Orchid Help

KKB322February 28, 2014

I have 2 orchids that I would really like to keep alive. I was given them for valentine's day. They looked great when I received them. However, the buds shiveled up and fell off after having the plants for about 2 weeks. Recently the leaves are turning dark brown on the edges and on the bottom of the leaves. The leaves feel stiff and healthy. I don't know much about this but I don't think there is any crown rot. The plants are potted in bark and I water them once a week. Any ideas as to what could be wrong with my plants?

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Another picture

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 7:19PM
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Here's a picture from the day I got the flowers

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 7:21PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

It would help if you gave the state where you live and or the climate zone. Also, the spot where you have the Phalaenopsis in relation to windows etc.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 7:25PM
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I live in Portland, OR. I have the plant on my desk in my office. The set up is a little hard to explain, but there is a large skylight in my office. The skylight is not directly near the orchids. I have a smaller orchid in the same area as well. It's buds fell off too, but since then it has been doing great. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 7:35PM
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Newly purchased orchids sometimes do this. The "final mile" the orchid travels to get to your home is pretty rough, and I don't just mean the part where you take it home from the store, which hopefully is not rough at all. But before that, the orchid spends some time at the retailer and it has to travel to the retailer from somewhere. During that course it sometimes suffers serious abuse and/or trauma due to changing conditions. For example, the plant usually starts receiving way less light than it was exposed to prior to being shipped to the retailer, and retailers don't always know how to care for orchids.

Since the plants appear to be stressed, I would cut off the spikes--it looks like there are a few old ones on there, and a few new ones, but i think all of them should get cut--and I would pull the plat out of the medium it's in and repot.

For the repotting treatment, I just responded to someone else who posted about sick orchids in illinois and you can see that thread at the top of the messages list on this forum and maybe follow that.

Sometimes you can save plants like this but it depends on what condition they're in. When you pull the plant out of the medium and look at the roots you will know.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 11:48PM
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By the way, that's two separate orchids. If you do repot, be careful when you pull them out. It's possible the roots are tangled, and if the problem is that the roots have rotted, then you want to make sure you save as many healthy roots as possible.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 11:50PM
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Can I wait until they finish blooming to repot? And if I need to cut them, where do I cut them at? Thanks, I'm new at this!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 1:06AM
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I am not sure if you can wait, it depends on the state the plants are in. I can't really tell from the photos, and I think the real story is with how the roots are doing.

Phals don't usually rapidly shed leaves. It's normal for them to lose a leaf at a time in the course of developing but if it's happening to multiple leaves at the same time I think it's a sign that your plant is better off without the spikes. Flowers take a lot of energy, and this detracts from the energy the plant can use to carry on its basic functions.

That said, and on the other hand, the plants were a gift and it is your call if you want to let them flower a little longer. The flowers they produce are special. And, Phals are hardy plants and they recover as long as you don't kill them.

If you cut the spikes, cut them at the base. Be careful with it: don't let the cutting instrument nick the plant anywhere. And use something adequate (i.e., not nail clippers), so that you make just one clean cut. If you try make a cut and it doesn't go all the way through, make sure your instrument is good enough to cut it, and try again a little *lower* (so that you cut off with the spike the part you partially cut with the first attempt). that means that the first time you try to cut, leave yourself some room in case you need to try again.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 1:13AM
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I should clarify.

Phals are hardy plants but that is when they are not getting abused. The most important thing is to make sure they are not overwatered (i.e., they have moisture, not standing water), and that they get decent light.

Also, the photo you posted is very pretty. Your plants are beautiful!

hope i have helped.

This post was edited by jbw1984 on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 1:21

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 1:18AM
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