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flowers wilting

This is a discussion on flowers wilting within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; help! i got an orchid about a month and a half ago, it had been ...

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  1. #1
    deyilange is offline Junior Member
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    Default flowers wilting

    help! i got an orchid about a month and a half ago, it had been doing great up until today, 2 of the flowers are starting to wilt, and the tiny little bud that was at the end (not sure if there's a specific term for it) has totally shriveled. what did i do wrong? can it be saved? btw it's a phal


  2. #2
    cindiras's Avatar
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    You have a beautiful Phal! After the length of time it has been blooming, it is normal for the flowers to fade and fall. The bud blast could be caused by any number of things, changing temperature and humidity between your space and its previous home, differant minerals in the tap water, diferant light levels between your home and the store, getting too much sunlight through the window in your car on the ride home. Anything! So far its actions are normal for a phal. Looks like you have a good pot with plenty of holes to provide air to the roots. Is it planted in tightly packed sphagnum moss, or is the moss loosley tucked around the roots? Do you let the sphagnum dry completely before rewatering?

  3. #3
    deyilange is offline Junior Member
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    oh thank you, i was so scared, by the way one of the flowers, the last one to bloom is not wilting, i do let it dry, the little pot inside that pot is clear plastic and small and whatever is in there, i think is bark, it looks like it to me i'm no expert though, i have been putting it by a large glass door with a southern exposure twice a week, my apt. only has a window facing north and the back door, it's a small apt., i'm in florida so it does get quite hot, should i not put it by that glass door? inside is a bit gloomy during the day as i close the curtains before i leave, i was placing it behind the curtains, maybe that was too much sun? the leafs are very green, also should i remove that "shredded" stuff on the top of it? i'm not sure what it is or what is for, i take it off for watering. also if it's ended the flowering stage what should i do now specially with the "bud blast"

  4. #4
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    I would remove the sphag on top it is too close to the leaves and may cause some rot problems. Orchids like to have a lot of air circulating around them. The bud you speak of at the end of the stalk is the terminal bud and generally speaking on Phals. it does not open. A northern exposure for phals. is perfect. They are a low to intermediate light orchid. If all the flowers on the stalk have died now is the time to cut the stalk back to about 1". By doing this you give the plant time to conserve some energy for it's next blooming cycle. When watering this plant make sure not to get water in the crown (Top junction of the leaves) Water in that area causes crown rot and can lead to death of the plant. If you can see through the plastic pot, make sure there is no sphag. around the roots.
    Good luck
    ischel

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    Yes, the stuff at the top of your pot is sphagnum moss (sphag for short) and would tend to hold in water. If the humidity is high in your area (@50% or more), you don't need moisture held in the pot. The stuff in your plastic inner pot is bark, usually fir bark. This is a standard potting medium for many types of orchids. It is sold in nurserys and big box stores and comes in differant grades- large chunks for thick rooted orchids like Cattleya and Phalaenopsis, smaller chunks for finer rooted orchids like Miltonias, and even finer, almost soil mixtures for terestrial orchids like Cymbidiums and Slipper orchids. You know you have a Phal, so you now know a large chunk bark mix is what you should use when it comes time to repot. THAT will be when it starts to show new growth- new roots or new leaves. At that time you can remove it from the plastic inner pot and pot directly into your vented orchid pot if you want. Repotting should be done when the bark in your potting mix breaks down into smaller and smaller chunks. Don't re-use the bark in the pot, please get fresh bark when repotting. Is any of this a help, or just more confusing than ever?

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    deyilange is offline Junior Member
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    no i think it makes sense, thanks for helping w/the terms, so once all the flowers fall off cut off about 1" off the top, remove the sphag immediately do not water crown, place behind a sheer curtain? so the sun don't hit directly, make sure bark is dry before watering and make sure no water accumulates at the bottom of the pot and remains there, what should i do as far as the stalk being bent to the side, should i leave it alone? other orchids i've had were more "straight up"

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    Each phal spike will point where it wants! Some growers stake the spikes so they will grow up, not out. Not a problem. Phals in the wild actually grow DOWN the trees, with the leaves pointing toward the ground and the roots above them clinging to the bark. so we are actually growing them upside down when we pot them. For an expirement, I potted two phals in slat baskets and hung them sideways. They grew dowm from the edge of the basket and the flower spikes arc down and out.
    The one inch ischel was talking about in his answer to you is one inch from the plant, not one inch from the tip of the spike. I usually wait until the spike turns brown, then cut it off near the plant.

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    deyilange is offline Junior Member
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    1"??? from the bottom??? isn't that going to leave it pretty tiny? i was thinking more like a couple of those little things where the spikes grow out of, i cant remember what they're called because, one of them is dry so i figured i would cut that one, by the way my whole stalk is brown :S i'll try to post pix

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    deyilange is offline Junior Member
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    here are some pix. the arrow is where i was thinking of cutting it because above that the little...? where more spikes would come out of, it look dry to me

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    Quote Originally Posted by deyilange View Post
    1"??? from the bottom??? isn't that going to leave it pretty tiny? i was thinking more like a couple of those little things where the spikes grow out of, i cant remember what they're called because, one of them is dry so i figured i would cut that one, by the way my whole stalk is brown :S i'll try to post pix
    If the spike is now brown, then it will not continue to bloom. Cut it off close to the plant (about an inch above the plant). Those 'joints' in the spike are called nodes (plural) or a node (singular).

    Quote Originally Posted by deyilange View Post
    here are some pix. the arrow is where i was thinking of cutting it because above that the little...? where more spikes would come out of, it look dry to me
    Don't see your photos? Make sure that you upload them and they are 7000x700 at 72 dpi or smaller. 400x400 at 72 dpi works well.

    Cheers,
    BD

    PS -

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