Orchids Live Expectation: How To Prolong It?

Last update: May 17, 2021

Indoor orchids are plants that you can start your gardening adventures with.

Of course, you have to make some effort to care for your indoor orchid plants, but they are minimal for the most part.

However, it seems that many people are still confused about the life expectancy of indoor orchids. More importantly, they do not want their indoor orchid plants to die out soon.

Therefore, it is a constant struggle to know how long do orchids live and prolong it.

Therefore, if you just started with indoor orchids, you might have a few questions in your mind, especially regarding the life expectancy of orchids. You may want to know more about the life cycle of indoor orchids and how you can improve them.

You might even want to know what you should do if an indoor orchid dies before its bloom. Do not worry, though; in this article, we have answered all the crucial questions you have in the department.

How Long Do Indoor Orchids Live?

indoor orchid

If you are into orchids, you know this already. There is an incredible number of orchid varieties in the world.

Depending on where you live, the average temperatures, and other factors, each variety may perform a bit differently in terms of life expectancy.

You cannot expect two types of orchids to flower and die simultaneously. Therefore, you should consider the numbers we mention below with a grain of salt.

Generally, orchid plants are known for their resilience. Unless during catastrophic events, orchid plants can adapt to the weather changes and stand their ground. If you search online, you can find the stories of orchid plants that are more than 100 years old.

As you can guess, these plants then become a family heirloom. But this is not the case with indoor orchids, let alone the varieties you may find in the current market. We should also keep in mind that many diseases can irrecoverably damage an orchid plan, cutting down its lifespan by half or more.

You should not limit the lifespan of an orchid to the blooming period, though. As you may already know, the popular varieties of orchid plants have a resting phase. During this phase, the plant would not flower, but it would stay dormant for several months.

It could be a few months until you see the plant blooming again. Now, a healthy indoor orchid plant can repeat this process hundreds of times. Therefore, you can expect these plants to last for several years.

You must not be surprised if an orchid plant happens to outlive you. There were instances when indoor orchid plants lived for several decades without any problem.

But people make mistakes in this area in many ways. First of all, inexperienced gardeners may think that an orchid plant has died when it is actually in dormant mode. But, if a gardener stops providing the nutrients and water for these plants, they will be dead in no time.

Now, this point leads to our second question.

Do Orchids Come Back Every Year?

orchid in pots

As we said, most types of orchids can survive for up to several years and even decades.

However, you must understand that orchids do not bloom all the time. You cannot expect the plant to bear flowers all the time. Instead, these plants flower for a few months and take a dormant stage.

During this stage, the plant would continue to absorb nutrients from the soil and store them later. It is important not to mistake this stage for the death of the orchid plant.

If you can give this extra period for an orchid plant, it will come back every year. It means you can see the flowers on the plant more often than you would expect.

The concept of orchids coming back a year is also very dependent on the variant. Even though the blooming patterns of most orchid types are clocked at once a year, some varieties can bear flowers twice or thrice a year. There are also some modified variants coming with an increased frequency of flowering.

Therefore, given that there are no significant problems, orchids come back every year to bloom. You should provide nutrients to the orchid plants even when it is not flowering.

After all, you do not grow all orchid plants for the sake of flowers alone, do you? Even when you think an orchid plant has fallen, you can easily find ways to recover it from the situation. While it is not a definitive solution, you can try some DIY ways.

We will talk about that in a bit.

Why Do Orchids Die So Fast?

spraying orchid flower

Do you want to know the truth about orchids? They do not die so fast.

These plants can resist even the most challenging changes in the environment. That is where the orchid gardener’s mistakes come into the spotlight.

Often, gardeners may mistake a dormant orchid plant for a dead orchid plant. As you can guess from the name, these two are entirely different. A dormant orchid plant can come back the next year and bloom.

On the other hand, a dead orchid plant would not be able to do that. Dead orchid plants will soon become a type of debris in the pot where you grow them.

But, there could be some reasons why your orchids die so fast. Some of the common causes are as follows. These factors apply to indoor orchid plants even though they can resist many environmental changes.

  • Lack of watering is one reason why most orchid plants die so fast. Like most other plants, an orchid plant also needs a steady water supply, even in a dormant state. Therefore, if you fail to provide frequent watering sessions, your orchid plants may die.
  • If you add too much water into the pot, it can also cause the orchid plant to die. Too much water in the pot means the plant would not grow as it should. Soon enough, the plant will cease to exist.
  • Some other problems may cause the death of orchid plants. For instance, multiple types of diseases impact orchid plants’ lives. Similarly, some indoor orchids are prone to minor changes to atmospheric humidity.

As you can see, the significant reasons why orchids die so fast are responsible for why every other plant dies so fast. It is a misconception that orchid plants die faster than other plants.

Of course, orchid plants may go to a dormant state more often than other plants, but they do not die.

What Do You Do with an Orchid When the Flowers Fall Off?

Orchid Flowers Fall Off

You can choose between a few options to care for an orchid plant when the flowers have fallen off.

The first option is simple. You should see if the plant can live and bloom again. You can do it by checking the color of the orchid spike. You would know when the orchid is dead. In that case, you can throw it away.

However, sometimes, you may see that the spike has a yellow or brown color. It may also have started to wither. The idea here is to make sure that you cut the spike that seems problematic. So, the plant would not have to carry the little spike and focus on the plants’ parts that can grow.

The second option is applicable when the orchid plant seems completely alright. It means the plant is all too well to survive until the next blooming season. It is just that the plant has finished this year’s bloom.

If we are talking about a post-bloom orchid, maintaining it is easy. You will have to provide water more frequently and make sure that you expose it to bright sunlight. It would help if you did not do too much fertilization but keep things minimal.

Also, keep in mind that the dormancy period may differ based on the orchid type you have planted.

Can You Revive Orchid Flowers?

how to revive orchid

Whether you can revive orchid flowers depends on the state of the flower. As we said, some flowers might have an alarming spike while others may die.

If you have an orchid plant with a spike that started to wither, you can revive the plant by cutting the spike. Of course, you have to ensure that you do not touch the rest of the plant.

On the other hand, if your orchid plant has died and become a part of the debris, you do not have too many options to try. Indeed, you should see if a single sprout remains on the pot.

With proper watering and fertilization, the sprout may become a fully-fledged orchid plant. However, this is a rare scenario, and you cannot expect this miracle everywhere.

But, in either case, you should examine the plant thoroughly before deciding what to do.

Conclusion

We believe we have cleared some of the vast misconceptions you had regarding indoor orchids and their life expectancy.

As you have seen, orchids do have a high life expectancy. As a gardener, you should understand that fact and keep looking for the best ways to prolong the time.