I have no idea what I am doing.

Discussion in 'Orchidaceae (orchids)' started by doxie1064, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. doxie1064

    doxie1064 Member

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    Well, I got this orchid....from Walmart, months ago. I think its a phal. The tag that came with it said "water with ice cubes". Since I don't have a green thumb it seemed easy enough. All the petals fell off. Months ago. I don't know what to do with it. Its sticks are brown now. But the leaves are still healthy looking--infact a new one grew a couple of weeks ago. Now a piece of the root is rotting. Please help me save this plant. Its actually very important to me, more than any other plant has ever been. I can't post a picture right now, but I can go home during my lunch break and take a few and post them this afternoon. Anything anyone can tell me will be greatly appreciated.


    Here are some pictures. I trimmed the stems as was suggested in a reply by dendrobium (thanks!!)
     

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    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  2. dendrobium

    dendrobium Member

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    Hi doxie,

    I am new to this forum as well, and I am amazed at how fast the responses come back.

    I keep some orchids, hence my name, and will offer my two penneth :o)

    Orchids like indirect light (the opposite side to your sunniest window) or maybe sunny bathroom or loo windows with defused light (if you have frosted windows)

    In the summer with very hot weather, I spray mine, the aeial roots and the leaves with water that is at room temperature maybe once a week, I keep a spray bottle filled with water that is specifically for my orchids.

    I also use 2 different feeds. I use a product from a company called Vitax, 1 is a growth food to encourage more foliage and general growth, the other one is a bloom feed for when the plant is in bloom, which obviously I change to when the plant is in flower. I feed the orchids once a week with this food in the summer. I do not feed in the winter and maybe only water once every 3/4 weeks in the winter. You will obviously have different seasons to us.

    There is another feed for orchids which is called chempak for orchids, (they do specific foods for specific plants) This might be cheaper for you as you only have one plant.

    Also once a month, I run a fast tap through the plant pot which is supposed to remove any salts or minerals that might build up on the root.

    An orchid is better underwatered than overwatered. They love Humidity

    Orchids like to be tight in a pot, even roots overflowing are better than re-potting too soon. When eventually they do need repotting, maybe after several years, they need special orchid compost, which is a very open bark like compost.

    Your orchid sounds like it is a desperate state, but hey, never say die, I have bought some back from the brink and they are great now...so who knows.

    I am sure you will gets lots of other people posting and giving you lots of advice. so


    Good luck,


    Dendrobium
     
  3. dendrobium

    dendrobium Member

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    Hi doxie,

    Sorry, I forgot to tell you to cut off the brown stems, If you look at the upright stem that had the flower on, you will see nodes, (Joints) at intervals down the stem, you should cut back the stem to either the first or second node (joint) from the bottom, you cut about 1 cm above the node (joint). Cut back to the second node at first, this can sometimes encourage a new shoot to grow out of this node, if after a month or so nothing has started, then cut back to the bottom node, then if and when a new shoot starts from the base, I am then happy to cut of the comlete old stem to the base.

    BFN

    Dendrobium
     
  4. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    It is natural for the flowers to wither and fall off. How does the plant itself look? Root condition, potting medium? How much light and moisture does it get? What is the ambient temperature? A photo would be of great help.

    And: DO NOT WATER WITH ICE CUBES!!!!!!
     
  5. doxie1064

    doxie1064 Member

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    Hmmmm.....I added pictures to the orginal cry for help. So you can see for yourself how the plant actually looks. As for root condition....I'm afraid the ice may have started the rotting on one of them. Don't know what to do about that. The potting medium....seems to be tree bark kinda stuff. And now temperature. He sits opposite the picture window in the living room, generally indirect sunlight. During the day (in the summer which we are just finishing) it gets hot an muggy in my house as I don't have air conditioning. So my best guess would be 80-95 F. At night probably around 60-65 F. I haven't been using any heat either. Now, it has been getting cooler at night. My windows are always open, no different than it has been, but the temp has dropped--maybe 50's at night. Days maybe 70's-80's F.
     
  6. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Your plant looks good to me.
     
  7. arcticshaun

    arcticshaun Active Member

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    I agree with togata57, plant looks fine. It's probably due for a repot in the spring when sun and temperatures begin to rise (usually a flush of new root growth). I would like to talk to the source of this "add ice" information, it's come up several times on this forum and should be considered unhealthy to Phals. I think it's based on the idea that temperature differential (10 degrees F day/night) help initiate flowering.

    Shaun
     
  8. doxie1064

    doxie1064 Member

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    are you sure that its looks fine....i mean....some of the roots are rotting. I can litterally break them off.
     
  9. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Well, don't. What do you mean by 'rotting'? Black and slimy, or withered up and brown? Orchid roots do shrivel now and then. If this latter is the case, don't worry. It's OK.
     
  10. doxie1064

    doxie1064 Member

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    they're withered and brown. alright then, not worried. I'll take advice. No more watering with ice cubes, possible re-pot in the spring (I'll learn about that later) and stop worrying cause I'm not killing it. Spray with room temp water. Is that all the watering I'm supposed to do? None in the pot? Just spraying?
     
  11. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    I put mine in the sink once a week or so and give 'em a thorough watering: mist on a daily basis. Keep in mind that phalaenopsis are epiphytic orchids, meaning that they wave their roots in the air to absorb moisture/nutrients. You must provide a nice juicy moist environment---humid, but not soggy. What you must do is visualize where these plants grow in the wild, and try to reproduce that environment for them. Well, as close as you can! (I draw the line at green tree boas and extra-large insects.)
     
  12. doxie1064

    doxie1064 Member

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    Thanks, thats a great way to look at it! Dachshunds are generally my forte, this is my first try at actually caring for a plant, I used to kill everything, in my office, everyone waters my plants for me, shameful isn't it? But I actually care for Dakota (the orchid) myself, at home.
     
  13. doxie1064

    doxie1064 Member

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    I'm actually in West Virgina, located about 5 hours from Columbus.
     
  14. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    One's mind is a subtle and powerful force. I have found that most folks who label themselves plant-killers indeed are not! Similar to the statement I frequently hear: Oh, I can't draw! Both self-labels come from an early unsuccessful experience with the subject---rather than repeat it, people simply avoid it. I understand this! It's hard to break a habit, but it can be done.

    Sure, there are people who just have no interest in plants. That's not who I mean. I'm talkin' about those among us who look longingly at the Boston fern at Kroger's or the dracaena at Wal-Mart, but say to him/herself: Oh, I can't! I'm a PLANT-KILLER! BANISH THIS THOUGHT FROM YOUR MIND. Erase that!!! Start again, from the beginning. If a person yearns to have a plant, they should give it another chance. Talk to ANYONE who has been messing about with plants for a long time. We ALL have had failures as well as successes. But you know what? You learn stuff. And you get better at it. The key element is the desire---and if you go with that, the rest will follow. If the plant likes what you are doing, keep doing it. Observe and be attentive, but don't fuss. Much like being a parent of any living thing. Cast yourself aside and let it lead the way. Gently remove the watering can from your co-worker's hands and say: I'm doing this now!

    Is your canine crew smooth or long-haired, and how many d'you have?
    W.Va. is a beautiful state. Go Mountaineers!
    Success to you and your orchid, doxie. Looking good!
     
  15. doxie1064

    doxie1064 Member

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    I have never had a plant success. Well, if you count the tomato plants, I have had multiple successes. Funny, I just ignored them. Never even watered them. Alright then, I appear to have become what we call in my business a "worried well"

    The "canine crew" are red and smooth coated. I have 2 of them. Both males. One (Mr. Ruby....the name is actually a long story) is from a line of doxie's I have been raising since I was in 9th grade. The other (Scooter...he came with the name despite how fitting it is) is a rescue dog that came in a wheelchair. He can walk now, but still wobbles a bit.
     
  16. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Get on the 'Conversations and Chat' forum and post photos of Mr. Ruby and Scooter: I am sure that the many dog fanciers here would enjoy them. (I know I would!)

    Now, I'm not saying that one should just completely ignore one's plants...but it does seem that once you get 'em in a spot they like, it works to let the plants go ahead and do their thing. As James Taylor once put it: "Try not to try too hard."
     
  17. doxie1064

    doxie1064 Member

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    I'll try and post some pictures of the doxies this afternoon.
     

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