Orchids forum: Orchid appears to be drying up

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Sumi
Feb 5, 2017 12:18 PM CST
Hi,

I have this orchid that bloomed just once. I have been following the care instructions - watering lightly once a week. I cut off part of the stem after the first bloom. But it hasn't bloomed again since then (for almost 10-11 months), and now the stem looks completely brown and dry and the succulent part at the bottom doesn't look happy at all. I love this orchid. What can I do?

Pictures attached.

Thanks,
Sumi
Thumb of 2017-02-05/visitor/ff6e9d
Thumb of 2017-02-05/visitor/0a0464

Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 5, 2017 12:35 PM CST
Sumi, I sure wish you had asked your question sooner. Your orchid is potted up in potting soil. Orchids are epiphytes - most of them grow on other plants or tree branches so they don't need soil. They need plenty of air to their roots to survive, so I'd suspect you have rotted the roots of your plant. It may not recover.

Oncidium type orchids like that one only bloom one stem from each pseudobulb. Then they grow new pseudobulbs and bloom again. Your small new growth seems to have leaves that are dying, so it's not going to bloom any time soon.

You could try re-potting this plant into orchid medium (available at any garden center) and a pot with some air holes in it. Then keep it fairly moist and in the shade for a while to see if it will put up some healthy green growth.

We have a very active Orchids forum here at garden.org so if you get another one, please come over there to get some help with it. I'll ask to transfer your question to the Orchids forum where other orchid nuts will offer you some more opinions.
Elaine

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Feb 5, 2017 8:42 PM CST
It is possible to grow Oncidiums from backbulbs and that is essentially what you have left: a psuedobulb that has flowered and grown a pair of offshoots (new Psuedobulbs).

Pull it out of the dirt, get rid of the dead shoots and roots and repot it in small sized bark. Put a plastic bag over the pot (don't let it touch the bag - use skewers or plasticware to hold the bag up), put it in a bright window and keep it watered.

You can also put it in a bag with some moist (Not soggy) sphagnum moss on a bright windowsill. The sphagnum moss needs to be of good quality (something like New Zealand moss).
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Sumi
Feb 6, 2017 8:56 PM CST
Thanks so much for your advice , both of you!! I'll see what I can do!

Sumi
Feb 8, 2017 9:54 AM CST
Thanks so much for your advice , both of you!! I'll see what I can do!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 8, 2017 1:14 PM CST
I have always found Oncidiums so water needy. I have accidentally left one sit in water for about three days, and it actually helped restore some of the plumpness back on the pseudobulb, though some of the wrinklings stayed, but much better than fully dehydrated.

But that season then was towards mid to late Spring, and it was really getting into the warm to hot mode here. So I learned to really water them very often during our warm dry months. During winter, not in that similar intensity of watering, but at least once a week very thorough watering to get them through the cold season indoors.

They bloom better here now after Fall. I did not understand before the temperature variance it needed. Now that I do, it is like clockwork, leaving them outdoors in a part sun/shade area with lots of airflow and frequent watering during the long dry months where our temps can easily go to 100F and higher, and bringing them indoors when temps start going down to 50F. Then I get my late Fall to winter blooms, or towards early Spring blooms, when temps are still nicely cool.
[Last edited by tarev - Feb 8, 2017 1:16 PM (+)]
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Sumi
Feb 11, 2017 12:11 PM CST
Thanks tarev!

All- The one thing I was wondering about was why they sell orchids in potting soil if orchids need orchid medium/bark. Are we always expected to repot them in a different medium ? I didn't see it as part of the instructions.

Any recommendations on places to buy good quality orchids planted in the right medium-- either online or chain ? I am in the Seattle area.

Also, this plant was kept indoors. I need something I can keep indoors where it's quite shady -- any recommendations on what kind of orchid would be best also?
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 11, 2017 1:13 PM CST
Sumi, I've had very good luck with orchids that I've bought at Trader Joe's. They're always potted in good orchid medium, and they have some interesting varieties there, besides the usual Phalanopsis but Phals will be fine for your indoor situation in cool, humid Seattle conditions. They do fine in shade, but give them as much indirect light as you can for good blooming.

I'm very surprised that you bought that orchid potted up in soil. That's very unusual.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Feb 11, 2017 1:55 PM CST
Sumi,
Try Seattle Orchid 928 NW 49th St Seattle they have a website..that's a good start.
There's also the Northwest Orchid Society..google them and join! Being involved with a local group will get many more doors opened for you as well as getting you the info you need for your specific location and conditions.

As to why plants are sold in the wrong media?...because people will buy them without knowing or caring..its something pretty to put on the dining table for a few weeks then throw away.
lindsey

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