8 Ways to Kill an Orchid

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Overwatered and insufficiently illuminated, this orchid won’t survive much longer.

Orchids often flower on and on for months. Worse yet, they tend to bloom again when treated too well. That is sooo boring!

Fortunately, it’s possible to kill an orchid fairly easily if you put just a little effort into it. Here’s how!

1. Water it with ice cubes

This is the method advocated by sneaky orchid growers who want to you to kill your orchid so you’ll buy a new one… and it really works! Not only are orchids tropical plants that hate the cold, but an ice cube doesn’t provide enough water, so the plant is always stressed by a constant lack of moisture. This is an excellent method for sadistic people because the plant dies very slowly.

2. Let the roots soak in water

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The rotting roots of an orchid left sitting in water. Bravo! You’re getting close!

It’s so easy to do! Nowadays, orchids are often sold in transparent pots placed in a cache-pot, that is, a container without a drainage hole. What a great idea for killing orchids! All you have to do is to pour water abundantly on the roots without ever checking to see whether they’re soaking in water afterwards. Above all, never empty the cache-pot 15 to 20 minutes after you’ve watered, otherwise your orchid might last for years!

3. Water every day

Don’t wait until the soil is dry to the touch before watering: that would be giving the orchid what it wants! Instead, water every time you walk by, killing it with kindness!

4.Place it near a radiator in winter and do nothing to increase the ambient humidity!

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Avoid humidity trays: orchids like them way too much!

It is well known that orchids love humid air and that our homes are super dry in winter. So avoid bending to the whims of your orchid by applying techniques that would increase the ambient humidity. Instead, avoid humidifiers and humidity trays. Better yet, place yours directly in front of a hot radiator. That will kill it in no time!

5. Place it in a dark corner

Sunlight is to orchids as food is to people: their unique source of energy. And what better way to kill either than to starve them! Place yours at the back of the room, in a windowless bathroom, behind curtains, or beside the window rather than directly in front of it. Better yet, set it in a dark corner for months, then move it suddenly, in the middle of summer, directly in front of the sunniest window of the house. It will literally burn! (Hi hi hi!) Especially avoid brightly lit spots that get an hour or so of direct sunlight in the morning: your orchid could live for years there! Yuck!

6. Fertilize it massively

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Pour on the fertilizer!

It’s well known that orchids need less minerals for their survival than most other plants and that reducing their diet of fertilizer to a quarter or eighth of the recommended dose can keep them alive forever. So go ahead! Double, triple or quadruple the recommended amount of fertilizer. After all, if a little is good, more must be better, right? And apply it often! There is no better way to kill a defenseless orchid than overfertilizing!

7. Either don’t repot or repot at the wrong season

Why repot when, after 2 or 3 years, your orchid’s potting mix begins to turn soft and mushy and retain too much water? After all, you are so close to hour goal of killing it! If you decide to repot it in spite of my recommendation, do so while the plant is in full bloom or, better yet, in December or January when it’s pretty much dormant. With a little luck, the shock will do it in! The worst thing to do is to repot it in a well-aerated growing mix created expressly for orchids. Instead, just dig up some dirt from your garden and use that: it will be everything orchids hate: dense, compact and full of doubtful microbes.

20161202e-anglais8. Never ask an expert or consult a website or book dedicated to orchids when you have questions or doubts

These sources seem dedicated to prolonging the life of orchids. What a crazy idea! Never pay any attention to anything they recommend and your orchid will croak much faster!


There you go! With a little deliberate neglect, anyone can kill an orchid. Try it and you’ll see!20161202a

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