Ask a Question forum: Is this a new Orchid?

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Name: Amber
NY (Zone 6a)
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anmiller86
May 9, 2015 2:52 PM CST
I've been working on rehabbing my MIL's orchid. It was bone dry for unknown amounts of time and a 2nd set of leaves was growing at the top when I started. There is a little nub growing out of the small leaves, maybe an air root or spike, not sure. It's probably a NoID Phal, but I haven't ever seen it blooming. It's become my project. One of the leaves turned yellow and snapped off of the bottom, and it only has two air roots left alive but I've been giving it some love including orchid food (the misting kind, not the spike or the one you mix with water). I'm wondering though if the baby leaves are actually a new orchid plant forming and if so...do I remove and start a new orchid? Or leave it....? I don't know. Pardon the picture quality, I don't know where my nice camera is and I'm using my iPhone. Nub is kinda hard to see, I can try to get another picture if needed. It's in the front under the baby leaves.
Thumb of 2015-05-09/anmiller86/2044ae

Name: Amber
NY (Zone 6a)
Image
anmiller86
May 9, 2015 2:54 PM CST
PS: Buds to the right are from my new Phal and not part of the rehab in progress. Sticking tongue out
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 9, 2015 3:14 PM CST
Yes, that is a new plant forming, but don't separate it yet. It needs to form some roots while still attached to the mother plant. Is the mother plant still ok?

If you just mist it with a spray bottle daily, you should see roots forming pretty soon. When they're a couple of inches long you can cut the stalk below the baby and stick it in a pot of orchid medium (not soil!).

A little bit of soluble fertilizer in the misting water will help things along too. Just make sure there's no water sitting in the cup of leaves. You might remove the stake in the pot (which is meant to hold the flowers upright) to let the plant take a more normal posture as this will let that baby plant drain.

Phals grow in nature on vertical surfaces with their leaves hanging down, and the flowers are meant to cascade, not be upright like you find them at the stores. Rolling my eyes.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Amber
NY (Zone 6a)
Image
anmiller86
May 9, 2015 7:55 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Yes, that is a new plant forming, but don't separate it yet. It needs to form some roots while still attached to the mother plant. Is the mother plant still ok?

If you just mist it with a spray bottle daily, you should see roots forming pretty soon. When they're a couple of inches long you can cut the stalk below the baby and stick it in a pot of orchid medium (not soil!).

A little bit of soluble fertilizer in the misting water will help things along too. Just make sure there's no water sitting in the cup of leaves. You might remove the stake in the pot (which is meant to hold the flowers upright) to let the plant take a more normal posture as this will let that baby plant drain.

Phals grow in nature on vertical surfaces with their leaves hanging down, and the flowers are meant to cascade, not be upright like you find them at the stores. Rolling my eyes.


Well, I was intending on letting it grow, but it accidentally got knocked by someone and broke off the original orchid. I don't think it's going to survive, and the Mother is a goner. It was pretty much gone when I got a hold of it. MIL just didn't know what to do with an orchid and pretty much never watered it. I saved the baby and set it lightly on top of orchid medium and misted it but I suspect it will die.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 9, 2015 9:11 PM CST
Aww, that's too bad. But don't give up on it too quickly because it may make it yet. Those leaves look pretty perky.

Keep up the misting - whenever you walk by it, give it a squirt. At this point you can't really overwater it since it has few if any roots. The leaves are designed to absorb water and nutrients and the roots don't really do that very much, they mostly just hold the plant in place.

So, if you have the patience, give it a month or so and see if it grows or makes roots. Phals have a thing they do which I call their "Diva act" where the leaves shrivel up and look really like the plant is dying but they often recover from it if you're patient. Most people chuck the plant when it does this but I have them doing it pretty often and all of mine have come back. Mind you, we have major humidity here which I'm sure helps them a lot.

Keep us posted on how it does?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Amber
NY (Zone 6a)
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anmiller86
May 10, 2015 5:57 AM CST
Definitely! I convinced FIL to let me keep at it. Hilarious! My new phal is doing a little bit of the diva act right now. I bought it and it was in soggy peat moss so I repotted it...but then I bought a pot designed for Orchids at Lowes and repotted it again...so it has a brown bud on it now. Thumbs down But I suspected that might happen. I did repot it 2x in under a week. I misted the baby a few minutes ago, and I'll mist it again in a bit. Maybe around lunch. Should I have it in a brighter indirect light spot or lower indirect light? Bright side: whether it survives or not, I learned about Keikis and how to remove and repot last night. Green Grin! I love Orchids. I managed to keep one alive from September until March and hopefully my friend who has it is taking good care of it too.

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