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  #1  
Unread 05-05-2009, 01:44 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3
Default Orchid newbie..is my new orchid sick? Please help

Hi everyone!
I saw this Orchid at a Wal Mart, and I fell in love with it! It looked very healthy free of any spots, full of blooms, and light green leaves. The directions said just add three cubes of ice once a week, and place near a south facing window. I had been keeping it in my bedroom, but it's very dark in there, so I figured I would alternate it near sunlight. I was worried it wasn't getting enough sunlight so, I put it near my south facing window on my kitchen table for several days while I was out of town. When I came back home I noticed there was greyish brown discoloration outlining most of my blooms. I worried it got sunburned, because my blinds were up, so I've put it back in my dark bedroom. I inspected it today, and I noticed there are also a few brown spots on the blooms. I have been doing the ice cube thing once a week. I don't know what I've done wrong, but I'm scared to death it's sick! Please help I have posted some pictures. Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this!
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Orchid newbie..is my new orchid sick? Please help-spring09-016.jpg   Orchid newbie..is my new orchid sick? Please help-spring09-017.jpg   Orchid newbie..is my new orchid sick? Please help-spring09-018.jpg  
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  #2  
Unread 05-05-2009, 02:10 PM
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Im by no means an expert on orchids...but i'll just give a little input....it probly was the lighting, or even the change in temp....How is the humidity in the place your keeping it?
ANd as for watering, you should check to make sure that when you water your orchid, the medium(what the plants in) isnt already damp.....make sure you only water once your orchid's medium has had time to dry.........
By the way, your plant is beautiful, the leaves look great!

*anyone, if I gave some bad advice, please correct me *
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  #3  
Unread 05-05-2009, 02:40 PM
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Thanks for your reply! I'm unsure about the humidity level in my house. I have a humidifier, but does it matter if it's a warm mist or cool mist humidifier? How often should I keep it running? Please forive me, because I'm so new to this. I have killed every plant I've ever owned, and I bought the orchid because i not only love them, but I was told they are easy to care for. All suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Laura
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  #4  
Unread 05-05-2009, 02:45 PM
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Make sure the pot your orchid is in has drainage holes. When you water it, take it out of the cache pot and let it drain well before putting it back in the cache pot. Most orchids hate soggy, wet conditions as opposed to humid conditions. An ice cube a week is probably not enough water. Look under the top layer of bark/stone and see what the orchid is planted in underneath. If it is moss this stays very wet and compacts. Many of us would recommend to plant the orchid in a different medium that drains well like bark. If it is already in bark then when you water make sure you get water running out the drainage holes. Let it drain and give it another good water and drain again. Check the bark mid week and stick a pencil or bamboo skewer into the bark along the side of the pot. If this comes out damp, don't rewater yet, wait until it comes out dry. Bright indirect light is best, my phals are in an east window that gets shade from a tree outside the window. Hope that helps.
also normal for the blooms to get brown when they are done. If you got it fro a store hard to know how long it's been blooming already.

Last edited by orchidegg; 05-05-2009 at 02:47 PM..
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  #5  
Unread 05-05-2009, 03:29 PM
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I've seen those "add three ice cubes a week" orchids in stores. The plants look nice, but those instructions are downright stupid. I'm sorry, but that's my opinion. Ice is at 32 degrees. A Phalaenopsis likes temperatures no lower than about 65. I don't see the logic, then, of putting ice on the plant's roots. And no, I'm in no way blaming you - it's the grower who provides those instructions I think is stupid.

So, for starters, let's keep the plant properly hydrated. When the media it is planted in gets dry, water the plant with room temperature water. In nature, they are watered by warm rain water. Light-wise, if the light where the plant sits is bright enough to cast a hard shadow, it's too bright; if it casts a soft shadow then it is probably OK. But too much light will show up on the leaves before the flowers. A lot of people use simple humidity trays for their plant, which is easy. Put pebbles in a deep tray, and add some water. Evaporation will raise the humidity level immediately around the plant. Like you, though, I like humidifiers.

Regarding the spotting on the flowers, I'm going to guess that the flowers have a fungus on them called botyritis. It's pretty common, and your description is pretty textbook for it. Presuming I'm correct, there's nothing you did to cause this problem. The growers who provide these plants crowd them together, and when they are watered the water is sprayed everywhere. The same thing happens in the store. Botyritis loves wet flower tissue, and all it takes to start the infection is a single spore. The plant itself is in no danger, so don't worry about that. You'll want to remove the flower stem pretty soon, though. After you clip it you can put it in a vase and the flowers should last a good while still.
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  #6  
Unread 05-05-2009, 03:57 PM
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Everyone has been so helpful, and I greatly appreciate everyones posts! fortunatly the medium is bark. I noticed some green mold around the top of the drainage pot, and I'm not sure if that is dangerous to the roots or not. The bamboo skewer is a great idea, and I will do that! as for the add ice theory I have to agree with you on that. It didn't make sense to me either, but I thought I should follow the directions. The only thing I'm unsure about is cutting the blooms with the spots. Most of the blooms have been effected, so if I cut them I will only have a couple blooms left. Is there a way I can make it bloom again? Again, thanks to everyone that has taken the time to help me.

Laura
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  #7  
Unread 05-05-2009, 05:02 PM
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I agree with the above statements... but I just wanted to say that you should fix the time stamp on your camera because it's dated 2006.
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  #8  
Unread 05-05-2009, 07:55 PM
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your plant will bloom again, dont worry. go on youtube and look up orchid blooms....you should be able to find a video that shows you how to trim your plants in between nodes and also explane how to stimulate budding.....
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  #9  
Unread 08-08-2009, 09:37 AM
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Yes it will bloom again it may be next year or it may be when you least expect.Phals are great mine bloom year round when you least expect it summer,winter or even just after they just finished up comes another spike.Just dont overwater.I grow mine in of all things rice hulls from the grain bin since I live in rice growing country they love this stuff.
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