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Help! New purchase, roots already dying

This is a discussion on Help! New purchase, roots already dying within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hello! I've bought orchids before to have their beautiful flowers at home and always managed ...

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  1. #1
    Sals is offline Junior Member
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    Feb 2011
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    Default Help! New purchase, roots already dying

    Hello! I've bought orchids before to have their beautiful flowers at home and always managed to kill them within a month or 2. This time I'd like to at least TRY to do it better.
    I bought a Phalaenopsis orchid a little over a week ago. Its roots were plump and light green. The instructions on the plant said to water with 8 oz every 7 to 10 days at the crown of the plant. I checked the plant a few times but the potting mix seemed damp so I waited, then I noticed that the roots were cracking and breaking. A few more days and the cracks were larger, brown, and some roots started shrivelling. Even though the potting mix (sphagnum moss) wasn't dry I panicked and watered per instructions. I find it hard to believe that not watering when the mix was still damp did this. My house is kept pretty close to 65 degrees and the plant was not getting much natural sunlight. I would just like to keep the plant blooming and happy longer next time (this one is still blooming beautifully and the leaves look good, though they are a dark green, perhaps from too little light).

    Any ideas?
    the novice

  2. #2
    cindiras's Avatar
    cindiras is offline Senior Member
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    Cindi
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    Gently work the plant out of it's pot and carefully remove the sphagnum moss. Set the plant in a pot of tepid water and let it soak for 10 or 15 minutes. The roots that plump up after soaking are live. roots that are squishy are dieing and need to be cut off, roots that remain shriveled after soaking are dead and need cut off. You can leave the plant without repotting for a few days (weeks) as long as you soak the roots for 10 or 15 every day. I suggest you repot in a bark mix.

  3. #3
    Kmac's Avatar
    Kmac is offline Senior Member
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    Kathi
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    How can I pick just one???
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    I'd agree with Cindi. And, I'd add that you do not want to pour water directly on the crown. You want to soak the media without soaking the crown, and water early enough in the day that whatever water does get on the crown has a chance to dry before evening.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Daethen is offline Senior Member
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    Jonada
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    Sounds like you are in good hands. Keep us posted and we will do what we can.

    Oh, and....


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