Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Bill Y, Nov 25, 2011.
How can I assist this plant to bloom.
Suggest repotting: medium looks soggy.
True, but the picture is right after I watered it after it had been dry for a week or so. How long should I let it sit before watering? Whats the best medium for an Orchid like this?
With epiphytic orchids, the potting medium is primarily a support for the plant. It is essential that roots are always well-drained and aerated.
I prefer orchid bark: its chunky texture provides the above conditions. Moss is OK but I find it tends to decompose and get swampy. Not good for orchids! Be sure that your pot has drainage holes.
I get all my orchids out once a week, put them in the sink, and give them a gentle tepid spray. This washes dust from the leaves, gives the roots and bark a good soak, and provides a chance to look closely at the plant to detect any problems. Until the next time, I mist daily. Keep in mind that my plants grow in bark: moss retains much more water and will stay wet for a longer time.
How long have you had this plant, and when did it last bloom?
What is the ambient temperature and light level?
One key ingredient to orchids is patience! If conditions are right and the plant is mature and healthy, it will bloom eventually. My oldest and most reliable phal blooms twice a year. I have a lovely Otaara that took 5-6 years to produce its first flower (just had its latest last month). Worth the wait!
For most orchids I also don't like pure sphagnum, but for a Phalaenopsis, and for an orchid beginner, I actually think it's perfect. Most of the commercial phal growers have converted to sphagnum. It's good for beginners because it can clearly tell you exactly when it's time to water by texture & color change. You can see & feel it start to firm up as watering day approaches. You want it *almost* all the way dry/hard before you water again. Yes the wet cycle will be longer with sphagnum (not good for most orchids), but Phals can take it just fine as long as it is allowed to barely dry out between waterings.
Bark mixes can be quicker drying, which is generally better, but they hide more water down lower than at the top, so it takes real orchid experience to know exactly when to water them. For beginners, the top can look very dry but the core can stay continually wet and so overwatering and rotten roots is a common problem in standard bark mixes.
Looks like your plant needs staking to get established upright. You'll need frequent but light fertilizing to get blooms, and make sure to flush when you water and don't let it ever sit in a tray of water. Remember to let it dry between waterings and the moss will become filled with roots. :)
I adopted this plant from a girl at work who was moving. I think its about 4 years old. She said she has had leaves sprout but no blooms. I took it out of the pot and took out the plastic wraping on the moss and just put it back in the original clay pot. This spring I used some Orchid Fertilzer 25-10-10. It liked that, and started to grow a new leaf and a sprout you can see in the right leaf. But the new leaf grew, but the flower sprout (I think that is what it is) became dormint and shrivled. There are other sprouts like that, and I see a new one coming out from the bottom of the plant. There are others that have grown in the past that are still there (I read in a blog not to prune them because they store water for the plant). Should I have pruned the new leaf growth to let the bloom sprout grow?
Thanks for your advice on how to help this plant produce a beautiful orchid flower!
I think those are roots. I thought the same thing when I started seeing these little green shoots growing out from the leaves at the bottom of my plant- that YAY, I was finally going to get new flowers!- then when I asked about it here and showed a photo, I was told that they're roots. I mist my plant once a day so the exposed roots don't dry out. I've seen Orchid plants that have lots of shriveley roots sticking up everywhere out of the pot they're in.