Here’s How Charcoal Could Rescue Your Dying Orchid

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Here's How Charcoal Could Rescue Your Dying Orchid

Here’s How Charcoal Could Rescue Your Dying Orchid

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There’s nothing worse than caring for a plant only to find that all of your hard work is to no avail. However, if you have a dying orchid on your hands, there’s a special ingredient that could help to rescue it once and for all: charcoal. Although it may seem bizarre to use with your dying orchid, it can work wonders. Surprisingly, many people use it in their gardening too. 

As it turns out, the reason it works so well is that charcoal essentially helps to give your treasured plant a nutrient boost. If you incorporate charcoal correctly, it can help your orchid to thrive and return it to its former glory. But how exactly does it work, and how can you use it to save your plant? Although you might not know exactly how it works, charcoal works its magic in a very particular way. Let’s take a look.

The nutrient boost helps to revive your orchid

@tannertheplanter

I know y’all have been following the charcoal orchid saga, but something my wife pointed out really surprised me! It could be a total coincidence, but from the dozens of orchids I’ve flowered over the years I’ve never had one produce such LARGE flowers! I’ll be interested to see how this plant does long term. #orchid #planttips #planttiktok

♬ original sound – TannerThePlanter

Usually, there are some telltale signs your orchids are in trouble. When it comes to selecting the right charcoal, you should choose one that is specially made for plants. This includes horticultural and activated charcoal, not the charcoal briquettes used on the grill (unless you’re sure it hasn’t been treated with chemicals and other additives designed to make it light faster). Charcoal won’t break down, so as a potting medium, it can be very economical. 

Not only does charcoal help boost nutrient levels that plants need to grow, it also absorbs toxins, which can harm your orchid. These factors should help revive your dying orchid and raise it from its slumber due to the increase in essential nutrients. Basically, charcoal enhances the qualities your soil already has. However, as well as mixing it in the potting medium, you can use charcoal by itself as a potting medium for your plant, as shown by user @tannertheplanter on TikTok. Just like regular medium, you still need to water it if you go this route. Once every seven days should be sufficient and will help your orchid get the hydration it needs.

✿ Read More About Flowers.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.