moth orchid care and problem ID

Discussion in 'Orchidaceae (orchids)' started by august00west, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. august00west

    august00west Member

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    I am new to orchid care and was wondering if anyone could ID what is happening to this moth orchid. Pedals are wilting then falling off. Dont know if this is natural or a problem resulting from care. I just started fertilizing with a high N fertilizer and the orchid is in a moss type medium. As you can see in the picture, below the remaining pedals is where the first stem and pedals fell off. The middle pedal, as you can see is starting to wilt like the one that fell off. Thanks for all responses.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2007
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  2. orchidboy

    orchidboy Active Member

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    hi,
    there are a number of things that could be happening.
    1. it may have finished flowering
    2. you may have it in a to sunny, or to hot posaition
    3. I would suggest not to fertilize it while it is in flower, also how much are you fertilizing it (how often)
    i hope this helps
     
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  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Orchidboy is right on track! Most orchid blossoms only live about one month. Some can make it longer and many make it far less. A few species only last a single day! Depending on when this spike opened it could easily be near the end of the bloom's life. Especially if this was recently brought home from an orchid source. Rarely do sellers take note of when a spike opens so when you buy one you are taking some gamble that it will last any time at all. The best rule is pick a plant that is just beginning to open. Best if only a single flower is unfurled with the others still in bud. May not be as beautiful at the moment you buy it but you'll enjoy it much longer.

    Fertilizer should not be applied full strength to an orchid. Use only a fraction (10% to 20%) of the recommended amount. That includes "orchid fertilizers". And do it slowly, not all in a single dose. The majority of professional growers give their plants fertilizer "weakly, weekly". In the wild, orchids never receive any fertilizer with the exception of dissolved minerals in rain water. Far too many people seem to think fertilizer is the answer to everything! In orchids, it is not. Use it sparingly.

    But never fear. Take good care of the plant and it will bloom again.

    But Orchidboy is on the money on this one.
     
  4. everlasting

    everlasting Active Member

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    Photopro is right. i do not give my orchids the 'orchid fertilizer because i want it to grow at its own pace. it will give you flowers if it is healthy or on some orchid varieties, if they are in the required height. Since we eat rice, i water my orchids rice washing as its 'fertilizer'. Do not force orchids to bloom by giving them fertilizers because after it gives you flowers it will die because you force the plant to do something it is not capable of. This is one of the reasons why others think orchids are so hard to maintain.

    As to phalaenopsis, do not let the part where the new leaves came out be filled with water. position it in such a way that when you water it, that part does not accumulate water. this moth orchid will die if it has water on its terminal buds.
     
  5. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Please reread carefully what Everlasting has written about the over use of fertilizer! I keep emphasizing this, but people would often rather believe what the label of some product says!

    Fertilizers and hormones can cause problems for new orchid growers. People sometimes buy orchids in discount stores because they are approximately 1/2 the price of those from a good orchid nursery. But it is a virtual guarantee that all the orchids in a discount center have been "forced" to bloom. They buy "forced" orchids to resell in order to cut a year or two off the growing time, thus saving money for the company that grew it. That is how they keep the price down! Sure, it will be cheaper to buy, but the end result is all too often that plant won't ever bloom again! And then people want to know why their $12 orchid won't ever bloom?? Next thing, they are telling others "orchids are impossible to grow".

    In most cases it is better to spend your money with a good, knowledgeable orchid grower who takes the time to do it right! If the seller cannot answer ALL your questions about the orchid go somewhere else to buy! That way the money you spend will reward you year after year with blooms! Orchids are not difficult to grow and bloom. But "forced" orchids are not likely to bloom again.

    And if you think I/m an orchid seller, I'm not! Well, I sell a few out of my collection. But very few.
     
  6. arlendean

    arlendean Member

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    So, look. From years ago, I'm a farm kid and so I believe you.
    Now: the problem is I saw this glorious flowering plant at the super market. I brought it home and enjoyed its beauty for some three-four weeks. I understood what had been done to it in order to make it attractive and a quick sale.
    Now, being me, and being a believer in life, vegetable as well as animal and flying biters, how do I nurse it, love it and make sure my job has been done until it gains strength, stretches its muscles, and greets the world (and me) with its beauty once again?
    Some suggestions have arrived; all/more are appreciated.
    Arlen
     
  7. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    If the orchid is the same one you showed us in your other thread (the goat-wattle one) looks as if your phal's blooms are coming to an end---for now. It's OK, that's what is supposed to happen. Some folks snip off the flower stalk as soon as it has dropped its blooms: I leave mine be until they either turn brown and dry up, or start making another flower stalk from the old one (which happens frequently).

    To make any plant happy, duplicate its natural surroundings as nearly as you can.
    Keep in mind that phals are epiphytic, meaning that in their natural environment they live hanging onto trees, waving their moisture-absorbing roots in the air. No, you don't have to move to a rain forest; however, you DO have to be sure that you plant's roots are moist but never soggy.

    How do you make a phal happy? What I do is plant them in orchid bark, whch supports the roots and lets plenty of air circulate around them. Be sure that you use a pot WITH HOLES in the bottom! (Some orchid-specific pots have holes in the sides too.)---My phals do well in the standard bright curtain-filtered sunlight (I have a couple of clamp-on lamps with gro-bulbs also) and have cool temps most of the year. Water thoroughly in the sink once a week or so (tepid water, gentle spray) and mist daily---I have mine in close proximity to one another, so I can have at 'em with my spray bottle more efficiently.

    Enjoy your phal! They are great plants. I have several, half-a-dozen of which are in bloom right now, including my oldest (20+ years young) and newest (6 months). Give us a photo if you can---one that shows the leaves and pot, etc.

    As a native New Yorker, I bid you Welcome, and wish you botanical luck!
     

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