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With pictures, Roots dying at plant base?

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by Katie, Jan 16, 2019.

  1. Katie

    Katie New Member

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    I bought 4 Moth orchids all at the same time from Walmart, about a week later the flowers and the buds starting falling off on all of them.
    So I quickly went to google and read about them. They were planted in very dense moss except for one that has tiny bark pieces. So i carefully removed as much moss as i could around the main stem part of the plant, It was dry outside, but damp inside.
    Three seem fine but one is dying, what should i use as preventive to protect the others and maybe save this one as well? I have 3% hydrogen peroxide, 70% rubbing alcohol, and chlorhexidine cleaning solution 2%. I moved the sick one away and they have airflow from a fan and light from ceiling and window a few feet away. I cut right under the dead flowers to remove them with clean scissor. Thank you for any help.
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  2. carl

    carl Active Member

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    Sooutheastern Pencilvania
    Well, the top photo shows evidence of too much water, which resulted in the roots rotting. You can try to put it in a plastic bag (or just put a bag over the top of the pot) to increase humidity, but keep the medium only slightly damp.

    The same goes for the others - too much water will rot the roots. More orchids are killed by too much water than not enough.

    Here's my usual suggestion to new growers - take a sharpened pencil, dowel, skewer, etc. and stick it in the potting medium. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then pull it out. If the wood near the tip is damp, don't water. If dry, water.

    When you water, note the weight of the pot before and after watering - you'll soon learn how to tell if a plant needs water just by the weight alone.

    Finally, buying plants from Walmart or the other mass retailers is an iffy proposition. You have no idea of how long they were in the store, or how they were cared for. That can also explain the plants dropping flowers and buds.
    Katie likes this.