Orchids forum: Orchid dying?

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mapitchf
Apr 6, 2017 4:09 PM CST
Hi,

First time posting, hoping someone can help!

Never really had any plants before but someone bought me an orchid, it seems I'm killing it fairly quickly and don't know what to do.

It sits in a fairly bright position but not massively, not in direct sun either. Water it every few days lightly. Quite a lot of the flowers have died and some of the green stems/trunk (not sure what you call it!) are turning like tree bark. I've attached some pictures, any help greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Marzena
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 6, 2017 4:11 PM CST
@drdawg, do you have any suggestions for this orchid plant?
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Apr 6, 2017 4:28 PM CST

Moderator

I am not Ken, but if I may?
Marzena, your Orchid, a Phalaenopsis, looks perfectly fine and healthy! Actually, the plant looks downright terrific. Some of the stems are simply done blooming and you may cut them down, that will clean up the spent flowers at the same time. ( only those which look dead and brittle) Happily you still have some green stems with buds, so the plant should be flowering for quite a while for you!
Looks like you are giving it the right amount of light and water!
If you have more questions, we have a nice thread on the culture of Phalaenopsis here:
The thread "Starting out with Phals/Supermarket Orchids" in Orchids forum
Happy growing! Smiling
[Last edited by Ursula - Apr 6, 2017 4:30 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1407792 (3)
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 6, 2017 4:45 PM CST
@mapitchf, as usual, Ursula is dead-on. You have a terrific orchid and just keep doing what you are doing. Hurray!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 6, 2017 4:46 PM CST
I agree with Ursula

That is one happy looking Phalaenopsis. Keep it up.

Get rid of the brown stems - they are done forever. Don't be hasty in cutting off the other stems once they are done blooming. If those stems stay green, they will re-bloom.
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
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 6, 2017 4:53 PM CST
No comment. Whistling
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Apr 6, 2017 5:04 PM CST
I concur with the others, but it looks like the potting medium may be wet or soggy. Hard to tell from the photos. Make sure there are adequate drain holes to allow any excess water to flow out. The top quarter of the potting mix should be dry before you add any water. It may also be time to replace the potting medium with fresh bark chips.
Will Creed
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 6, 2017 5:58 PM CST
Please, do NOT repot. When you look at the roots through the clear plastic pot, they should be plump and green. (No brown mushy roots.)

Cut the two brown stems off and go back to what you have been doing. The potting medium looks fine, the pot size is good and it is obviously a happy plant or you wouldn't have 3 new bloom shoots.
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
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Fruit Growers Adeniums Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania
Greenhouse Keeper of Koi Cactus and Succulents Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds
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Ursula
Apr 6, 2017 6:13 PM CST

Moderator

I agree!

mapitchf
Apr 7, 2017 12:06 AM CST
@greene @Ursula @Daisyl @drdawg @WillC

Thanks all so much for posting! Massively appreciated, great to know that the ant is doing well! Just wasn't sure when the leaves started dieing, thought that was the end of it.

Will look to trim the brown stems and definitely won't repot.

Thanks again for the fast and detailed responses!

Marzena
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Apr 7, 2017 5:52 AM CST
Most "orchid" folks won't re-pot when a plant is getting ready to bloom or is in bloom. I am in that camp, Marzena. That being said, I have had Phalaenopsis plants tip over during their blooming cycle, forcing me to re-pot. I have never had a problem in doing so. They bloomed regardless. You do want to examine your potting soil though. If it looks more like "soil" than bark mix, you'll want to re-pot with fresh orchid mix after blooming. Phal. roots love air-exposure, so the last thing you want is to have your nice plant growing in anything like potting soil. I make all my own orchid mixes. Thus, because I am using a lot of stuff that does not break down rapidly, my mixes last 3-4 yrs. Ordinary mixes, those found at the big box stores, generally last only a year or 2. What you don't know is how good the mix was when it was first used or how long the orchid has been growing in this mix. You just have to let your eyes tell you whether a re-pot is necessary.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.

mapitchf
Apr 7, 2017 6:54 AM CST
That's great to know! So you think should get a year out of it at least with good care?
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
Tropical Plants & More
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
Apr 7, 2017 7:49 AM CST
If you are referring to NEW orchid media, you'll get at least a year or two before the bark breaks down. I use special barks that last twice as long (Orchiata and cypress) as well as charcoal, expanded clay, and coconut chips. For my Phal. mix, I also add super coarse perlite.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.

mapitchf
Apr 7, 2017 7:53 AM CST
Great thanks for all your help.

Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
Tropical Plants & More
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
Apr 7, 2017 8:23 AM CST
I tip my hat to you.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Apr 9, 2017 8:36 PM CST
I grow my Phals differently when I get one. I usually repot right away, blooming or not blooming. I just do not trust the media it comes in. Oftentimes, the base of the plant is heavily packed with sphagnum moss and the roots are just choking and suffocated there, and I have seen my most failures with them before, so I don't use those with mine anymore, just bark mix at first then I learned to use just hygrolon and some clay rocks and it worked much better. Sometimes it is so tricky to see the good roots at the edge of the container they are the ones getting quicker access to air, but the ones in the middle are so suffocated and dying with too much wet sphagnum moss and media that has totally broken down already.

But for what's it worth, you can certainly cut off the dried out bloomstalks, and wait for the other bloomstalks which are still green and with some buds to finish its blooming. Just be ready to repot after they are done blooming, to allow some good airflow on those roots. They do have quite thick roots, so it wants to get more air as soon as possible.

After blooming, do expect the plant to rest a bit, so don't be alarmed if it seems not to be doing anything. It will be redirecting its energy to formation of new roots and leaves. Bloom spikes are formed again when conditions are cooler usually around late Fall to early Spring.

Good luck! I love Phals, their blooms last for so long Lovey dubby
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 10, 2017 2:37 PM CST
Marzena's orchid is planted in large bark, a very good potting medium that will last a few years longer. And, she is not an experienced gardener - repotting an orchid without some experience in repotting plants won't be easy. No need to repot.
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
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Apr 10, 2017 2:53 PM CST
Well, cannot say definitively it is just in large bark, so common to see that, bark on top but in the middle portion which we cannot see it is mixed with sphagnum moss. A very common tactic by growers/sellers especially if being shipped and sold in supermarkets.

It is never easy to repot orchids at first attempt. I have my own qualms before, but got to learn it soon, either it will suffer from root rot or collar rot. I will not wait for the first leaf to turn yellow to show me it is suffering.

Anyways, there are so many videos on youtube that will guide her too about repotting. If she just wants to see first how it is done, really helps to see the demo, better visualization.

We will all have varying suggestions and inputs, such is gardening and orchid growing. And we do so based on our individual growing experiences. Smiling
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
Tropical Plants & More
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
Apr 10, 2017 2:54 PM CST
I agree Thumbs up Tarev
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Louise Alley
Central Maine, Waterville (Zone 5a)
BillAlleysDLs
Apr 17, 2017 7:45 AM CST
Is my orchid dying? It's a smaller blossoming phal; repotted last year with two branches budding. The ends of both branches are mushy feeling and one exudes a drop of a sticky substance. When wiped off it re appears the next day. Color and leaves look OK. There is a new plant forming at its base. Any thoughts?

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