Reviving Rotten Orchids with Garlic: A Simple and Natural Solution

Orchids are exquisite plants that enhance the beauty of any indoor space, but they can be notoriously finicky when it comes to care. One common issue that orchid enthusiasts often face is root rot, which can severely damage or even kill the plant. Fortunately, there’s a simple and natural remedy that can help save your rotting orchids: garlic. Yes, you heard it right—garlic isn’t just for cooking; it’s also a powerful tool for reviving orchids. Here’s how you can use garlic to breathe new life into your rotten orchids.

Why Garlic?

Garlic is known for its potent antifungal and antibacterial properties, which make it an excellent choice for treating fungal infections in plants. Orchid root rot is primarily caused by fungi, which thrive in moist conditions. By using garlic, you can effectively combat these pathogens and prevent them from further harming your plant.

How to Use Garlic to Revive Rotten Orchids

Materials Needed:

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Knife
  • Water
  • Spray bottle (optional)


  1. Prepare the Garlic Solution:
    • Peel one clove of garlic and crush it lightly to release its juices.
    • Allow the crushed garlic to soak in a cup of water overnight. This helps to infuse the water with garlic’s antifungal properties.
  2. Apply the Garlic Water:
    • The next day, remove the garlic pieces from the water.
    • If the orchid is severely affected by rot, you can gently clean the roots under running water and then soak the roots in the garlic water for an hour or so. Be cautious not to over-soak as excessive moisture can exacerbate the rot.
    • For a less invasive approach, especially if the rot is not severe, use a spray bottle to apply the garlic water directly to the affected areas of the plant.
  3. Repeat Treatment:
    • Depending on the severity of the rot, you might need to repeat this treatment a few times. It’s important to monitor the plant’s response to the treatment and adjust accordingly.
  4. Post-Treatment Care:
    • After treating your orchid with garlic water, ensure that the plant has proper ventilation and is not in overly humid conditions to prevent future occurrences of rot.
    • Adjust your watering habits to ensure the orchid does not sit in waterlogged soil, as this can lead to root rot.

Tips for Success

  • Do not overuse garlic: While garlic can be effective in treating root rot, its strong properties can also harm the plant if used excessively. It’s crucial to use this treatment sparingly and observe how your orchid responds.
  • Maintain proper care: Reviving your orchid with garlic is just part of the solution. Proper ongoing care, including appropriate watering, light, and temperature conditions, is essential for the health of your orchid.
  • Be patient: Orchids take time to recover from root rot. Even with treatment, it can take weeks or even months for your orchid to fully recover and thrive again.

Using garlic to revive rotten orchids can be an effective and eco-friendly method. With the right approach and continued care, you can restore your orchids back to health and enjoy their stunning beauty once again.