Orchids forum: Is our orchid dying?

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SamsonsOrchid
Jun 21, 2017 10:35 AM CST
Hi all-

Hoping to be able to set my worries at ease with some input from folks here. Essentially:
- We got an orchid on June 3rd. Not sure how long it has been in that pot for but we received it as a gift for helping a friend. It seems to be a little over 4ft tall.
- Since then, we have watered the orchid twice. The first time, we put it in the sink and poured water from a Brita filter. We poured a steady stream of two full brita pitchers (about a gallon in total). About a week later, after we learned that one of our friends puts her orchid under the faucet and just lets it run for 2-3 minutes, we figured we didn't water it enough, so the next time, this is what we did. Both times we let the pot drain completely.
- We don't get a lot of sunlight in our apartment and when we're not home, the lights are off so it doesn't get too much light during the week. During the weekends though, we're mostly home and the lights are on.

We noticed one of the leaves yellowing a couple of weeks ago and that one eventually fell off of the plant. I also noticed some of the flowers browning and over the last two weeks more have browned and some have fallen off.

Is this a normal part of the orchid's cycle? or should we be worried? If so, anything we can do to salvage it? Crossing Fingers!
Thumb of 2017-06-21/SamsonsOrchid/c2f8d7
Thumb of 2017-06-21/SamsonsOrchid/40ae2c
Thumb of 2017-06-21/SamsonsOrchid/c44415
Thumb of 2017-06-21/SamsonsOrchid/c4919d

[Last edited by SamsonsOrchid - Jun 21, 2017 1:11 PM (+)]
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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
Jun 21, 2017 12:35 PM CST
Hi there,
This is a plant I'm not familiar with..
I googled 'leopard orchid ' and
Ansellia came up.. if you google it ( and it looks correct) then google
Ansellia AOS
where you will find how to better grow your plant.
Hope this is of some help!
lindsey
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
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hawkarica
Jun 21, 2017 2:54 PM CST
It looks like a Grammatophylum scriptum to me.

Jim
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
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drdawg
Jun 21, 2017 3:15 PM CST
I agree, Jim, that's the Gramm scriptum. My Gramm. scriptum v. 'Kiilani' flowers look exactly the same though the Kiilani is a sub-compact grower. The standard Gramm. gets huge.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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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
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Ursula
Jun 21, 2017 5:57 PM CST

Moderator

Question, doesn't the Brita filter use some type of ion exchange? I could be totally off here, but I thought I read some time ago, that Sodium ( Sodium chloride) might be the exchange product. If that is the case, it would explain your Orchid's rapid decline! Plants don't like Sodium!
I would check Brita's mechanism.......
[Last edited by Ursula - Jun 21, 2017 6:05 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
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Ursula
Jun 21, 2017 6:04 PM CST

Moderator

I did check and came across this

"The BRITA water filter jug uses replaceable cartridges that reduce chlorine and other impurities such as lead, copper that affect the taste of your tap water. ... Water softeners do use a form of ion exchange resin but this is regenerated in the household using common salt (sodium chloride)."

sodium chloride!
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 21, 2017 7:24 PM CST
Wow, that's good to know. I had no idea that they added salt to the water after "purifying" it. Definitely not what you want to water your orchid with.

I'm also thinking that this orchid really needs more light than some indoor lighting on the weekends. You need to find a window with natural light for that baby. Regular indoor lights don't give plants the right spectrum for photosynthesis.

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Alice
Ponte Vedra, FL (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Jun 22, 2017 9:55 AM CST
Wow, what a lovely gift. I agree it needs a bit more light, such a giant of an orchid could benefit from a LED plant light. I have seen floor lamps with these bulbs and that might work well for your plant. An inexpensive lamp with a hanging socket with a bulb sort of like this one might help.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MSY6IWW?psc=1/
The color it puts out is unusual but you wouldn't have to have it on when you are home with your regular lights on.
If you have a hydroponics store nearby they could advise you on lights for indoor growing.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jul 1, 2017 5:23 AM CST
This seems to be Grammatophyllum scripting, great identification job!!
Your problem is simple, it was overwatered! When symptoms appear that quickly, within weeks, this is a catastrophic occurrence! This rapid decline of the plant is not likely due to improper light, temperature or anything else. Those would produce a much slower decline over months and months.
But by overwatering, killing the roots, causing rot and fungal problems, the plant dies quickly.
Grammatophyllums produce an incredible amount of roots and always look like they need repotting! They probably need water once every ten days or perhaps once a week. This depends of course on where it is growing and in what pot and media.
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