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Thread: Rescue Orchid, Help?

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    Rescue Orchid, Help?

    So my girlfriend said last time we were at Lowes that she likes orchids, so when I stopped by tonight and saw some withering ones on sale for $5 I picked her one up. The flowers don't look very good, but the leaves are still a healthy green so I have faith it can be salvaged. From what I've read, I plan on treating it like a Nep and just watering it it thoroughly once a week or so. For a first time grower, are there any pitfalls I need to look out for? It will be in indirect sunlight in reasonable temps inside.

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    wicked good plants! Presto's Avatar
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    A few questions...what kind of orchid is it? Is it in a pot with a drainage hole?
    -Emily

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    It just says Phalaenopsis, and yes, it has a drainage hole. Also, any idea how often I can expect it to bloom?

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    wicked good plants! Presto's Avatar
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    Cool! Well, hopefully folks with more experience will also chime in, but here's what I've learned about my Phalaenopsis...

    Whenever I've tried to rescue orchids, my problem has always been unhealthy roots. It was especially bad when they potted the poor guys in undrained pots...yours is drained, so that's good! But maybe water very sparingly the first couple months. That will encourage new root growth.

    Blooming can apparently be almost non-stop if a plant is healthy enough. Mine went a few years without blooming, but last year and this year started sending up spikes in December. One nice thing about the flowers is that they last a long time!
    -Emily

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    If it's potted in bark, rather than "watering" it, soak it overnight in purified water. Then, let it go until you notice the lowest leaves start to get wrinkly/wilt a little. I sometimes go a month between waterings for my Phals, during the cooler parts of the year. You might consider reading up on "hydroculture" methods - basically you replace the orchid moss/bark with hydroponic clay pellets, and leave the pot standing in a little water. The inorganic media helps protect against rot, but the tradeoff is that fertilization is more important.
    Best luck with it.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vbkid View Post
    So my girlfriend said last time we were at Lowes that she likes orchids, so when I stopped by tonight and saw some withering ones on sale for $5 I picked her one up. The flowers don't look very good, but the leaves are still a healthy green so I have faith it can be salvaged. From what I've read, I plan on treating it like a Nep and just watering it it thoroughly once a week or so. For a first time grower, are there any pitfalls I need to look out for? It will be in indirect sunlight in reasonable temps inside.

    Do not let you pseudobulbs dry out. Period. That is not healthy for an orchid. While it may look ok, you are weakening it and opening it up to infection. Orchids are more susceptible to diseases than CP's, and many more of types than afflict CP's. Watering should happen twice a week or when the soil begins to get dry. Fertilize only with a specific orchid fertilizer. There are generally two kinds, a bloom inducing fert and regular orchid fert. I use a regular orchid fert once a month and use the bloom inducing one only occasionally. It should be quarantined as any new plant should. I have found plenty or pests on my rescues, but some neem oil insecticide makes short work of them. Otherwise they will eye up your neps and any other plants you have. I have bought quite a few rescue orchids from Lowes and Home Depot, and have managed to keep nearly all of them alive and blooming. You will lose them if you do not thoroughly check them out before purchasing. I use the same growing medium as my neps, and it works well. A mix of LFS, orchid bark and perlite. I have had new orchids take anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple years to finally start blooming for me after saving them. I find my orchids need a little more tender loving care than my CP's but it is just as, if not more so, rewarding for me in the end. I started with only growing CP's, but now have almost as many orchids as CP's. All of my neps and orchids are grown in windowsills btw. Some full sun is good for them, but do not leave them in it to long or the leaves will burn. My orchids generally bloom twice a year, but some only once, some three times. The care for various orchids is all about the same with subtle changes here and there, mostly with amount of light needed and how often to water, but the general guidlines laid out here are good for Phals, and Dendrobiums, as well as any you can generally find at the major stores. Any questions feel free to PM me.
    Joshua from PA
    Looking for plants with Pennsylvania location data
    Grow List
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...923#post933923

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    Taliesin-DS's Avatar
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    Dont let the roots rot.
    They need to be green/white, not brown.
    I have some garden center phals, most over a year and i think i havent seen any of them bloom a second time :P
    my growlist: http://terraforums.com/forums/showth...306#post976306
    My pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/taliesin-ds/

    <Exo> @Talie......You are the lord of all things blah....

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    Thanks for all the responses, been sticking to the instructions, the larger one still looking great, but the smalelr one is still waiting to show signs of recovery....

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