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Limp Leaves

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by Mammatam, May 21, 2014.

  1. Mammatam

    Mammatam Member

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    I got an Orchid from my hubby May 2013 for Mother's Day. Was in a moss covered purse shaped planter. There were 2 small potted Orchid plants in the planter. I repotted them together in a bit bigger pot. My niece told me to place ice in the pot once a week to water them, which I did. They seemed fine, and I was careful not to let the ice touch the leaves or roots. I cut the spikes down all the way once the blooming was done and they were about a foot away from my East facing window. Leaves weren't whimpy but no new spikes and I thought maybe they'd do better in the kitchen, no direct light and more humidity?? Well, I took to spraying the roots once a week or so, but now the leaves are limp and lightweight, but the overall color is still kinda dark, I think. I've just moved the pot to a different room with bright indirect light all day, but haven't checked to see if the roots are rotten or dry.

    OMG! That was a novel!

    My questions are:
    Do I need to give it a good soak? Maybe it's too dry?
    Could it need repotting after a year?
    Shouldn't it have bloomed again by now?
    Any advice would be welcomed I've got a pic, gonna try to attach it :-D
    uploadfromtaptalk1400702854837.jpg
     
  2. Mammatam

    Mammatam Member

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    BTW, I just gave it a good soak, it did seem dry. I pulled the water tray off the bottom and am making sure it drains well. It makes sense to me that it's dry. If anyone knows how soon I'll see signs of it perking up or that it's drowning, plz let me know!
    :-D
     
  3. chicago chad

    chicago chad Active Member

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    It looks too dry. This is most likely due to the potting medium. I would suggest buying a bag of orchid bark and repotting it. A premixed bag of your choice should be just fine. Premixed meaning with additives like charcoal, sphagnum moss and perlite. Wash all of the old media off and repot it in a small pot.
    It should bloom or start to spike when the weather gets cooler at night but they can bloom about anytime (at least for your plant).
    The leaves look dehydrated and perhaps overexposed/too much light. If you moved the plant to indirect light that will resolve the latter. Repotting will resolve the prior. Overwatering a plant that looks dry can be very damaging if the roots are unhealthy or the medium is soggy, usually both. Good luck with it. In the beginning it can be hard to part with a plant that is sentimental but not cared for properly. It all comes with experience. Once you fix the issues I think it will perk back up for you and set spikes/start blooming later in the year.
    By the way - NEVER EVER USE ICE CUBES. Not for this plant or any orchid. The way I relate that to newbies is 'I don't want to bathe in ice, neither do my plants.' The sellers do that so the plant dies and you go buy another. Many orchid societies have tried to have the company remove these instructions but they still leave it on the tags.
    I used to go to the stores and remove/cut all of the tags that said to add ice, regardless of what the store employees thought. I don't have the patience for that anymore.

    Some general info for your taking care of your plant:
    http://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=204
    http://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=217

    and welcome to the forum.
     
    Marni and ZWUM like this.
  4. Mammatam

    Mammatam Member

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    I potted it in Orchid medium, it fine bark mostly, I'll update as it progresses. I will check the roots later today, the ones on top, look really healthy
     
  5. Mammatam

    Mammatam Member

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    Thanks for the welcome Marni! Sorry I didn't see that earlier! I just finished editing a series of 8 pics to show what I had and what I've done. I'd like to post them in order, any recommendations on the best way to achieve that on the forum?
     
  6. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When you click on "upload a file" and select all of the images you want (can be done in several uploads) the images will be displayed below thw space of the text. I prefer to click on the "full image" option to the right of the images. If you click on them one at a time in the order you want them, they will be inserted where ever the cursor is. So click on "full image" of the one you want first, hit return and then click on the one you want next in line. If you get one out of order, you can select it in the text box and delete it. It will still be available below to re-insert where ever you want it. If you hit "delete" to the right of the icon below the text box you would have to reload it with the "upload a file". The important point is that the image goes where ever the cursor is. I think the full image option means that more people will actually see all of your images and you seem to have already conquered that part.
     
  7. Mammatam

    Mammatam Member

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    Just gonna continue in this same thread, I don't want to be posting multiple threads on this same subject :-D

    I've never raised Orchids before. Closest I ever came to caring for them was about 20 yrs ago when I worked at a Calloways Nursery with the indoor plants. All we ever had to do was occasionally spritz them. They sold before anything else was needed. I always loved them, all varieties are gorgeous!
    As I mentioned, last year my hubby bought me Orchids for Mother's Day. I took them out of the moss covered "basket" and there were 2 tiny little, I guess 4 inch pots, maybe smaller. Anyway, I did not remove the medium they were already potted in, I just stuck them as they were, out of the pots, into a bigger pot, into a Miracle Gro Orchid Potting Mix I bought just for this purpose. As previously stated, the leaves had become limp and I assumed I had not been watering enough, I tend to let all my plants get pretty dry before watering. I find most indoor plants die from too much water, not from too little.

    Anyway, this morning, after soaking them yesterday, I read what Marni posted and as soon as I was able I took them out of the pot. The following images are what I found and what I did that I'm hoping will save them!!

    Turns out the original medium was some kind of moss, and it was saturated from the soak!!

    uploadfromtaptalk1400775532672.jpg

    uploadfromtaptalk1400775555317.jpg
    Some white patches on and within this moss! I'm pretty sure that's a fungus?? I took all the moss off!
    uploadfromtaptalk1400775621601.jpg

    Close up of the moss
    uploadfromtaptalk1400775642026.jpg

    This is all the healthy roots these poor babies had left! I'm not really certain if they are really all healthy. But if they weren't dried out, I kept them. There were a lot of dried out husks of old roots.
    uploadfromtaptalk1400775688626.jpg

    Same mix I bought last year, it wasn't mildewed so I just used it. That's all I have right now.
    uploadfromtaptalk1400775817421.jpg

    Washed out the pot, and those stones, which I had in the bottom before. Added the stones again for drainage. Also, the pot does have holes and I took the "tray" off that was attached to the bottom.
    uploadfromtaptalk1400775877128.jpg

    Finally, I potted the plants. I tried to keep the roots that were above soil before above soil still and the ones that were in the soil, still in. I lightly watered with warm tap water, just enough to moisten the top soil.
    uploadfromtaptalk1400775997361.jpg


    OK, so, these little babies have consumed most of my yesterday and now my whole morning so far!
    :-D
    I sure hope it's gonna work!!!
    Please comments and advice is very much appreciated. I hope the images aren't too big or too much!??

    Thanks!
     
  8. Carkin

    Carkin Active Member

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    Great pics to show what's going on!
    I can't say that I like the looks of that potting medium but if that's all you've got then I guess you have to use it. I would take them out of that large pot and put them in their own separate pots. Clear plastic pots with good drainage that are just big enough to fit the roots in. Clear pots are better for beginners because then you can see the roots and be able to tell when they need to be watered.
     
  9. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When you water an orchid you want to water it thoroughly until all of the medium is saturated. Let the water run through or soak it in a bucket of water. It looks as if they were in sphagnum moss (from New Zealand not decorative moss) and though the mix looked old, the roots weren't bad in it. You don't want the mix you've got. You should decide when to ferilize and not the media. I agree wholeheartedly with Carkin about individual pots for the plants. Orchids really are quite different from most plants. The mix you have would be fine for cymbidiums, but will not have enough air in it for the phals.
     
  10. Mammatam

    Mammatam Member

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    I really appreciate the advice y'all! So I need to allow this to get thoroughly wet, to ensure the roots underneath are gettin' water. For today, this is all I've got. I'll get two small clear pots as soon as I can. I think that makes a lot of sense. Just so happens I just am unable to make that happen today. I also read on hear that I should use fine bark? Is that right? Someone on here said you could pick it up at Home Depot or Lowes? This medium does have a lot of fine bark in it, but I think there's too much actual soil in it.

    As soon as I can go shopping I'll get what I need.

    I'm sure I read somewhere the how's and when's of fertilizing.

    Gotta say, I'm really diggin' this forum! Very helpful!

    Thanks Y'all!!
     
    Carkin likes this.
  11. ZWUM

    ZWUM Bulbophiliac Staff Member

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    I agree with Carkin and Marni you should pot them separately and in fine bark mix. Also it looks like the mix is really packed in, you don't want them to be packed into the pot. The plant should be sturdy in the mix but not stuffed into it. Packing the mix can damage the roots and prevent good air circulation and drainage.
     
  12. Mammatam

    Mammatam Member

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    I made certain not to pack it tightly, but as soon as I can I'm gonna follow that advice.
     
  13. Mammatam

    Mammatam Member

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    Does it matter what kind of wood the bark is made of? When doing a search I saw something that was made of pine. I'm just curious if there are different kinds of would bark out there? Also should I get the bark at a nursery or home improvement store or places that do landscaping what do you recommend? I also saw something called Black Orchid bark mix, or something like that, I don't know if that would be good or if it would be just as bad as what I'm using now. I also thought that if I can't find small clear plastic pots that maybe I could cut off the bottom of a water bottle and poke holes in it and use that. What do you think about that?
     
  14. Mammatam

    Mammatam Member

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    Ok, in my previous post I shared my issues and the steps I've taken. I was on Amazon just now searching for a good reviewed bark mix. I'm thinking I'll get this one
    Hoffman 10804 Organic Special Orchid Mix
    It had 5 out of 7 great reviews stating it was perfect for phals. Also it's under 10 bux for 4 quarts. Now, I also saw this orchid feed mist stuff from Miracle Grow. It's meant to be used once a week on the leaves, soil and roots but not the blooms. It's .02-.02-.02 and I want to know if y'all think this is a good fertilizer?
    I'm feeling confident on the potting mix but unsure on the fertilizer. I'll receive my stuff by Wed. Praying my babies will survive the wait!
     
  15. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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  16. Mammatam

    Mammatam Member

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    One of the reviews said bark and some type of charcoal. I'm gonna try it, it's less expensive that the other's and 2 day free shipping rocks!
     
  17. Mammatam

    Mammatam Member

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    Marni, may I bug you again about the fertilizer? I did go ahead and order that spray, was a little over 6.00 and it states it's ready to use as is.

    Oh, y'all might be happy to know I also ordered a Kindle pocket guide to growing phals that was on sale and had great reviews
     
  18. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Orchiata is a great bark, but that price for Amazon is on the high size. $19.99 for 2.5 gallons amounts to $2.11/liter, while I carry it for $1.20/liter in 5L bags.
     
  19. Mammatam

    Mammatam Member

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    Plus that 19.95 also asks like a 9.95 shipping! I'm spending less than 10 on 4qts. I've emailed the company that sells the brand I'm getting and asked for more details. I'll share when I hear back.
     
  20. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are brands of bark on the market that should go straight on to the garden as mulch. The won't last 6 months in the pot and stratify so that the roots can't get through and there is no air available. I can only tell you what works for me and the people I know. Ray is right, there are much less expensive places to get your orchid supplies than Amazon, I wasn't doing a price check, just a quick search to show the product.

    If the fertilizer you are looking at is .02-.02-.02 I don't think there is much there in the way of major nutrients. It may have microbes, micro-nutrients, etc that would be beneficial, but I wouldn't really think of it as fertilizer. I use the MSU fertilizer and am very happy with it. But it isn't cheap. You could buy any orchid fertilizer and use it diluted to 1/4 strength and be just fine.