Wilting flowers

rash_powderMay 3, 2014

I just bought my wife an orchid from Sam's Club with 4 flower spikes. 2 are wilting badly and the other 2 look rough now. This is after about 2 weeks.

I have read that the ice once a week thing is BS so am no longer doing that. We will be watering them from the tap, giving them a good soaking and then draining.

I do have a few questions about things though.

If these were any other plant I would say they are root bound. I pulled the pots from the tin they were in and there are roots everywhere. Is this normal or bad?

The pots are not 'normal' to what I know. They are plastic, with what I would describe as an upside down cup molded into the middle so things are forced to the sides. There are several drainage holes around the bottom. Is this the proper pot?

The bark or media seems to not be tightly packed, but I am afraid to stick my finger in due to the root bound issue. I don't want to damage the roots. They came with green moss all over the top of the pots. Is that needed?

Sorry for the newbie questions, but I really want to keep these guys going. I can make most anything grow, but have no experience with these.

Thanks!!

matt

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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

You have to forget about "normal" plants. You probably have purchased an Phalaenopsis hybrid orchid. The species ancestors grew/grow on a rock or on a tree branch so the roots tend to wander in search of food and getting a secure perch.
Find some complete culture notes on the net that relate to where you are in the USA and come back here if you have more questions

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 1:54AM
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dannie317

I purchased one orchid from Sam's ... it didn't last long. Mostly because the moss was so tightly packed in there the roots never had a chance to dry out, and it rotted away. I only realized how bad it was later, when I pulled the dead orchid out of it's pot.

The "upside-down" cup in the middle is to help the orchid have air circulation and to dry out. You most likely have an orchid that likes to be damp but NOT wet. You should never have water sitting at the bottom of the container. If so, take it out of the tin and let it dry out a little. I wouldn't worry about roots everywhere, orchids kind of like that.

Edited to add: you can probably pull the moss off the top. It will help the plant dry out after you have watered it, which is important.

This post was edited by Danielle317 on Mon, May 5, 14 at 13:38

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:35PM
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gardenper(8)

I have seen some orchids where the flower spike itself is just some spike in some water tube buried within the pot...it's not even part of the plant. That makes it just like putting roses in a vase. The flowers will eventually fade and you think it's because the orchid's flowers are going.

But since you have looked at the roots of yours, maybe that is not the case here.

I think a picture will help. For orchids, as well as many blooming plants, it is tempting to buy the ones in bloom already, but we don't know how long that has been in bloom. Instead, I prefer to buy the plants with just a few blooms or maybe even no blooms yet (but flower buds are appearing). This way, I get to enjoy the blooms for the entire blooming period. The last orchids that I bought this way bloomed for about 6-8 weeks with all the older and younger flower buds developing and eventually blooming also.

What was been your watering routine during these 2 weeks? You mentioned the ice cube thing and I can't say that orchids would show wilting in 2 weeks even if the ice cubes were not providing enough water.

What is your lighting like?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 1:46PM
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