All Things Gardening forum: It looks like I'm killing it - Oh no!

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Name: Patti
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 6b)
Winter Sowing Critters Allowed Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Dragonflies
Birds Cat Lover Seed Starter Dog Lover Region: Kansas Houseplants
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Tuckersmom
Nov 9, 2015 9:41 AM CST
I obviously have no idea how to care for this plant. In fact, I'm not even sure what it is, but it does have the word 'Nun' in it. Maybe it's an orchid, because it is in orchid mix.

I placed it in the bathroom. When I did, all of the leaves were healthy and green. See pic #1 Now the leaves are dying. See pic #2

I do not allow direct sunlight to hit this plant. Because it's at the back of the shower, it does get plenty of humidity. I believe I'm going to put some rocks under the plant and start keeping water in the saucer.

Any tips or comments will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Thumb of 2015-11-09/Tuckersmom/e28aae


Thumb of 2015-11-09/Tuckersmom/34b1e5

“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.”
– Zen saying
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Nov 9, 2015 10:26 AM CST
I think it is Phaius tankarvilleae - Nun's hood orchid, it is a terrestrial orchid, so it prefers to grow in soil media. I don't grow that orchid but I found these links :
http://plantcaretoday.com/how-to-care-for-phaius-the-nuns-or...
http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/hot_topics/lawn_and_gard...

Hope it will revive, it does need bright light, but not direct sun. If you will grow it outdoors later on, needs a shady spot. I have read it has fragrant blooms, that sure is nice. Maybe you need to change the media and provide just a little more light. How was the condition of the roots when you got it? And make sure the container has drain holes.

[Last edited by tarev - Nov 9, 2015 10:29 AM (+)]
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Name: Patti
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 6b)
Winter Sowing Critters Allowed Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Dragonflies
Birds Cat Lover Seed Starter Dog Lover Region: Kansas Houseplants
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Tuckersmom
Nov 9, 2015 10:45 AM CST
Tarev, you might have just saved this plants life. Hurray! My bedroom has windows on the south and the west. I can place it on my dresser where it will not get any direct light, but will have bright light all day. I will replant this in potting mix in a few minutes. Do you think miracle grow would be okay?

I have read the articles but have not viewed videos yet. I will do that before I repot. I don't want to lose this plant as it was a gift. I don't want to lose any plant, ever. Sticking tongue out

Fragrance… My kind of plant. Lovey dubby

So, should I be watching the orchid forum? Smiling

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.”
– Zen saying
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Nov 9, 2015 11:40 AM CST
Last thing, first. Watch the "Orchids" forum.

I find that my terrestrials (all in pots) do best when I mix half potting soil and half medium grade orchid mix. Potting mine up in straight potting media, even when adding additional coarse perlite was a disaster. My plants seem to be very happy now that I changed the mix last spring. They seem to like the more open, better draining mixture. I have approximately 100 terrestrial orchids. Sighing! Bright, indirect light is great for them and all my plants are outside from April till November, under large oak and cedar trees. They get either a couple of hours of early morning sun or a couple of hours of late afternoon sun while they are outside. That suits them to a T.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Nov 9, 2015 12:17 PM CST
Hi Patti! I really never liked miracle gro potting mix...but if you have no other choice there, maybe add some more perlite or some orchid mix. Orchids have a different requirement fertilizing-wise, and oftentimes miracle gro potting mix already comes with fertilizer.

Please do join us at the Orchids forum. There is a specific thread there for terrestrial orchids Smiling
The thread "Terrestrial Orchids, let's discuss!" in Orchids forum
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Nov 9, 2015 10:58 PM CST
As Ken said, straight media is a problem for terrestrial orchids. I know from experience. Also, I am not fond of Miracle gro potting soil at all. It has fertilizer and some has water retention stuff. I always stay away from anything that is water retentive. I want to control the water and retention is not necessarily good. WRT fertilizer, I would rather control it myself as well.

In a shower area may be great for humidity, but not necessarily light.

When you repot it, check the roots. You may have some root rot caused by too much water. If so clean away the rot and dust with some powdered sulphur and cinnamon.

Good luck. It may be quite awhile before the plant recovers.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Patti
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 6b)
Winter Sowing Critters Allowed Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Dragonflies
Birds Cat Lover Seed Starter Dog Lover Region: Kansas Houseplants
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Tuckersmom
Nov 9, 2015 11:11 PM CST
Unfortunately, I did not get the plant repotted today. Had something else come up. Maybe it's a good thing, having read these messages now. I have some Pro Mix and I have some orchid mix. I'll mix the two together.

I have been very careful with watering so I am fairly sure it does not have root rot. Because it was totally in orchid mix, I would sink the pot for about three minutes and then drain it. I did that every seven to 10 days, depending on how hot it was. Right now, the house is at 68° but as it gets colder outside I will be turning the heat up to around 72°. Is that warm enough for house plants? Is it hot enough for this plant? I have a room heater if one is required.

Thank you both!
“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.”
– Zen saying
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Nov 10, 2015 12:22 AM CST
Thar is a very acceptable method of watering something in bark orchid mix and the temp should be fine.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Nov 10, 2015 6:14 AM CST
Patti, your temperature is far warmer than what all my orchids get in the fall/winter months. My two greenhouses are kept at 65F, but when it dips into the mid-teens, they often will dip closer to 60F. The house thermostats are kept at 67F during the cold months (night) but the house will be warmer than that during the day.

Regardless of where you keep your orchids, they will certainly do best with bright, indirect light. High humidity is nice, but to me at least, bright light is more important. Your planned mix should be just fine. Keep in mind, some of the orchid roots will die, particularly when they are in a dormant cycle. That's perfectly normal. Some of my epiphytic varieties lose all their roots and a few will lose most/all of their leaves during dormancy. Thus, "rotted" roots are not necessarily caused by over-watering or water-retentive media. Check those roots when you re-pot.

Good luck.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Patti
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 6b)
Winter Sowing Critters Allowed Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Dragonflies
Birds Cat Lover Seed Starter Dog Lover Region: Kansas Houseplants
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Tuckersmom
Nov 10, 2015 7:27 AM CST
Terrestrial orchids is now on my watch list. Thumbs up

I want to thank you guys for all of the help and information. I feel so much better now.

I live in a bungalow with many windows. The bedroom I will be putting the plant in has five. I love my drafty old house, but it was built in 1924, before the days of insulation and storm windows. Storm windows are on now, but still no insulation other than the attic and in the bathroom walls. When I remodeled the bathroom, I added a small skylight, so it does get plenty of light. I turn the thermostat down at night.

Miracle Grow is about the only thing readily available here, unless you want to go for organic from a nursery. I don't care for MG at all and was happy to see Pro Mix at a new big box store. I bought their last bag. This last summer was the first time I have ever grown anything, so this has been fun, but creating gardening beds is expensive, expensive!

Again, thank you for helping someone who is just starting to learn about the world of plants.

Thank You!



“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.”
– Zen saying
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Nov 10, 2015 7:55 AM CST
I tip my hat to you.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Nov 10, 2015 10:36 AM CST
Hi Patti, when you do crank up the heat, make sure you run some small fan after you water it. Orchids appreciate good all over air circulation.

I also do dunk watering with my other orchids, but only when it is warm weather or in summer when it is just so onerously hot and dry. And that is the limitation of my location here.

During fall and winter, media holds water longer, so you may need to check how moist the soil level is. Some would use a skewer method - dip the skewer in the soil, if it comes out wet, then it is still moist enough, no need to water or just by the weight of the container, it is heavier when it is still quite wet.

And just to add, water early in the day, not at night.
[Last edited by tarev - Nov 10, 2015 2:08 PM (+)]
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Name: Patti
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 6b)
Winter Sowing Critters Allowed Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Dragonflies
Birds Cat Lover Seed Starter Dog Lover Region: Kansas Houseplants
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Tuckersmom
Nov 10, 2015 1:52 PM CST
Thank You! I had no idea air circulation was so important. The watering tips will come in handy. Luckily, morning watering is easiest for me anyway. I love the skewer idea. As I said earlier, I really want this little plant to survive. Thanks again!
“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.”
– Zen saying
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Nov 10, 2015 2:24 PM CST
Here is an article from the American Orchid Society about humidity and air circulation for orchids : https://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=414
Name: Patti
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 6b)
Winter Sowing Critters Allowed Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Dragonflies
Birds Cat Lover Seed Starter Dog Lover Region: Kansas Houseplants
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Tuckersmom
Nov 10, 2015 2:49 PM CST
This is a very interesting article. Smiling

Thank You!

I have a very small desk fan that will be perfect for this. I also carried through and set the plant on a saucer of water with pebbles keeping the the base of the pot elevated. I just hope I can support its' needs throughout the winter.

With the help of you and others, I feel more up to the challenge. I tip my hat to you.
“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.”
– Zen saying
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Nov 10, 2015 4:44 PM CST
I have a minimum of two fans running in each greenhouse. During late summer/early spring, before moving everything in the greenhouses outside, I have three fans running. One is at the floor level in each greenhouse and it runs 24/7. The other one/two, are on timers that are set to run 8-12 hrs., depending on time of year. I have posted numerous times about the importance of air movement (and why I think I have so little pest/disease problems), but the majority of those were on the "Orchids" forum.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Patti
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 6b)
Winter Sowing Critters Allowed Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Dragonflies
Birds Cat Lover Seed Starter Dog Lover Region: Kansas Houseplants
Image
Tuckersmom
Nov 10, 2015 7:25 PM CST
Ken, I know here in Kansas they talk about air movement when gardening due to the humidity.

I'm a senior citizen and put my first three tomatoes in the ground this last June. Other than sticking a plant in the ground and hoping it would grow a couple times in my life, I had no interest in gardening prior to this past summer. I joined ATP on 9/17/15, after I heard some people on another site talking about it. I have kind of lost my mind over gardening, reading everything I can find and learning as much as I possibly can. I have a lot of lost time to make up for.

Your comment about air movement makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing it again here, because I had not read about the importance of their movement prior to this thread. The little fan has been set up in the bedroom and is fanning away. Smiling
“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.”
– Zen saying
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Nov 10, 2015 7:46 PM CST
Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
DavidLMO
Nov 10, 2015 8:23 PM CST
Patti - when you grow stuff from seed fans are also of great assistance. Smiling They help keep surface moisture down, decrease problems with damping off and make little seedling stems stronger.

I am glad you are learning and enjoying yourself. BTW - welcome to the addiction.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Patti
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 6b)
Winter Sowing Critters Allowed Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Dragonflies
Birds Cat Lover Seed Starter Dog Lover Region: Kansas Houseplants
Image
Tuckersmom
Nov 10, 2015 11:05 PM CST
Thank You! it certainly is an addiction. Lovey dubby
“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.”
– Zen saying

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