How to keep my present alive

chiefscotsmanDecember 6, 2011

I got this plant as a present after my father passed away and would very much like to keep it alive. I understand that much of the care is specific to species but I have no idea what kind of orchid this is.

I have kept it alive however for over a year but noticed roots growing out the bottom of the original plastic pot. Care was easy however with the moss median it was originally packaged in.

I read on this forum that the moss was not the best option however so I have since translated the plant into a larger 3 hole drainage pot. I filled the bottom third of the pot with gravel for aided drainage and used a miracle grow orchid median I bought from a local home and garden store.

I was concerned initially after the spikes died off after blooming but they started to grow back shortly before i transplanted the plant. Initially I thought the spikes were more root growth otherwise I would not have attempted transplanting during this time.

I am really worried that I may kill this plant off without good knowledge. The plant seems to be doing well and the spikes continue to grow daily. It has been about 10 days since transplant.

Watering has also been a lot of guesswork.

I filled a pot tray with more gravel and have been keeping water in it. I fill it after it dries up, about every two days. I have watered the plant twice since transplant.

So how am I doing? Am I going to kill this orchid?

What is this so I can do further research without pestering the forum or at least be more educated with my questioning?


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trying to post pics....

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 3:25PM
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While transplanting

Post transplanting

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 4:02PM
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westoh Z6

Your orchid is a Phalaenopsis and it looks to be doing wonderfully. In the last pic I can see 2 flower spikes starting (one to left above the first leaf node and one to the right just above the mix along the main 'stem').

I think most people would have put styrofoam peanuts in the bottom instead of gravel as the styro allows for more air flow. You should water when the plant dries out, the best way to tell is by lifting the pot and checking the weight (you'll get the 'feel' for it pretty quick) but some people put a wooden skewer in the pot at all times and when pulled out and it is dry, then water. I generally water my potted phals about every 7 days.

If it were my phal, I would let things be and be careful with the watering, more phals die from too much water than from too little.

Good luck and good job,


    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 7:09AM
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All that Bob told you I second!

Except if you feel like the plant is struggling to adapt in the bark, maybe you need to go back to the moss. That's what I use for mine and it is alot easier for me. You just change the moss every year.Concerns about Moss?= 1)Some people are heavy handed on the watering and love to fiddle with their plants all the time. 2) The moss ph changes after a year. It looses all the good yummy stuff that make it work so well in the beginning so you have to change it.

You have done well with it for a year, those roots look really good. ginnibug

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 12:09PM
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Thanks so much! Glad to know what I am working with and that I am on the right track.

I am a little concerned however about the new leaf you see growing in pic 2. Although my spikes are continuing to grow great, this leaf seems to have stalled.

Is this a sign of a problem?

Again, thanks for all the help. this site is awesome!!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 12:54PM
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westoh Z6

That's not unusual after repotting, especially if repotting into a new media (spagh to bark).

I'd put it where it has always been and water when dry. As far as bark and spagh, I use both and it usually depends on what the plant was in when I received it as to which one I use for a repot. I've went from spagh to bark and vice-versa, it's just a matter of treating it right for the media, IMO watering is the most important difference.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 2:01PM
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I am also seeing some super tiny bugs all over the median. It was store bought and straight from the store. only a couple weeks old but the plant has them all over. Not so much in the plant as much as the soil. Cant find any nest or mold so I'm thinking they might be the good bugs I've been reading about. Do you see this much in Miracle Grow Orchid median? Should I just be making my own median? If so, should I wait a while to transplant seeing how I just did the same a couple weeks ago?

So many questions...sorry guys I really appreciate the help.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2011 at 11:27PM
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