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Avatar for Rkas
May 1, 2020 3:16 PM CST
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Newcomer to the home gardening world here. So a few weeks ago I received my first orchid plant. Very beautiful.

The first week or so flowers were blooming and everything looked great. After that, one of the plants stopped blooming entirely while on some of the other ones the bulbs withered and died. Is this normal? The stems look nice a healthy. I have been watering with 2 ice cubes in each plants about once a week. Should I be concerned? Should I be concerned about pests or infections? Am I doing something wrong?


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May 1, 2020 3:57 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier

The plants look healthy. Does that pot have drainage? If not, you will have to let the moss get very dry (crispy) and then soak the entire plant and pot in warm water for 5 minutes. Tip it on its side and drain the excess water out (it may take 15 or 20 minutes). If you can feel moisture in the moss, don't water. No more ice cubes!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
May 1, 2020 4:03 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
You are not doing anything wrong but to follow the poor directions on the label. Your Orchid is a Phalaenopsis, temperature range of 65-85. Ice cubes will do more damage!!!
You should not be watering tropical plants with ice!!
BUT they put that on the label to help convince you that they are easy to take care of. Then they have your money!! They don't really care if it lives or dies.
The blooms are drying up because the roots and ultimately the developing buds are NOT getting enough water. The ice cold water will eventually kill the roots that it comes in contact with. Meanwhile that ice water does not penetrate very far so other roots die due to a lack of water. And that stuff it is growing in is sphagnum moss. NOT a good choice for an orchid beginner. It is very easy to underwater or overwater killing the roots.
Phalaenopsis are EASY to grow but not in this manner. Luckily you have found a great place to get the correct information. Within the NGA site, please check out our Orchid Forums. There you will find numerous stickies and threads dealing with growing Phalaenopsis. Read through them all. The sticky on Supermarket Orchids-phalaenopsis is very good. It is filled with excellent information.
And lastly go to the American Orchid Society website:
At the top of their home page under the membership pulldown you will find " culture sheets". These a downloadable and printable pdf files that will tell you a lot. Print the one on Growing "Phalaenopsis".
Welcome to the Orchid site!!!
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Last edited by BigBill May 1, 2020 4:06 PM Icon for preview
May 1, 2020 5:10 PM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
I concur: NEVER water by placing ice cubes directly against plant tissue - only when the smelting water reaches an adequate temperature to not cause damage, but in that case you might aswell just soak/use a watering can.

Phalaenopsis roots look silvery grey when they need water and once they're hydrated they're light green. Also never let water get into the heart (where the leaves emerge), that's usually a death sentence believe me, I've killed numerous of these Sticking tongue out
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