're used to growing houseplants, we've noticed that, after ignoring one for a while to the point that it starts getting wilted, a good dose of water will make it revitalize, so that next day, the plant looks pretty much as puffy and healthy as it did at first.
An orchid will not behave that way. Once a growth's pseudobulb has started to look dried out, no amount of watering will make it "puff up" again, and, trying to accomplish that will only rot the plant's roots. You will make your orchid look even more "dried out" because rotten roots cannot absorb moisture, and your orchid will finally die.
Orchids revitalize by putting out new growth, not by making an old growth look better once it's past prime.
If you've ignored your plant for a while and are just noticing that it's looking shrunken, don't give it a ton of water to try and "make up" for your mistake. You'll end up killing it with kindness. Just start watering and fertilizing it according to instructions on our CARE page, and it will eventually put out a new growth or leaf in its own time to get itself going again.
Your best defense against losing your orchid investment is to feed and water regularly, according to instructions, the moment one of our plants is in your care. Your effort, I promise, will be well rewarded!
"Overwatering" does not mean "putting too much water in the pot." It means, watering too frequently .
When you water, do it in the morning, in the kitchen sink for folks growing in their house, and absolutely drench the plant. Then, drench it again. Let the excess water drain, then return the plant to your growing area. The leaves should be dry by nightfall. If they're not, wipe them dry. Be especially sure to get rid of any water that might be remaining in the plant's "crown" or active growing center. If water is left standing there overnight, crown rot may result and, on Phals especially, that means doom for the plant.
The reason I'm saying this is that some folks, when told not to overwater, take that to mean they should just sprinkle a few drops in the pot, and that's it.
Not at all. Soak the medium thoroughly, then let it dry before soaking it again the next time you water. Just don't water so often that the medium stays constantly wet.......