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Thread: Orchid Help Please!

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    Orchid Help Please!

    So I've attached some pictures of my girlfriends orchids which she has been slowly accumulating. She recently switched to a east facing window after the plants weren;t doing so hot in a west facing one, but I just wanted to get some input on their health/what needs to be done so they don't die!
    The smaller ones have been repotted in an orchid mic, but some larger ones are still in the mainly moss mix they came in which seems to retain moisture for a while.
    Some facts: She uses an orchid fertilizer in the water at the recommended proportions. She soaks them about once a week in the water, but some of them seem to stay quite damp at the weeks end.
    Any suggestions based on the photos as to what they might need?
    Thanks,
    Kyle

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    31drew31's Avatar
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    Seems the photos have not made it into the thread.

    Depending on the species, if they are still wet after a week, dont soak/water them. The types I grow on windowsills are mostly Oncidiums and Cymbidiums, and they are in a heavy bark mixture with little to no sphagnum. I soak for half an hour every 10-14 days depending on if its been really sunny or cloudy. When we have had a few cloudy days I wait longer as there has been less evaporation in the media.

    I had trouble at first with orchids since I was trying too hard to take care of them. In other words I drown them to death with water. Ive found its better to neglect them then to baby them. They do better with too little water then too much water.

    But try and repost the photos as it will give us better ideas of what needs to be done depending on the type of orchid.

    Andrew

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    31drew31's Avatar
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    Phalaenopsis. I seem to kill them, but they have thick roots which dont like to stay wet for too long. If it was me I would repot into a bark mixture and water only once the media has become dry. When repotting cut any dried or rotted roots. East window will be fine.

    The new leaves look fine, but the older leaves are showing a lack of water intake. Now I find this often means the roots have rotted, making them useless for water intake. Also being potted in a moss mixture makes me guess this is the problem.

    Once she gets the conditions right they will flower 2+ times a year with some hybrids flowering non-stop.

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    An orchid fancier with a CP problem chibae's Avatar
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    I agree on the rotted roots. I grow my phals in a well drained mix or mounted, no sphag. Also she should only feed at 1/4 of the recommened strength..the rule of thumb in feeding orchids is weekly-WEAKLY.
    Finally..orchids can be as fussy about their water as cps can, I use distilled, RO or rain water for mine, but, do not use distilled or RO with fertilizer unless the fert is labeled for such, orchids can't handle the Ph shifts well.
    It's a tough life being a Sarracenia farmer
    My Grow List http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=123776

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    31drew31's Avatar
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    chibae: I do the 1/4 strength as well because I use normal houseplant fertilizer. She is using a fertilizer branded for orchids specifically which I have never used. Do you still need to cut the strength down? I would think the manufacturer would have already done this.

    Andrew

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    An orchid fancier with a CP problem chibae's Avatar
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    You'd think..but unless it's a very specific brand such as MSU, don't trust it. most of the stuff from places like Shultz comes from the same vat and is rebranded.
    It's a tough life being a Sarracenia farmer
    My Grow List http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=123776

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    31drew31's Avatar
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    I agree.

    Vbkid: I would compare the nutrient levels of this fertilizer with the one your girlfriend is using and adjust accordingly. Remember though this is for use with water containing low disolved minerals. If she is using tap water you may want to use slightly less. Like water, its better to err on the side of caution and use too little, rather than too much.

    Andrew

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