Leaves are Limp

Symptom/Detail Link/Cause Description/Solution
Happened On Bottom/Older leaves first Root loss or rot
Unpot the plant and examine the root system. If most roots feel mushy to the touch, then major root loss has occurred. This could be caused by one or more of the following reasons :
  1. Pot is too large for the plant. Refer to repotting page for the correct way to match pot size with the plant.
  2. Mix has degraded too much. Potting mixes have a fixed lifetime, and should be replaced before that stage is reached. Refer to the repotting page for details.
  3. Overwatering. Most orchids can be safely watered once a week, if they are healthy and potted properly. The natural reaction to limp leaves is to give more water, which is tragic since this could have been the problem in the first place ! Check the mix, in most cases it should approach drying out before you water again. If you grow on the windowsill, then remember that most plants require less water during the winter months.
Happened On Newer/Top leaves first Insufficient Light When plants are in active growth, they require regular light levels to develop normally. If you rely on natural sunlight during the cloudy weather, this can be problematic. Supplement with artificial lighting while your plants are in active growth. Continue until leaves mature.
Leaves became limp first and then soon became brown or black Cold Shock When plants are exposed to excessive cold during the winter, leaf cells can die. The leaves will become limp and then darken in the next couple of days. Trim off affected areas and treat with fungicide to help plant recover. Depending on the extent of damage, it may take up to two years or more to recover fully.
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