I am in trouble!

jane__ny(9-10)May 29, 2012

I am living in Florida, in a small condo while we look for a house. I am living near a family member who has a nice home near the Gulf of Mexico.

I recently ordered some orchid supplies to repot my orchids which have come along with me from NY. I had the supplies sent to this family member as there's no room here.

Recently, while visiting my family member, they asked me to take a look at their orchids and whether they should be repotted. They have never been repotted since they own them - over 4 years.

They had 5 Phals growing on the kitchen windowsill, very happlily and full of spikes and flowers. This large window is above their kitchen sink, gets bright light but no direct sun. Plants looked great, big leaves, all making new leaf, long, uncut spikes a mile long.

I realize they were growing in plastic pots inside ceramic pots with no drainage. All were sitting in some water. I was surprised to see barely any sphag in the pots and lots of healthy roots. I suggested she shouldn't leave them sitting in water, but I also commented that the roots looked very good.

I offered to repot all the orchids. I asked she leave them outside in a shady spot and I would come the next day and pot them.

Unfortunately, I got involved in some other things and forgot about her plants. I went over today, while they were at work and found the plants sitting in full sun, totally burned. Many of the large leaves were almost white and wilted. Spikes all burned and flowers dead. What a sight!

The roots look good and some have the beginning of a new leaf, which doesn't look burned.

Any hope for these? I've gotten sunburn on my own plants, in the past, but never like this. They thought they put the plants in a shady place (was shady in the morning) but it actually faced West getting full Florida sun.

Any chance they would survive without most of their leaves?


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It's not your fault. It was written. (Islamic fatalism)


PS Phaelies with healthy roots and no leaves often make keikis, I never throw them away.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 9:49AM
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cjwatson(Z8 FL)

Jane, if they are showing the beginning of new leaves from the crown, they'll be all right. It appears only the leaves were burned and the crown of the plant is okay. It will just take time until they replace them all. You won't even know the accident happened by the time a year has passed.

In their native habitats, Phals often lose their leaves during typhoons and manage to replace them easily.

Keep in the shade, humid, don't over-fertilize them.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:04AM
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Thanks, thats what I figured. Just hard to convince my poor relatives, who babied these plants for so long. These plants look really bad.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 4:06PM
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coffeemom(Broward z10)

Go to Lowes and check the clearance rack. Buy them cheap Phals to baby while their old ones recover.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 11:10PM
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I agree with coffeemom. Get some new ones while the burnt ones are recovering. I'm primarily a paph. grower but do have a mixed collection. The non paphs. section is now getting bigger and bigger. I just returned yesterday from a 2 week vacation at a condo in Myrtle Beach, S.C.. Last May when I was there I was SHOCKED to walk into Kroger Grocery Store and be confronted by 75 to a 100 no name phals. in full bloom. Where not talking your basic white or pinks, just the opposite. Yellows, oranges, lots of harlequins all for $10 each. Many had two spikes and I even brought home one with 3 spikes. So, one of our first stops this year was Kroger's and they only had a couple phals. but there where lots of box's laid about. We left and returned that night after supper and once again they had a 100 NOID phals that where just beautiful. I grabbed a shopping cart and filled it up. Then went back a week later and they had added even more phals. Just before we left we went back again and they had started replacing the phals with what one might expect in a grocery store. Is this normal for a Kroger's that is down south? I came home with the backseat full of phals and as I said before, the person in Florida should just get some new ones while waiting for those plants to recover.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 2:27PM
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Update. Repotted all yesterday. One looks to be a gonner, but I repotted anyway. It had a spike but the crown was totally burned and the center leaves fell off. I left it because I thought the spike might produce a keki (talk about guilt).

Roots on all were beautiful. Was really surprised because they were in old sphag and wood chips, which were now fine dirt.

I cut off most of the burned parts. I think they will make it but look ugly for a year. Coffeemon and Bob, good idea. The owners birthday is next weekend, maybe I can find a bunch of cheap Phals to hold her over until these recover.


PS: The owner had bought 7 ceramic pots which matched her kitchen colors. She insisted I pot these burned plants into these pots. I was going to tell her it wasn't a good idea, but she looked close to tears...so in they went!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 12:08AM
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