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    are my orchids unwell

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    default are my orchids unwell

    Post by Guest on Tue 19 May 2015, 4:19 am

    I have four orchids, three at home one at work. I'm new to this so I don't know if I'm caring for them correctly, I've read a lot online and after several trials they are in the proper orchid bark / sphagnum mix and there were little black and white things in the mix.
    The three at home are about 5 to 6 feet away from a north east (more east) facing window and the one at work is near an east facing window.

    All have nice "grassy" green leaves, and get water once maybe twice a week with a gentle spray bottle. and once a week I spray an orchid food spray bottle I got from Lowes.


    But none of the Blooms seem to have lasted as long as I thought they would. Two of them the "healthy" looking leaves have all fallen off such that there is just spike sticking out of the medium. Also one of them the leaves still feel strong and long good but are curling differently to all the others.


    Am I doing something wrong? or is all of this normal with Orchids?
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    default Re: are my orchids unwell

    Post by Joy on Tue 19 May 2015, 9:08 am

    Welcome to APG, Jams.  :D 

    Do you know what type of orchids you have? There are many species & they can require different types of care. Cymbidiums, for example, need almost all day sun & are a fairly tough species of orchid able to handle drought but they also like a good soaking with water at least weekly with preferably rain water. My two are kept outside all year round. They regularly lose their older leaves which are long & strappy. They snap off about 2 or 3 ins from the bottom after turning brown leaving the spike you described. My very neglected cymbidiums are constantly growing new leaves. 

    The growing medium you are using sounds fine as is the fertilising. Maybe a good watering rather than spraying might help but not knowing what orchids you have I can't be definitive about that. Another member, Dawn, is our real orchid lady, I'm just lucky to still have my two cymbidiums alive & reasonably well. 

    Were your orchids in flower when you bought them or did they grow the flowerspike afterwards? How long did the flowers last? The reason I ask is because we don't know how these plants were cared for by the grower, wholesaler & retailer. There can also be an element of "planned obsolescence" with some plants. They are sold just for the flower.
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    default Re: are my orchids unwell

    Post by Guest on Tue 19 May 2015, 10:38 pm

    They're all Phalaenopsis (sp?) that I did get from grocery stores before I knew why that might not be the best idea. they were all in flower when I got them.  the flowers lasted around two or so weeks for most of them, some a week.

    I did discover last night what I think might be the problem, while I was learning how to properly care for them, they were in sphagnum moss alone for around a week or two and for some of that time with very little drainage, a lot of the roots were damaged and I watched some video somewhere about cutting off the bad roots. little to say I think most were left with like one maybe two roots which was all I could salvage.

    Also, since changing the medium to what they're in now and drilling holes all through the bottom of the containers, I think I've been too hesitant in watering them and not giving them enough.

    one of the three at home is gone. the other two I am hoping might make it but one has no leaves and a flowerless spike and like two semi decent roots, the other has three leaves that are curling strangely and very dry roots.  I've soaked the bark and whisked of the moisture before repotting the orchids in hopes this helps them.

    Is there anything else I can do? or something (maybe a hormone powder-not sure if this is the right use of it) that could strengthen them and make the roots regrow?
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    default Re: are my orchids unwell

    Post by Joy on Wed 20 May 2015, 3:59 pm

    My phalaenopsis orchids also died. :blush2:   They were potted by the grower in sphagnum moss which is an appropriate medium for them I believe. My cymbidiums are in bark which the grower says is reuseable when they are repotted. 

    Our "orchid lady" ,Dawn, (who is busy atm, sorry) recommends using good quality ground cinnamon sprinkled on orchid roots to help to avoid wet root rot. It is a natural anti-fungal. 

    Here is a link to a really good site giving great care & growing tips for phalaenopsis orchids. You may have seen it.

    Care of Phalaenopsis Orchids 

    It recommends placing these orchids near a well-lit window. The apparent shortness of the the flower cycle of your orchids would seem to indicate that they had been flowering for quite a while prior to you purchasing them. So don't blame yourself. :lol3:  As I said previously, you don't know how these plants were treated before you bought them. 

    Do hope we have been of some assistance &, please, don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions. Just remember we are on Australian tiime so my response may be a little delayed.  :D
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    Post by Guest on Thu 21 May 2015, 11:33 pm

    Thank you so much! the link was great, I had not seen that sight yet, I love that they actually show pictures explaining instead of just describing it.  I will pick up some ground cinnamon for the roots. I think I'm also going to move them a bit closer to the window.

    Thank you for the help, I do have a bunch of other plants I  have questions on and need help with should I go to the right section for each? in mind are my Clivia miniata's, Tillandsia Cyanea, and a gardenia which I think is already gone.

    I did see that you are Australian time earlier, which is fine the plants aren't going anywhere anytime soon, lol. :D
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    default Re: are my orchids unwell

    Post by Joy on Fri 22 May 2015, 3:08 pm

    Happy to have been of some help, Jems, with regard to your orchids.  :D 

    If your other plants are also in pots you can post your questions, starting new topics for them, in the relevant forums. Tillandsia cyanea (which I know well) would go in "Epiphytes" & the clivea & gardenia into "Flowering Plants In Pots". 

    All my plants are in pots & containers but there are others here who grow them in the ground & also live in the Northern Hemosphere. My plants can survive all year round outside as we live in the subtropics of eastern Australia right on the Pacific coast. So my plants tend to be more of the warmer climate variety. No matter what the growing & climate differences, we shall try to help you as much as we can, so ask away.  Just poke around & maybe you may find something posted that will help you further. :cool3:
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    Post by Dawn on Fri 22 May 2015, 6:11 pm

    Hello JEMS and welcome to APG . I think Joy has given you great advice. I am no expert, however I was given lots of good advice and maybe I was lucky too? 
     
    I was quoted this by an Orchid grower once " There is only one right way to grow Orchids and that is your way" I soon realised what they meant, your Orchids respond to your environment and so you have to get to know your plant and treat it according to its needs. But there are some pointers people can give you. 

    I was told by someone who grew and knew Orchids very well that to water them, one needs to take them into your shower room. and completely dowse them in cold water, let the water then drain completely out the pot, this not only washes the whole plant ( washes away any thing that might be lingering on the leaves or roots) also it gives it a good drink of water. Never water your Orchids after a hot day,  so always water in the morning when the plant is still cool, otherwise the plant goes into shock and  it burns the roots. This happened to me once , and I know that it does happen, however in my case my plant did recover... if the plant is in the sun at all never wet the leaves, it will cause brown burn spots and make your Orchid vulnerable to a disease.  My Orchids had plenty of heat from the atmosphere, but I never exposed them to the sun ever especially if the plant was wet. Never cut your Orchid leaves or trim old "wood"on them this creates an opening for any plant disease to enter. Leave old growth to fall off rather, on its own accord. The shower rose is gentler on the plant as opposed to a hose pipe. I heard that the single most reason for Orchids dying is giving them too much water . I am not aware of your weather /climate in Massachusetts But I would water my Orchids in this manner only every two weeks in Cape Town in summer. In winter I only watered them once or twice during the whole winter.
     


    I just wrote a whole paragraph on how I repotted mine, and have now lost it ! I am working on another computer and dont know how to use it properly  I have to leave off now, I have no more time.  I will share some more of what I use to do and what advice I was given on Thursday next week. So sorry I cant carry on but I am packing to leave at one oclock and need to head off. Goodluck chat later !
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    default Re: are my orchids unwell

    Post by Guest on Sat 23 May 2015, 1:36 am

    Thank you so much for all the help! I do want to just ask about if anyone has any ideas on this orchid.

    It's the orchid I keep at work and it has something going on on the edge along the second down left leaf, and should the roots look like that ?



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    default Re: are my orchids unwell

    Post by Joy on Sat 23 May 2015, 11:12 am

    Many, many thanks for your great advice, Dawn.  :cool3: :thanks: It is a shame you are still having some problems with your new computer. Hope it gets sorted very soon for you. Have a good trip.  :smile: :hello:


    Hi Jems.   :hi: These orchids do send out some strange little growths which get us all 'excited'. Well, I do.  :lol3: This looks to me as if it could be a new air root. Only time will tell as these seem to grow rather slowly. At least it's doing something & looks quite healthy with new leaf growth. The other roots also look healthy & yes they do seem to stick out of the potting mix at times. Many orchid species are epiphytic & I have seen them being grown on the sides of trees, or on branches, so they tend to have exposed roots to cling on & onto cliff faces, etc. 

    Good luck with your plants.  :luck:  :D

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