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Please help! I don't want to kill my orchid!

This is a discussion on Please help! I don't want to kill my orchid! within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi, My co-workers recently sent me a beautiful flowering Phalaenopsis while i was in the ...

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  1. #1
    sita is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Please help! I don't want to kill my orchid!

    Hi,
    My co-workers recently sent me a beautiful flowering Phalaenopsis while i was in the hospital.------ I know massively produced and shipped orchids don't have a great life span, but i don't have the heart to let this one die.

    First of all, could this orchid survive, because it's planted with green ivy and fern? these seem like 2 very different types plants to me; could they co-exist? there's a lot of peat moss separating the two.

    Second, I watered the orchid a few days ago under a sink; and i've noticed that one of the new leaves (at the bottom) started getting dark edges, and eventually turned yellow. when i went to remove the leaf, it easily came off and the part that had been underneath an older leave was slimy and black. What does this mean?

    How i've been trying to care for the beauty:
    i've been spraying it daily being sure to not allow water to collect in the leaves.
    it came in a plastic liner with no holes, but after i watered it the first time, i tried cutting as many holes into the liner i could so that the orchid could breathe.
    it's in a great spot with the perfect amount of light, and it's not too cold.


    It still continues to bloom despite the slimy leave, but i'm worried my other leaves are starting to turn dark around the edges. I just cut more holes, that are bigger, and i'm wondering if it could be root rot. What should i do? the orchid is currently blooming, and i'm not sure if repotting it would be a good idea. is it something else? please help!
    Last edited by Brutal_Dreamer; October 26th, 2010 at 06:30 PM. Reason: vendor name and links removed - see terms and conditions and FAQs on posting for information

  2. #2
    cindiras's Avatar
    cindiras is offline Senior Member
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    Pour Hydrogen Peroxide over the black rot and let it bubble away! then dry the area well with tissues, paper towels, whatever works best to get in the nooks and crannies to dry them. Stop the daily spraying and set up a humidity tray beneath the pot. Loosen the sphagnum moss it is planted is so air can get down through that, too. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Daethen is offline Senior Member
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    Cindi, do you think an application of cinamon after the hydrogen peroxide would help dry up any rot?

  4. #4
    cindiras's Avatar
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    Sure! Mostly, the powdered cinnamon would help by drying the area. It is a natural dessicant, one of the reasons you DON'T want to get it on the roots. Also Sita, instead of running water over the pot when you water, try filling a bowl or pot with tepid water and set your orchid pot down into the bowl. Let the plant soak for 10 minutes or so, give the roots a chance to absorb water. This way you have less chance of getting water on the leaves.

  5. #5
    sita is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you Cindiras and Daethen! Cindira, you suggested pouring hydrogen peroxide on the black spots, but the leaf i discovered the black slimy spot was on the leave that i was able to easily pull off. the other leaves do not have any black spots, but i'm starting to notice that the other younger leaves' edges are looking darker/reddish and that's how the first leaf i noticed looked. would you still suggest the hydrogen peroxide? i don't really have black spots now.

    I loosened the moss just now, with a pencil via the holes i made. i think it may have been enough, but do you suggest i take the plant out of the pot and loosen the moss that way? not really sure what to do since it's still blooming.

    also, have you ever heard of an ivy growing with an orchid?

  6. #6
    cindiras's Avatar
    cindiras is offline Senior Member
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    Is the ivy inside a separate small pot beside the phal? I can see a fern with a phal as their light requirements are similar, but doesn't ivy need stronger light? I put a half dozen oncidiums together in a large basket, but they are all orchids.

  7. #7
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    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    Those are companion plants. Some suggest to remove them. I remove them when I repot the plant. Is it good to loosen up the spagnum moss? If it has gotten compacted or smells awful you can repot it if you are careful not to break roots. And, once one leaf develops that rot, it's a very good idea to check the roots as well. Yes you will want to treat even if the other leaves look okay, those bacterias that rot leaves off don't just go away until the entire plant is mush. I'd go ahead with both the peroxide as well as the cinnamon. If you repot, use some of the peroxide on the roots as well. Then once it's repotted, sprinkle the cinnamon only on leaves. Good Luck...

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