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This Orchid Is Driving Me Crazy !!!!!!

This is a discussion on This Orchid Is Driving Me Crazy !!!!!! within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi Everyone, Im a newbee in all this of growing orchids, but Im really woried ...

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  1. #1
    jnoble is offline Junior Member
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    Angry This Orchid Is Driving Me Crazy !!!!!!

    Hi Everyone, Im a newbee in all this of growing orchids, but Im really woried about this one. the first thing I notice was the leaves are getting really soft or flaccid and the roots are getting kind of dry like a paper, I water this plant once a week, I dont know is this is to little water or to much water, or maybe the way she is seed. I live in Puerto Rico and the weather here is kind of extreme, rains every day and is really hot. honestly I dont have a clue of how to keep an orchid. could someone please help me??
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  2. #2
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    Oh my, I don't know if I have any good news to give here. That poor thing looks pretty well gone. Around here though they have a little trick called "sphag and bag". You take a plastic bag, place a good amount of sphagnum moss in the bottom, then prep the base of the phal. You need to remove anything black and rotted, apply either physan 20 to kill bacteria and fungus...or you can use a fungicide spray....then dip the base into root hormone powder, shake off the excess and set the plant into the plastic bag with sphagnum. Pull up the sides of the bag a little, leaving the top open for air movement. For about two weeks keep in a shaded area and spritz a few times a day with a mister bottle.
    Or....throw that one away and start over. You may need to switch to either a clay or plastic pot and mix a phal bark mix with a little chopped sphagnum moss for moisture without rot. Sometimes you have to experiment with the potting mixes to find what works best for your area. I live in humid Florida and I like to add charcoal to my phal bark premixed bagged stuff. It helps keep my roots from rotting.
    Hope this helps
    Connie

  3. #3
    hcubed's Avatar
    hcubed is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    I have been thinking about adding charcoal myself, too. Any recommendations? Does it have to be special stuff or does untreated charcoal for a grill work? How much are you using?

  4. #4
    Gin's Avatar
    Gin
    Gin is offline Senior Member
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    Hi , Use just Hort. grade charcoal not the charcoal for the grill , The box stores have the horticultural charcoal in small bags in the potting mix Dept.
    About the Phal. Spag. and bag works sometimes but is a long haul . If it was mine I would start over with a new one . Sorry Gin

  5. #5
    Shaydra is offline Senior Member
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    Default Awww....

    Hi Jnoble,

    I'm going to agree with the rest here. You can try to save it if you really have the time and patience, but it looks like your roots are dead on that little guy. Phalaenopsis type like to stay moist, but not soggy. I recommend the "pencil test" if you get another (or want to try keeping this one going long enough to enjoy the end of the bloom spike I see).

    Pencil Test: Every couple of days, you just wiggle a sharpened pencil about halfway down into the pot. If you come up with the wood all dried out, you need to water, if it's damp, check it again in a day or two. Eventually, you'll learn approximately how long it takes for your plants to dry out and this will help you to assess what kind of a watering schedule your plant should have.

    Whatever you do, don't give up on orchids if this is your first try! There is always the possibility this orchid may have been sick with root rot before you ever got it, which makes for a very hard start. When you get the next one, I suggest unpotting it and checking the roots right away so you know exactly what you're dealing with before things get out of hand.

    Remember, the forum is always here to help if you get stuck or frustrated!!

    Welcome to the boards!

  6. #6
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    If you want to save the plant, the first step would be to cut off the flower spike.
    Flowers drain a lot of energy from the plant and since it currently has no roots, it will be really stressed to provide nourishment for both flowers and plant growth at the same time.

  7. #7
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    Another take on the water test...I use wooden skewers from the grocery store. You dont risk exposing your phals to chemicals from the paint and lead of the pencil...plus they are usually 100 for 2.50 and for that I can have one per shelf. Its saved many of my phals from sure overwatering because I tend to water too much.
    Connie

  8. #8
    IdahoOrchid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cjcorner View Post
    chemicals from the paint and lead of the pencil
    The "lead" is graphite and I believe it is pretty inert.

    I believe the paint is pretty inert as well since it is dry. It may flake off a bit, but I don't think it would hurt the plant any.

    Other ideas are: wooden chop sticks and bamboo stakes from buying in spike orchids.

  9. #9
    sadie's Avatar
    sadie is offline Senior Member
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    If it makes you feel any better, everyone here has killed an orchid or two (or more ).

  10. #10
    IdahoOrchid's Avatar
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    Just for the record, I have saved an orchid in worse shape than this one with the S&B technique. Just be sure to cut off all the dead stuff first.

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