Orchids forum: How is my orchid?

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Bloomington, Indiana (Zone 6a)
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CrazedHoosier
Feb 8, 2019 8:46 PM CST
About a week ago, I was gifted this very pretty orchid. I've had a few orchids in my life, and managed to kill each one. Now that I'm actually able to understand how to care for one, I'm trying to give it a proper go! I bought a new 6 inch terra cotta pot, and miracle grow orchid mix soil. I also looked up companion plants for the moth orchid, and bought a philodendron. When I planted the orchid in its new pot, it was very root bound. It came in one of those thin plastic pots. It also started yellowing in its leaves lately, so it was obviously stressed. The orchid is now in it's new pot, with it's new soil, and with its new friend. Am I taking the right steps so far? Is there anything else I need to do for now? Also, the moth orchid looks a little different than normal... here, you judge.
Thumb of 2019-02-09/CrazedHoosier/874dba

Name: Lin
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Feb 8, 2019 9:36 PM CST
I'm far from an orchid expert but I don't think Miracle Grow Potting mix would be the correct medium for any orchid unless it's a terrestrial type that grows in the ground. Moth Orchids are epiphytic by nature and require good air circulation around their roots to do well; heavy soil will suffocate the roots which may be the cause of your plants leaves yellowing.

Here's the American Orchid Society culture sheets for Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis)"
http://www.aos.org/orchids/cul...
http://www.aos.org/orchids/cul...

We have a few very knowledgeable orchid growers on this site who will be able to offer good advice, @Ursula @BigBill
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Bloomington, Indiana (Zone 6a)
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CrazedHoosier
Feb 8, 2019 10:07 PM CST
plantladylin said:I'm far from an orchid expert but I don't think Miracle Grow Potting mix would be the correct medium for any orchid unless it's a terrestrial type that grows in the ground. Moth Orchids are epiphytic by nature and require good air circulation around their roots to do well; heavy soil will suffocate the roots which may be the cause of your plants leaves yellowing.

Here's the American Orchid Society culture sheets for Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis)"
http://www.aos.org/orchids/cul...
http://www.aos.org/orchids/cul...

We have a few very knowledgeable orchid growers on this site who will be able to offer good advice, @Ursula @BigBill


I'm using miracle grow orchid mix - not potting mix. I made sure not to make that mistake with orchids. It is a bark-based medium with barely any true soil. I also chose the terra cotta for extra aeration. I remember back in the day when people used to say they needed gravel and consistent moisture like a river! Poor orchids never stood a chance...
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
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Ursula
Feb 9, 2019 7:52 AM CST

Moderator

When you say "with barely any true soil" I cringe a bit. Perhaps you picked up a mix which is appropriate for terrestrial Orchids, but not for an epiphyte?
I probably would remove the companion plant while placing the plant into a proper medium. Picture this Orchid growing in nature in leafy compost of sorts in a tree, slightly tilted so the rain water doesn't collect in the crown.
When you talk about yellowing leaves - how yellow? only old leaves turning yellow? How much light does the plant get? Too much?
A picture would help.
Bloomington, Indiana (Zone 6a)
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CrazedHoosier
Feb 9, 2019 10:03 AM CST
Ursula said:When you say "with barely any true soil" I cringe a bit. Perhaps you picked up a mix which is appropriate for terrestrial Orchids, but not for an epiphyte?
I probably would remove the companion plant while placing the plant into a proper medium. Picture this Orchid growing in nature in leafy compost of sorts in a tree, slightly tilted so the rain water doesn't collect in the crown.
When you talk about yellowing leaves - how yellow? only old leaves turning yellow? How much light does the plant get? Too much?
A picture would help.


This is the soil I bought. It says it is made specifically for the moth orchid. I'm honestly surprised no one seems to know what it is. It was my first option when buying orchid soil. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GTDI73O/ I'm not great at knowing what high/medium/low light is, so I just put the orchid by our highest light window. A heuchera is actually growing there, too. I'm not really sure what direct light means indoors either... how can sunlight be direct if it is inside a house? Anyway, here are some pictures of the yellow leaf, and the overall habitat the orchid is in at the moment.
Thumb of 2019-02-09/CrazedHoosier/283f15
Thumb of 2019-02-09/CrazedHoosier/9590e2

Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Feb 9, 2019 12:41 PM CST

Moderator

I see an older yellow leaf, I wouldn't worry about. If new leaves also start to turn yellow, that might point to too much light or roots turning south or not enough water or "whatever" . But yes, you can easily burn a Phal in a South window in sunshine.
Bloomington, Indiana (Zone 6a)
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CrazedHoosier
Feb 9, 2019 1:00 PM CST
Ursula said:I see an older yellow leaf, I wouldn't worry about. If new leaves also start to turn yellow, that might point to too much light or roots turning south or not enough water or "whatever" . But yes, you can easily burn a Phal in a South window in sunshine.


The light you see in the picture is pretty much the peak amount of light it gets. Is the ray of sun shining on the front philodendron too much? Is my medium okay? I learnt last night the poor orchid lived in Kroger before.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
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Ursula
Feb 9, 2019 2:02 PM CST

Moderator

I am sorry, but I could not judge the amount of light just looking at this. I remember seeing gorgous, well grown Phals everywhere in Germany at a visit a few years ago. They all had one thing in common, lace curtains! I don't know which way all those windows faced, but I would think the lace was a perfect light filter. If one might imagine what it takes to duplicate that here and choose the similar amount of light?
Name: Lin
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Feb 9, 2019 2:05 PM CST
In my opinion, that's the wrong pot for a Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis) or any other epiphytic orchid. I also think the Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium 'Brasil') should be in a small container of it's own or a dish garden with plants that prefer the same culture.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Lin
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Feb 9, 2019 2:06 PM CST
There's a thread here on our Orchid Forum with good information regarding Phal Orchids: The thread "πŸ—£ Starting out with Phals/Supermarket Orchids πŸ›Ž ✍️" in Orchids forum
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Bloomington, Indiana (Zone 6a)
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CrazedHoosier
Feb 9, 2019 2:48 PM CST
Ursula said:I am sorry, but I could not judge the amount of light just looking at this. I remember seeing gorgous, well grown Phals everywhere in Germany at a visit a few years ago. They all had one thing in common, lace curtains! I don't know which way all those windows faced, but I would think the lace was a perfect light filter. If one might imagine what it takes to duplicate that here and choose the similar amount of light?


Hmm, I can imagine that type of light! I think I may have some similar places. If they do stress a bit, I guess I'll just have to buy some nice lace curtains! It honestly sounds very pretty to have orchids and lace curtains...
Bloomington, Indiana (Zone 6a)
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CrazedHoosier
Feb 9, 2019 2:50 PM CST
plantladylin said:There's a thread here on our Orchid Forum with good information regarding Phal Orchids: The thread "πŸ—£ Starting out with Phals/Supermarket Orchids πŸ›Ž ✍️" in Orchids forum


Thank you! I honestly am not worried about the philodendron as much, as I got it from Lowe's for 3 dollars. If it starts to stress, I'll just pop it out. Do you think it'll cause problems for the moth orchid, though?
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid hobbyist/Judge
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BigBill
Feb 9, 2019 6:37 PM CST
Phalaenopsis orchids should have NO sunlight shinning on it with the possible exception of a little morning light for no more then an hour.
You should NEVER grow any orchid with a companion plant of ANY type including another orchid. Their watering requirements are just way too different!
Phalaenopsis grow equally well in clay or plastic, the watering frequency is adjusted for the pot type.
Direct sunlight = any sunlight that directly shines on the leaves of the plant.
β€œThe only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”
[Last edited by BigBill - Feb 9, 2019 6:38 PM (+)]
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Bloomington, Indiana (Zone 6a)
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CrazedHoosier
Feb 9, 2019 7:14 PM CST
BigBill said:Phalaenopsis orchids should have NO sunlight shinning on it with the possible exception of a little morning light for no more then an hour.
You should NEVER grow any orchid with a companion plant of ANY type including another orchid. Their watering requirements are just way too different!
Phalaenopsis grow equally well in clay or plastic, the watering frequency is adjusted for the pot type.
Direct sunlight = any sunlight that directly shines on the leaves of the plant.


You can't grow another phal orchid with another phal? Is it because the roots can suffocate each other? If I don't have to worry about the philodendron hurting or killing the orchid, I don't really care about keeping them together. I'll water and fertilize to the orchid's needs, and just pop the philodendron out if it gets stressed.
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid hobbyist/Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Feb 9, 2019 7:26 PM CST
One reason you do not grow an orchid and a philodendron together is that the orchid ends up being in a pot that is too large for the root system. The orchid does not get the proper watering and it's health suffers.

An orchid is hard enough to learn how to grow for beginners or novices. And therefore you don't grow them together. Each in its own pot.
But if you want to grow them together be my guest. You're the one who asked how your orchid is doing. We tell you, advise you and if you choose to ignore the advice then it is on you. All we are trying to do is help.
β€œThe only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”
Bloomington, Indiana (Zone 6a)
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CrazedHoosier
Feb 9, 2019 7:39 PM CST
BigBill said:One reason you do not grow an orchid and a philodendron together is that the orchid ends up being in a pot that is too large for the root system. The orchid does not get the proper watering and it's health suffers.

An orchid is hard enough to learn how to grow for beginners or novices. And therefore you don't grow them together. Each in its own pot.
But if you want to grow them together be my guest. You're the one who asked how your orchid is doing. We tell you, advise you and if you choose to ignore the advice then it is on you. All we are trying to do is help.


Whoa, talk about a salty attitude. I was just simply asking what the reasons behind your statements were. Your reasons were pretty vague. I have yet to find a truly logical reason why they shouldn't be grown together, but maybe Ursula has one. Like life, gardening isn't absolute, and believing there is only one way to do things or to live, is not good. I want to attempt to grow an orchid and philodendron together while catering to the orchid's needs, and if no one can give me a logical reason why I shouldn't, I'll do it.
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid hobbyist/Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Feb 9, 2019 8:09 PM CST
I have given you a logical reason and you are just determined to do what you want to,
I bow to your thousand of seconds of orchid growing experience.

If you think I am "salty", you have no idea. And by the way, #832.
β€œThe only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”
Bloomington, Indiana (Zone 6a)
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CrazedHoosier
Feb 9, 2019 8:19 PM CST
BigBill said:I have given you a logical reason and you are just determined to do what you want to,
I bow to your thousand of seconds of orchid growing experience.

If you think I am "salty", you have no idea. And by the way, #832.


Wow, you responded exactly how your profile description makes you sound. You gave me a reason that was general and did not apply to me specifically. Did you even read my post, or did you just want to be condescending? I'm sorry, but no matter how many "seconds" of experience you have, it doesn't give you the right to be snobby. Kindly move on from my post now, please.
[Last edited by CrazedHoosier - Feb 9, 2019 8:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Greenhouse
Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums Spiders!
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Ursula
Feb 9, 2019 8:29 PM CST

Moderator

Well, here is a reason - the Phal is an epiphyte and that philodendrum is a terrestrial. One grows in a tree and the other in the ground. I could imagine the different water requirement somewhat trickier to control. ( well, right now I am growing a Schomburgkia with a hitchhiking succulent. Happily both require full sun, so I am ignoring it. But perhaps 50 years of growing stuff gives me a tiny advantage. Smiling )
Now if you scan the threads here in the Orchid forum and take a count how many of the threads deal with Phals, you might realize that for days and weeks we are answering beginner questions on how to grow them. We repeat and repeat and repeat, truly patiently!
My question is, does anybody read these threads? Heck, I tried repeatedly to keep these Phal themed threads/questions combined so people like you actually have all the answers at their fingertips. I gave up!! So very few people look at these threads first, I am always tickled pink when somebody does!
Why do we answer the same questions over and over and over? Because we actually do try to help! But it might help to get a little cooperation too.
Ok, off my soap box now.
Smiling
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid hobbyist/Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Feb 9, 2019 8:33 PM CST
Invinceably ignorant
β€œThe only stupid question is the one that is never asked!”

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