Orchid Greenhorn

Nunyabiz1(7)August 7, 2012

My mother received 2 Orchids from a friend of the family about 2 months ago. The type you see basically everywhere at grocery stores etc.

One is doing fine, one the flowers are wilting and dropping off like flies.

The one doing fine seems to have been potted more properly with an inner pot and in moss while the other has no inner pot and seems to be mostly bark and potting mix.

Although the base of the plant, the leaves etc looks good.

I really know absolutely zilch about orchids but I think that repotting both of them in slightly larger pots and in moss would be the best thing to do.

I know that Orchids require humidity which these probably are not getting enough of because they are inside in air conditioning at around 70 degrees.

They get no direct sunlight just indirect through a window of which the sun never hits.

Although the one of which is doing poorly is sitting at a darker window.

I seem to remember something about using "Humidity trays" which the ones I saw were just a black plastic tray with a criscross plastic grid work to keep the plant from sitting IN the water and soaking any up.

I thought about just making one out of an old shallow pan and maybe buying some tumbled colored glass to pour into it.

Seems to me that would do the same thing and look a lot better. Or am I missing something?

But I have a feeling the ailment of this one plant is more than just lack of humidity.

What is the best way to repot an Orchid?

Size of pot, type of growing medium, anything special I need to do to the Orchid before or after repotting?

Any advice would be appreciated.

My 94 year old mother is just raving about these Orchids, she has never had any either and marvels at how long the blooms stay on them.

Which is another question, just how long do Orchid blooms last?

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Nunyabiz1(7)

Jeebus H Christomodo I wish that Garden Web would at least move into the 21st century and make it so you can EDIT A DANG POST!
How ridiculous to have to post another post because you fat fingered and hit "submit" instead of "preview' arrgghhh.

Anyway I was trying to ad 3 other pictures when I was so rudely interrupted by my own finger.

This is the base of the one that is doing fine which is the one I managed to post above.

This is the one NOT doing well.

and its base/pot

I water them about every 10-12 days, I soak them well, tilt the pot to drain out any excess and then in about 9-10 days I check to see if the pot is light and feels dry.
These were just watered yesterday
' '
. .

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 1:53PM
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westoh Z6

Welome to the GW and OF.

You have what is called a phalaenopsis orchid.
Phal blooms usually last anywhere from 1 to 6 months with 3 months being more the norm.
I think you're right-on with the one that is struggling, it does appear to need a repotting. If it were me, I'd repot it into moss also, just so you have them both in the same growing conditions. You can buy orchid moss at the big box stores. Pot it in a pot that @ the same size as the one it is in currently. If anything, keep it on the dry side for the first couple of weeks and then normal watering like you've been doing. If you want them to re-bloom, they'll need to get a little more light. Some direct light in the early morning or late afternoon helps, or some diffused light through the day.

Good luck,

Bob

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 7:20AM
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shirley-z-8-tx

Just want to add, does your outer pot have a drain hole? I think that might be the problam. Remove your pot from the pretty one so it will drain properly.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 8:57AM
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Nunyabiz1(7)

Thanks for the responses.

So all the flowers dropping after about 3 months or so is the norm then?
and a small pot is actually preferred?

Shirley.
No the outer pot does not have holes, on one it has an inner pot that does not touch the sides or the bottom there is air all around.
The other is missing that inner pot and would definitely benefit from drilling holes in the pot or probably preferably just repotting in a new pot similar to the other one.

I will buy at least one pot for the one in the funky pot and improper medium and some Orchid moss.

Thanks again

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:28AM
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jane__ny(9-10)

These orchids grow attached to trees. Their roots are adapted to catch moisture while growing on the trunks of trees. They should never be confined to pots without proper drainage and air flow.

The advice given is correct. Repot in new pots with good drainage or cut holes in the bottoms and sides of the existing pots. Use sphagnam moss or moss mixed with small wood chips. Water when 'almost' dry and increase the light. You can give some fertilizer each watering.

Both should recover and rebloom this winter. It would be helpful to know what zone the plants are growing.

Jane

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 10:00PM
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Nunyabiz1(7)

Does the zone really matter when they are grown inside?

Yeah I figured the one really needed a repotting I think the thin inner pot allowing air circulation all around the roots seems like a critical requirement for these plants.

I am in zone 7b

The one that is properly potted actually has a whole new branch and at least 5-6 more flowers about to bloom soon.
The other one has one flower left and no sign of any new growth, although the roots and leaves look to be in fine shape still.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 1:53PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Sunlight and temps differ depending on zone, even grown inside. Big difference. I am having difficulty growing Phals in zone 10 and I had no problem growing them in zone 5-6. Many of my orchids are not liking Florida, even inside. Sunlight, both length and strength are different.

Giving as much info on your growing environment, including zone and light exposure helps when asking for advice.

Jane

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 9:27PM
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