Orchids forum→Orchid might be dying

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NYC
oledzxxm
May 22, 2021 11:35 AM CST
Hi! I just recently received an orchid as a present and it was doing well at first but now the flowers are starting to wilt. When I first got it I noticed that one of the leaves had damage in the middle of it, there were some holes in the flower petals, and that some of the roots seemed to be rotting but I didn't think much of it because it still seemed to be blooming. However now it seems like it's taking a turn because the flowers are now wilting. I will add some photos but please someone tell me how to save it because it was a very special present that I received and I just want to give it the love and care that it deserves! I was told to put three ice cubes in it weekly but I don't know if thats the right way to actually maintain it; I also have had it in bright direct sunlight for the past three days. Thank you for your help!
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 22, 2021 12:11 PM CST
Welcome!

Your orchid is a Phalaenopsis. With proper care, the flowers will last up to six months but the flowers on your plant are telling you the plant is not happy with life.

Put the orchid in bright but indirect light (no sun), it is being sunburned. Water when the bark is dry. The easiest way to tell is to take the inner pot out of the cache pot and look for moisture through the clear plastic of the pot. If you see moisture, don't water. You will also be able to see the health of the roots through the clear pot. Soggy rotting roots are a sign the orchid has been overwatered. The roots should be green and plump. Brown dry roots are dead but not as much of a problem as soggy dead.

Three ice cubes a week is not a good idea - it was an advertising gimmick that just won't die. And, if you aren't draining the cache pot of whatever is left of the ice cubes after they melt, the roots are sitting in water and rotting. When the bark is dry, take the inner pot out of the cache pot and hold it under the kitchen sprayer (lukewarm water). Water the leaves, tops and bottoms and run water through the bark for a minute or so. Shake any moisture out of the plant crown, let the bark drain and then put it back into the cache pot for display.

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
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
May 22, 2021 1:14 PM CST
The "Ice Cube Method" is just a myth as it is actually a bad idea.
A Phalaenopsis is a tropical orchid and in the tropics, ice cubes are never around! Ha ha. But really putting ice cold water on the roots will kill your orchid quicker then anything else!!

Why? The small amount of water provided never waters all the roots. Those that come in contact with the ice cubes die due to the cold! You water with tap water around 85-90 degrees, not ice cubes.
Daisy is right in that a mature Phalaenopsis can be in bloom for a long time, even a year or more. BUT, NOT THE SAME FLOWERS!! Individual flowers last three weeks to a month but the flower spikes can branch and produce more flowers. Yours is a sick baby plant that we need to get it to live. We should not worry about flowers.
It needs to be repotted ASAP. Your roots are rotting and dying back due to bad media. Media that is holding way too much water. This plant is a Epiphyte meaning it grows on another plant for support only. It is not a parasite. And as such the roots need oxygen. NO POTTING SOIL!

But welcome to our site and an 'admin' will probably transfer this thread to the Orchid forum section. Now YOU need to go to that section where you will find loads of questions and answers dealing with Phalaenopsis. If you read through those, you will learn quite a lot.
But it is normal that the flowers die back and when they are all done, trim the bloom spike back to the plant.
Repotting information can be found there too. Phalaenopsis love to be repotted and will produce new roots quickly. But if you want to keep it alive you need to do something quickly!!
Care:
Bright windowsill
No direct sun ever
No ice cubes, water once every four days in a 4" pot.
Fertilize 4X a year.
Repot every two years.
Temperature of 65-85

Again, welcome on board!! Welcome!
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - May 22, 2021 1:18 PM (+)]
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Southwest U.S. (Zone 7a)
MsDoe
May 22, 2021 1:17 PM CST
Everything that Daisy and Bill said! I agree
Phalaenopsis orchids are great houseplants, but their care is quite different from other plants. Once you get that figured out, they're not difficult.
Don't worry about the flowers, they're done for now. With the right care, it will bloom again next year. You can cut off the entire flower stalk close to the base, or just leave the bare stalk. There are different opinions on this, that's a whole 'nuther topic.
The damaged leaves won't improve. Again, focus on keeping the plant healthy and you should get healthy new leaves showing up soon. The plant usually only adds one or two leaves each year, so take good care of them! The older leaves at the bottom will eventually die and drop off, but it may be several years. Leave them as long as they're green, they're feeding the plant.
Keep it out of direct sun, but they do like fairly bright light. Direct sun can permanently mar the leaves.
Water as Daisy and Bill advise. The ice cube thing is nonsense. Your plant seems to be in bark. You can run a lot of water through bark, and water frequently as it retains little moisture. Let it drain well before putting it back in the cache pot.
Or, leave it out of the cache pot entirely. The roots do better when they can get air and light. Clear plastic pots with holes are good for this. Phal roots are special. They not only absorb water and nutrients, they have chlorophyll and contribute to plant growth in much the same way the leaves do. Take good care of the roots, and the plant will do well. Soggy, dark and closed-in are bad. Moisture, light and air are good.
Here's a link to some basic information from the American Orchid Society. If you're interested, browse around their website, there's a lot there!
https://www.aos.org/orchids/cu...
Please ask if you have any questions, and check out the Orchids forum for sure!
Welcome!
[Last edited by MsDoe - May 22, 2021 1:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
May 22, 2021 3:08 PM CST
But I wouldn't repot as the bark is fine and oledzxxm is a new orchid Mom. Repotting is a daunting task for an inexperienced grower. With proper care, it won't matter if there are a few dead roots in the pot and the orchid will grow new ones.
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
Webmaster: osnnv.org
NYC
oledzxxm
May 22, 2021 5:41 PM CST
Thank you all so so much for your help! You have all been so helpful I am so appreciative Smiling
NYC
oledzxxm
May 22, 2021 5:47 PM CST
I was able to get the plastic pot out to get a good look at the roots and empty out the residue water from the pot. Despite one or two, the roots are actually looking pretty green which I guess is a good sign and gives me hope? I will change my watering methods and put it in a better indirect sunlight location and hope that helps!
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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
May 22, 2021 6:16 PM CST
You are welcome.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!

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