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Unread 02-17-2009, 12:22 AM
Melanie Melanie is offline
Jr. Member

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11
Unhappy wal-mart orchid quickly dying, water with ice cubes?

So, my boyfriend meant well.. but he went to wal-mart.

With good intentions, he went to wal-mart to get me an orchid for Valentine's day. It didn't look very healthy to begin with, however, in the few days following the flowers have been quickly falling off and it has been increasingly looking worse.

The culprit may be in the fact that the "directions" that came with it were simply "add three ice cubes a week." Not wanting to believe that for one second I ran it through water and placed it near my windowsill to give it some sun (although it's still a bit cold outside). I don't expect a miracle, but so far it's no good.

This is my second orchid so I'm not completely clueless, but I'd still like for my Valentine's present (and this potentially beautiful orchid) to live! Any suggestions on what else to do? My apartment is also a bit chilly, not the environment I would invite an orchid into but like I said, my boyfriend..
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Unread 02-17-2009, 12:40 AM
Orchidaddict Orchidaddict is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 7

I happen to get one of the 'ice-cube' watering orchids at Wal-Mart. This orchid is in the best shape and doing wonderfully. I gave this orchid to my son, since he has wanted one. He will water like the instructions say. I think your orchid will do great, just sounds like it was mis-handled, which somehow Wal-Mart people do all the time. However, your orchid probably will take some TLC from you to get on the right track.
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Unread 02-17-2009, 01:13 AM
fyschebone fyschebone is offline

Join Date: Jan 2008
Zone: 6b
Location: Grand Haven, Michigan
Age: 41
Posts: 33

Take a moment and think about orchids in their natural environment. Very few, if any, live in sterile window sills where freezing rain and hail are their primary means of receiving moisture. Cold soil temps and wet conditions are a recipe for mold before they are a recipe for orchid success.
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Unread 02-17-2009, 01:46 AM
phearamedusa phearamedusa is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 488

Hi Melanie,

Can you post a picture of the orchid. The flower drop maybe caused by the change in temp. If it was extremely different from the store where purchased, this could cause some problems, if the roots are damaged/rotted the leaves may looked wilted. If the roots are rotted/damaged, and the medium is decomposed/not the right kind, it might be a good time to change it.

Good Luck,
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Unread 02-17-2009, 07:59 AM
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Dorothy Dorothy is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Zone: 7b
Location: Long Island, NY
Age: 54
Posts: 7,357

Check out these past threads - This is in response to ice cubes and orchids -
Ice cubes to encourage blooms??

"Nothing beats the orchid -- as an offering of love"
- paraphrasing Marlowe Hood from 'Orchid Fossil Quells Evolutionary Quarrel'

Toto, I Have A Feeling We're Not In Kansas Anymore! ...
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Unread 02-17-2009, 10:13 AM
Donald Donald is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Oct 2008
Zone: 5b
Location: Worcester, MA
Age: 72
Posts: 429
Default Wal-Mart Orchid

Reasons it's in shock, not dying.
It was purchased in Wal-Mart.
You shocked it in more ways than one.
Ice Cubes?
It's got budblast from the trip from the store to your house, to the windowsill, from the direct sunlight.
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Unread 02-17-2009, 11:14 AM
cabnc cabnc is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 389

It seems all the big box stores, including my HD, had the 'ice cube' phals for Valentine's Day. Actually a very nice art-shade phal for $16. I checked mine -- be careful -- there are NO drainage holes in the pot. I would repot it ASAP. If you water it - be careful you don't drown it.

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Unread 02-17-2009, 11:20 AM
herf herf is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 177

Basic Phalaenopsis care Phalaenopsis Orchid Care

Bud blasting(turn brown shrivel up and fall off) and flower wilting is common for Phalaenopsis when the endure a rapid climate change. Even if the buds fall off and the flowers wilt does not mean the orchid is dead. JUST SAY NO TO ICE CUBES GOOD LUCK

I'm new to orchid's so i maybe way off.so someone correct me if I'm wrong
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Unread 02-17-2009, 11:55 AM
violetta violetta is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cyprus
Posts: 137

Did you check the condition of the roots and the condition of the media in the pot?
If you can post pictures of the roots maybe we can help you.
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Unread 02-17-2009, 04:37 PM
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isurus79 isurus79 is offline
Senior Member
American Orchid Society Judge

Join Date: Sep 2007
Zone: 8b
Location: Austin, Texas
Age: 35
Posts: 6,607

I have to say that using ice cubes on the roots of a tropical plant is the single worst peice of advice anyone could give with regards to caring for orchids. I think I would compare that to feeding meat to a horse or feeding a diet of hay to a lion. Not a good idea!

For all my pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/isurus79/
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