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Thread: Ochids on Orchids

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    Ochids on Orchids

    So after being house plant-less for over 20 years... Within a month I have 2 high maintenance plants the CP's (mentioned in my welcome post) and this orchid..





    Well that is what the plant looked like when I got it 1/25, where I won the table prize at a bridal shower.. I was told it was a very easy orchid & all I have to do is give it 3 ice cubes 1 x a week.. well I noticed right away... that was not enough water... so I have been doing it twice a week.. now I am getting new blooms... there is never any water in the catch tray.. so I am not sure if that is enough water?... the roots are green and I have read that is something to look for.

    Here is the plant now..



    Now with this picture the bare branch had like 6 flowers that had died off, that branch is now turning brown... should I trim the brown off? or leave it alone?



    In this pic .. notice the new bud that has died off? Would that be a water problem? or light?



    This pic shows the exposed roots... I know they need to be left out of the dirt.. but I was wondering if this plant should be put into a bigger pot?



    This is a picture of the roots... Like I said before... they are green.. they look healthy... but thought I would ask you all who have a lot more expertize, then myself...



    Any suggestions, or helpful hints... would be greatly appreciated...

    Sorry for all the questions.. and also I tend to get wordy.. so I also apologize for that in advance...

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Phalaenopsis are anything but high maintenance. Too much maintenance is usually why people lose them. I keep mine in low light like a north facing window in clear pots with chunky media like bark or lava rock. When all visible roots turn silver I soak them for a minute in ro or rain water to which I add about 1/2 tsp of orchid fertilizer. This turns the roots green, and they get no more care until the roots turn silver again. That varies between 1 & 2 weeks.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    The dropped bud, is most often due to too low night temperatures, but can also be caused by low humidity, hot dry air, or cold drafts. Those are the most usual causes of bud drop, but anything that stresses the plant, can cause that issue.

    The dead parts of the flower stalk, should be gently trimmed away, being careful not to harm the parts that are still green. Dormant buds on the flower stalks can form additional flowers, or branches that continue to bloom. Sometimes a dormant bud can even grow into a small plantlet, which, after it starts growing roots, can be removed and planted in its own pot.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    carnivorous plants of the world -- unite! DragonsEye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmina View Post
    Well I was told it was a very easy orchid & all I have to do is give it 3 ice cubes 1 x a week.. well I noticed right away... that was not enough water... so I have been doing it twice a week.. now I am getting new blooms... there is never any water in the catch tray.. so I am not sure if that is enough water?... the roots are green and I have read that is something to look for.
    ..
    Considering this is a tropical plant, that watering method always makes me cringe a bit. When this method has come up with folks I meet at orchid shows, I make the analogy "What would you think about someone dripping ice cold water over your feet?" However, I have run into a number of people who have found that it works well for them.

    As Subrosa mentioned, this is considered by many folks to be among the easiest of orchids to grow and bloom. I, too, soak mine then let them drain. Once a week usually suffices for me.

    Orchids like this are often grown in fairly small pots. Not because they "like to be root bound" as some folks will tell you -- that is a total crock. Rather it is because the media dries out faster in a small pot which makes root rot less likely. Looks like the media yours is in is chunky wood which is good. Phals generally do not like fine soil like media. If the wood pieces are starting to get soft/mushy then it is time to repot.

    The new bud die off (known as "blasting") is, as Joseph indicated, due to a sudden change in conditions. Sudden temperature changes are the most common cause.

    Btw, should you be interested, there is an orchid show on MSU's campus Feb 28th & March 1st.
    "Blessed are the cracked….
    For they are the ones who let in the light."



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    Well I think I really misunderstood this Orchid.. I thought orchids we a lot of work..

    and the bud dying because of temp change... could be the problem..it is in the living room and at night I turn down the heat.. so that is my fault... I think I am going to move that plant into my bug room... it stays a more consistent warmer temp in there...

    My grandfather was a hybrid orchid cultivator many years ago.. I remember seeing all the awards, ribbons and trophies... I was just a little kid.. I learned nothing...

    Yes, I would love the info for the orchid show.. I will try and go...

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    carnivorous plants of the world -- unite! DragonsEye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmina View Post
    Well I think I really misunderstood this Orchid.. I thought orchids we a lot of work..
    Some are more work than others. In large part, it comes down to the conditions one can easily supply. If you live in Arizona and are trying to grow an orchid from the mountain cloud forests where temps rarely exceed the low 70s and humidity is well over 60% all the time, you will find said orchid to be a lot of work. However, someone growing the same plant in areas of Oregon or San Fran. will likely have a far easier time. As with plants in general, choosing plants whose needs are close to those you can easily provide makes for considerably less work.

    Quote Originally Posted by dmina View Post
    and the bud dying because of temp change... could be the problem..it is in the living room and at night I turn down the heat.. so that is my fault... I think I am going to move that plant into my bug room... it stays a more consistent warmer temp in there...
    The fact you turn down the heat at night is unlikely to be the issue. A normal swing in temps is fine. The issue with bud blast typically comes about with scenarios such as these:
    • One buys a plant that has been sitting in the ideal conditions of a greenhouse and then takes it home where conditions such as temperature, light, and humidity are all radically different. This is a shock to the plant which may then "decide" to redirect its resources towards vegetative growth as it prepares to adjust to the new conditions as best it can.
    • One takes a plant -- whether from a BBS, friend's home, whatever -- from the warmth of that indoor area and carries it outside exposing the plant (and in particular the spikes and any buds) to the winter cold on the way to the car shocking the plant. Doesn't help matters when the car is also cold and even though the car interior temps may have warmed up considerably by the time you reach your home, one then exits the car and again exposes the plant to winter temps.
    • The plant gets far too dry -- whether due to insufficient water or because of root loss due to overwatering.
    • The spikes are exposed to drafts of significant temperature difference. Example: The heat vent blows hot air from the furnace directly on the plant. Or one has the plant on a windowsill where one likes to leave the window cracked open at night (or simply has really crappy windows to begin with).

    Note: In order to minimize the possibility of the second scenario, during this time of year it can be helpful when buying any plant (orchid or other) that is in bloom to warm up the car before taking the plant out to the car (particularly as cold as it has been lately), and most importantly to put a bag over the top of the plant enclosing the buds and flowers. The latter provides a warm pocket of air to surround the spike providing some measure of temporary insulating warmth to lessen cold shock.

    "Blessed are the cracked….
    For they are the ones who let in the light."



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