Orchid newbie

crazytboneMarch 9, 2011

I bought this little orchid at Lowes. It had no flowers, but the price was right and I like the idea and the challenge of starting from a young plant. Based on my research, I tried my best to provide a good growing environment. I'm posting here because my plant seems to be failing to thrive. It doesn't seem to be doing any growing at all. I've had the plant about 2 months.

Here's the whole guy.

Slightly closer pointing out the single new development.

This is the tag that came with the plant.

This is a top-down shot of the roots and a bud (i don't know if that's the appropriate term.) The bud was there since before I owned it.

I repotted the orchid into bagged orchid mix from lowes. I've been using diluted MG orchid fertilizer. I water once per week unless it looks thirsty.

I would greatly appreciate any advice you can offer. Thanks in advance,

Al

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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

It might not do any growing till spring arrives and then it would start to grow a new pseudobulb from a growing eye at the base of the last pseudobulb to mature.
It also at some point in time as the new pseudobulb grows and matures grow some new roots.
I could provide some complete culture notes but they are written for a climate similar to San Diego so they would be pretty useless for your climate zone...So seek out complete culture notes for your climate zone.

One of the parents of your orchid is Lc. Drumbeat, used i think because it imparts vigour, easy growing and free flowering to progeny.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 2:04AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Al, nice orchid!

With such large, loose bark-mix, perhaps it needs to be watered more often?
This is just a guess, of course, and I wouldn't want you to rot your plant -
hopefully more advice will be on the way.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 10:29AM
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orchid126(z6, NJ)

I'm not seeing a central crown. Am I missing it?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 2:21PM
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highjack(z6 KY)

The bud you refer to is a seedling pbulb - it won't do anything. The yellow leaf is just an old leaf departing this world.

The newest growth should come from the biggest pbulb on the right of your top picture.

What kind of light is it receiving? It needs good strong sunlight for a good part of the day. Also the area of the US would help with additional information.

Brooke

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 2:48PM
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jamcm(Ottawa Area, Canada)

And orchid126 - it's a Cattleya. It does not have a crown like Phal's.

Julie

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 2:49PM
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crazytbone

The plant came with a card that said that it needed only a modest amount of light. I'm coming to realize, however, that any advice/directions from a mass retailer, like Lowes, cannot be trusted.

I'm located in southern Massachusetts, and my orchid resides in my classroom (I'm a teacher). It used to sit on my desk, but a couple weeks ago I moved it to my window which I believe is south-west-ish facing. It receives bright indirect light most of the day, and about two hours of direct sun in the afternoon.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 6:00PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

It is good you moved it to a sunnier window. Keep an eye on the bark, as Josh mentioned, it might be too dry. Stick your finger down into the bark and see if it is damp.

If you want, you could carefully peel the brown sheath on the base of the largest leaf. If growth is beginning, you should see a triangular 'eye' beginning to swell. Just be careful not to damage it. That would be your new growth for this year.

If all is good, you should be seeing signs of growth soon.

Jane

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 7:28PM
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crazytbone

Sticking my finger into the bark is not feasible due to the small size of the pot and the large size of the chunks of bark. I think I might try watering more frequently. Would it be beneficial to thoroughly soak at the sink, and then apply some dilute fertilizer? Would that be silly and over-complicated?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 8:55PM
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orchidnick

Just apply basic orchid care and stand back, the plant will do the rest.

Water it once a week
Fertilize with 1/2 strength fertilizer every 2 weeks.
Give it a lot of light but keep it out of direct sun.
Repot it once every 1 1/2 years.

If you do the above, 90% of the orchids from HD, Trader Joe's or Lows will love you. You don't want the other 10% at this time.

Nick

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 11:38PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Al, I find that slightly warm water will saturate the bark more readily.
If you wet the pot thoroughly and let it set a couple minutes before watering again,
you'll be able to overcome the bark's hydrophobic tendency.

I agree with Nick on the reduced fertilizer rate every couple weeks.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 10:18AM
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crazytbone

Thanks for the advice everybody. I will post more pics in a few weeks.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 9:55AM
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