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  #1  
Old 09-12-2022, 01:05 AM
Nik Nik is offline
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Dendrobium orchid water stress rehabilitation
Unhappy Dendrobium orchid water stress rehabilitation

Hello, everyone! I'm sort of new with orchids and gardening overall. I decided to take into my garden my mother's orchid that has been dying from underwatering. It's been about 2 months since I started the rehabilitation and there has been some progress. I decided to chop off a few dry stems (not sure of the proper name for it) and left the best looking stems with hope it can heal. 1 new stem has appeared and grew some leaves. But a few old leaves are still not looking great and I don't know if I should cut them off and just give it more time. And lately I've been thinking that I'm nor sure that this orchid is doing as great as I thought because I have not seen orchids look like this anywhere on the internet. I would love if anybody could give me some tips and opinions on this orchid. I belive this is a dendrobium orchid
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2022, 01:49 AM
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First, Welcome!
I think that you are on the right path. The medium looks very coarse, so it will dry out fast. (That is good, orchids need air in the root zone, as long as you water more often). Orchids do everything very slowly. The old canes (that's what they're usually called) won't get fat again, and the leaves may stay droopy and wrinkled. That's OK, they are still helping the plant. Don't cut any leaves. In fact, even old leafless canes that are green can still benefit the plant - they are water reserves. If you are getting a new growth, that's great. New growth also leads to new roots. So just continue as you have been doing with more frequent watering, and be patient. No more cutting! Also consider some very dilute fertilizer (about half the strength of whatever it says on the bottle, every week or two).
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Old 09-12-2022, 03:38 AM
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Old 09-12-2022, 06:38 AM
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Thank you for welcoming me and BIG thank you for your feedback! I water it quite often using water spray. I still have no clue about any type of fertilizers but I'm starting to do my research, so thank you for your advice!
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Old 09-12-2022, 11:21 AM
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Thank you for welcoming me and BIG thank you for your feedback! I water it quite often using water spray. I still have no clue about any type of fertilizers but I'm starting to do my research, so thank you for your advice!
When you water, water well... let it run out of the pot. That also pulls air into the root zone.

Orchid people get into endless debates over fertilizer. But orchid really don't need much. If you can find a "balanced" fertilizer (all 3 number the same, like 20-20-20) that will do fine. Then if the bottle says use 5 grams per 4 L, , use 2.5 ... half of whatever it says.
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Old 09-14-2022, 12:54 PM
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Hi Nik, I'm a newbie, too, but I can share with you some of my experience.

I second Roberta's thoughts on fertilizer: there's plenty of debate on the "right" fertilizer, but get what works for you. Many moons ago in college I was gifted an orchid, and I set it up, watered it, and fertilized it with Miracle Gro, of all things. It grew and was happy and bloomed for me in the spring.

I currently use Miracle Gro and Miracle Gro Orchid. I use a very weak solution as many of my orchids are going into their rest. For the spring, I increased the strength slightly on my water-fertilizer solution a little. It is possible to over fertilize and harm the plant, too.

In active growing, I like to water once a week, with fertilizer every other week. I adjust as needed. Usually you can water a little less without too much harm on a lot of orchids.

In dormant periods, I like to water maybe every 10 days, depending on the plant, adjusting as needed, too. Overwatering will kill an orchid quickly.

I find misting is a good way to keep my orchids happy without overwatering. I recently got a couple of stressed-out dendrobiums and misting them as well as watering them seemed to make them happy.

Good luck and welcome from another newbie!
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Old 09-14-2022, 01:23 PM
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Watering frequency is very subjective... it depends on the medium (How much water does it retain, how old is it?), your humidity (If high you'll need to water less if low, more frequently), what type of orchid is it? (some with strong epiphytic habit and/or pseudobulbs to store water need to dry out between waterings, others need to stay damp). In my relatively warm, dry climate, with most of my orchids growing outdoors, they need watering daily for small plants, mostly in baskets, and mounted plants, every 2 days for the rest in the summer, winter maybe add one day. BUT they get sun and lots of air movement so they dry very quickly. So the answer to "how often to water" is "when it needs it". Everybody has a different set of conditions. For any orchid, though, air in the root zone is vitally important. So, if you have a very open mix that doesn't retain a lot of water, you can water every day and it's not too much. If a mix that stays wet, let it dry out a bit before watering again even for those that need to stay damp, because as water evaporates it is replaced with air. If you water thoroughly - so that it runs through the pot - you get two benefits in addition to hydration - air is pulled into the root zone by the flowing water, and "crud" gets washed out.
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Old 09-16-2022, 05:28 AM
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I understand that climate and many other aspects of surroundings matter a lot. I'm still trying to find out what fits best for my orchids. I live on an island in Thailand so the weather is pretty sunny and very humid. So it's hard to compare to others, because all the detailed info in English usually talks about how to take care of orchids NOT in tropical climate 😄
But I am glad I found thus forum and you guys give very helpful feedback! Thank you so much
Sometimes it's hard to learn some things on your own, I don't have friends who are into plants, so I can't really discuss these things with anyone
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Old 09-16-2022, 11:46 AM
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I understand that climate and many other aspects of surroundings matter a lot. I'm still trying to find out what fits best for my orchids. I live on an island in Thailand so the weather is pretty sunny and very humid. So it's hard to compare to others, because all the detailed info in English usually talks about how to take care of orchids NOT in tropical climate 😄
But I am glad I found thus forum and you guys give very helpful feedback! Thank you so much
Sometimes it's hard to learn some things on your own, I don't have friends who are into plants, so I can't really discuss these things with anyone
In your climate, you might consider a very free-draining inorganic medium, such as volcanic rock, or LECA. Most of the conventional media such as bark, sphagnum, and coconut chips tend to stay too wet, and rot fast. There are many contributors to the Board who live in tropical areas who will, I am certain, jump in with suggestions.
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