Orchids forum: Help! DH bought me an Orchid and I have no idea...

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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Feb 14, 2016 4:07 PM CST
Valentines day. Sigh. Somehow I just knew this was going to happen. I have no idea how to properly care for an orchid. Pretty, looks healthy, I think, but it was in a pot, within a pot, within yet another pot full of soggy potting soil. I do have a bag of coarse Orchid Mix soil. Suggestions on how to improve it's odds of surviving?

Thumb of 2016-02-14/woofie/d1efd7

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Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Feb 14, 2016 4:46 PM CST
How unusual is that? They included instructions for care!
From what I can see, the roots look healthy, so I would just slip it into a roomy decorative pot and place it where it gets bright light, but no direct sun, and enjoy it.
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Feb 14, 2016 4:48 PM CST
Not to worry...
These are a pretty easy and forgiving group of orchids ( phalenopsis).
I wouldn't do a thing until all the flowers have faded.. Which might take MONTHS!
In the meantime...
Let it dry completely before you water it again . Put it in nice bright light, not necessarily direct sun... But someplace where you might sit and read a book during the day. Mine came to me in sphagnum moss.. It gets watered once a month.. Others that I have acquired and have since repotted in a bark mix, get watered once a week. Just be sure not to leave a puddle of water on the crown ( top of the plant) as it might rot. Enjoy your beautiful plant!
lindsey
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 14, 2016 5:08 PM CST
Ah, thanks. I was considering repotting because the whole thing was so soggy, but that sounds like a bad idea since it's in bloom. It's in a small plastic container with slits in the sides, but the medium appears to be regular potting soil. This was inserted inside another, larger plastic container (with no drainage) filled with more potting soil which was in turn inserted into a decorative metal pot (obviously, again, no drainage) with a bunch of moss stuffed in to hide the soil. So I got rid of all the moss, took the small pot out of the larger pot and set it inside a clay pot about the size of the larger plastic pot. Some of the roots are exposed, tho, as they hang out over the smallest pot. Then I set the whole thing back inside the cute little decorative pot. There's plenty of air space to allow things to dry out. Does that sound ok, or should I worry about those exposed roots?
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Feb 14, 2016 5:28 PM CST
I told my Spousal Unit that I was going to prowl our local WM about a week after Valentine's Day to see if they have their orchids marked down. They're only $14.88 now, so if I could get any for half price or less............I have a ginormous piece of cork I could probably put about 4 on...............LOL. I have no problem getting phals to re-bloom. 2 of my cork mounted phals each have a "kid".
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Feb 14, 2016 7:02 PM CST
Thumb of 2016-02-15/ctcarol/57b271 Woofie, this is normal for Phals. in the house. I bought it at Costco last year With 2 spikes. One finishedand died back, so I cut it off. The second spike sent out a branch, which just recently dropped it's last flower. Now it has two new spikes and the old one is branching again. This is a 'Baldins kalidoscope' , and is in fine bark, and is getting buds. That pot is tin, and I had to poke some drainage holes. When I water the velum on those roots gets quite green, in spite of the dry air in the house.

Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Feb 14, 2016 10:07 PM CST
Sounds like I don't need to worry about those exposed roots, then! Great! Thank you, Carol! But probably I should keep an eye on that soil it's in to make sure it doesn't stay too wet, eh? It actually looks like decent potting soil, just not what you'd normally use for an orchid.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Feb 15, 2016 3:36 PM CST
Thumbs up Yep. Those roots aren't attractive to anyone but an orchid lover, but it's the nature of the beast.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 15, 2016 4:15 PM CST
It's a beauty, woofie. It also does look pretty healthy considering its potting conditions. You're right, it shouldn't have potting soil around it but you're also right not to disturb it too much until it finishes blooming. That might be a month or two.

In the meantime, really really restrain yourself from watering that baby. They really do like lots of air around their roots, and if you can let it dry pretty well, the roots in the soil might not rot and die off. Then that pretty thing will bloom for you again, with any luck.

Anna, I'm with you, heading to WM to see if the Valentine's orchids are on sale yet . . . demon for punishment here!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Feb 15, 2016 4:41 PM CST
One good thing about the way it was potted is that the smaller pot that it's in is made of clear plastic, so I can sort of keep an eye on the condition of the soil. It's already started to dry out a bit on top.
I had bought a small Cyclamen a couple of days earlier from the same source (hey, I wanted a white one and it was the only one available) and I literally had to wring the water out of the soil and root ball. So the orchid was lucky!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Feb 15, 2016 4:51 PM CST
That's common at the big box/grocery stores. They just don't have a clue how to care for the plants they sell in most cases.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 15, 2016 4:56 PM CST
Oh, I know! I consider them rescues. Hilarious! But we're in a rather rural area, so the choices are limited.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
Charter ATP Member Greenhouse Cat Lover Raises cows Region: Wisconsin
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AnnaZ
Feb 15, 2016 5:18 PM CST
Elaine, about the time I think I can put 'em on a slab, here they come with more bloom spikes. LOL I just may "carefully" mount them, bloom spikes or not.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Feb 15, 2016 6:27 PM CST
It looks like the Phalaenopsis is planted in bark but very small bark - this might have been its seedling mix. That clear plastic pot will be helpful in helping you determine the plants overall health so don't abondon it quite yet.

I would never put an orchid directly into a decorative pot - its a lot harder to keep them happy.

Matsui, the grower, seems to take a little more pride in the health and welfare of his plants once they leave the nursery. No sphagnum moss and no ice cube watering. Hurray!

To determine if your plant needs water, push your finger up through the bottom hole. If you can feel any moisture, don't water. Phalaenopsis can handle being dry much better than they handle being wet.

Your plant looks really happy and healthy. Let it continue to bloom - that might be for the next 6 months. Smiling Think about repotting in mid to late summer (if you really feel that need) while its still actively growing but has finished blooming. The only reason to repot is if the plant starts failing or the potting medium really does start looking like dirt (or starts growing mushrooms).

Next fall, reduce water when the nights start lengthening and find a place that is slightly cooler. Start watering normally next spring and it will reward you with an abundance of flowers.

And then you will be hooked on orchids. And you will want more and more. You will abandon your other plants and all reason to aquire more orchids. You will go to orchid shows with a budget and then break that budget.

Your Significant Other has unwittingly unleased a monster. Lovey dubby

Daisy
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Feb 15, 2016 7:05 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Daisy, there probably aren't a lot of orchid shows in NE Washington, so I think Woofie will be spared from orchid addiction disease....unless she travels a lot.
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Feb 15, 2016 7:32 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing
That's what I thought when I lived in NC..
And then I discovered mail order..and overnight delivery!!!!
lindsey
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
Image
ctcarol
Feb 15, 2016 7:42 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Feb 15, 2016 9:03 PM CST
I live in Reno, NV. Not a lot of shows here either. Let me list some of my favorite Online Orchid acquisition sights......

Hausermann's
Kawamoto's
Motes
Carter and Holmes
E-Bay

How am I doing?

Oh, and the monthly raffles at our Orchid Society meeting (one of the members used to have an orchid nursery in Hawaii and she hits her friends up for orchids every month).

My newest is Dendrobium anosmum Hono Hono. And my sweet Hubby got me Dendrobrium spectabile for Valentine's Day. He is obviously an enabler. Lovey dubby He spent his weekend helping me install a new misting system in my greenhouse.

Daisy
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Feb 15, 2016 9:17 PM CST
Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up
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
Feb 16, 2016 7:36 AM CST
I haven't been to an orchid show in over three decades. I have 500+ orchids.

@Daisyl, you left someone off your list. Sighing! I feel like Rodney Dangerfield. Sad
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.

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