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Old 10-12-2010, 05:03 AM
huntermaclean huntermaclean is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Why is my orchid dying?
Default Why is my orchid dying?

Maybe I simply got a bad stem from the lady at the flower shop, but I wanted to check with some experienced users first.

I bought this 5 stem orchid from a flower shop in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. One stem didn't have any blooms on it, so they planted a fresh one for me, and it looked great. Several days later, the left-most stem (the one they planted fresh) started to wilt. Now, seven days later, that stem is completely gone and a couple other blooms have begun wilting.

We have only watered the plant once, 7 days after we received it; which is what the florist instructed.
It sits on our dining room table and is about 20 feet away from the only window which supplies light to it; we haven't moved it since we brought it home.

I went to the lady that sold me it and she wasn't much help beside trying to offer to change out the stem(s) for a price; kind of difficult when you don't speak their language. Is there anything I can do besides buying new stem(s) and having them re-planted?

Thank you for taking the time, I am very new to orchids and know nothing about them.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:02 AM
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orchidsamore orchidsamore is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Location: Fort myers Florida
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Why is my orchid dying? Male

There is nothing wrong with your plants (they are 4 separate plants in one pot). The flowers will not last forever and they have lived their lifespan.

Phalaenopsis orchids bloom once a year so you cut off the dead flowers and wait.

Phalaenopsis flowers usually last 2 -3 months and were probably that old when you bought it. When buying one you should buy one in bud where the flowers have not opened or are just opening so that you get maximum time to enjoy the flowers.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:04 AM
UKCat UKCat is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Why is my orchid dying? Female

What do you mean by 'they change the stem'?
If they cut a stem from another plant and stuck it into the moss then it will wilt and die, if it was the whole plant then it most likely got damaged or didn't like the move.
As it looks as you have 2 plants in the pot that have had multiple stems before (the brown sticks?) then at least you know the plants will flower again.

The flowers themselves are dying and it would be better if they came off, you can leave the green spike on there and if you are lucky it might flower from the end and continue or you can wait and see if it goes brown and cut it off.
If it remains green then it may send out a new flower spike from the nodes running up the stem.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:32 AM
CTB CTB is offline
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Are there any drain holes in the pot you are using? The roots need air flow around them. To have it 20 feet away from a window is pretty dark, can you move it in front of the window? Sometimes when plants are repotted they go into shock and drop all their flowers.

Maybe you should look for something artifical for a table arrangement, or change the bulb over table to a grow light and leave it on.

I replant all my orchids out of that spag moss as soon as the flowers drop. Do you have plans for doing this.? You need to check moss with a skewer to see if moist, to tell if it needs water.

I think if you give it more light and some air flow, the remaining flowers could last a few weeks, then you could replant it. Use the search at the top of the page and search phalaenopsis, lots of good information for raising your type of orchid. Changes in environment from shop to home can cause a shock as well.

Last edited by CTB; 10-12-2010 at 06:37 AM..
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:59 AM
Triffid Triffid is offline
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Location: Lancashire UK
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Why is my orchid dying? Female

Flowers will eventually die, and for the most part I see in general stores (not Orchid specialists) a 21 day flower guarantee from a specified date.

Don't panic just yet the leaves look all right to me and like the others have said it may just be time for the blooms to pass on as it were.
And the advice given thus far is good

However....I do note the art supplies in the background, and there has been discussion elsewhere about the effects of paint fumes and other art related media on Orchids, especially the blooms.
Some saying that it can even stop them from re-blooming.
If the room is well ventilated there shouldn't be too much of a problem, but the fumes may just be a contributing factor and something to think about. Especially if using Turps.
Personally I don't 'tend' to paint in the same room as my Orchids any more. And if I do I make sure that it is extremely well ventilated (more than usual).... Just in case!
Just a thought
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:17 AM
huntermaclean huntermaclean is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
Why is my orchid dying?

Thank you all, lot's of good advice here.
It sounds like the flowers that are dying had reached their lifespan and were ready to die off; the change in environment moving it to the house could have accelerated this.
I think we will wait to see if the stems stay healthy and hope for a re-bloom.
And now I know to buy an orchid that is just beginning to bloom in order to get the most life out of the flowers.
Oh, and I'm going to get rid of those cheesy golden bow

Thanks again!
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Old 10-13-2010, 03:08 PM
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RosieC RosieC is offline

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I agree with the other comments.

The health of the leaves and roots is the main thing to worry about. If they stay healthy it should rebloom in time.

Do check if there are holes in the pot. What you want to do is water thoroughly but then leave it to fully dry before watering again. If you don't have holes in the pot you could end up with water sitting in the bottom which they don't like.
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