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Thread: Saving a Sick 25 cent Bargain Orchid

  1. #1
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    Saving a Sick 25 cent Bargain Orchid

    Here it is for posterity, just in case someone ever does a search:
    I went back to Lowes looking for 25 cent bargains and found a quite distressed Phalaenopsis(Phal). No leaves; a very very dried white flower, a very dry flower stalk. The medium felt somewhat moist. 25 cents...what the heck. As usual, I internet searched to find out what to do.
    First I snipped off the dead flower above the nearest node. Then, I wanted to see what was going on with the roots. I pulled tons of long strand sphagnum moss out of this tiny pot. It reminded me of those gag cans of snakes. I discovered that there was a plastic pot inside the clay pot. Clay good(it breathes)..plastic bad.
    The roots were shriveled and soft I could not find any that looked viable ; being the eternal optimist I imagined maybe two protrusions that might not be as rotted as they appeared. Best I can tell it does have some kind of rot. So, snip, snip, snip the bad stuff. Dust with dusting sulfur and...kids, do not try this at home...I reused the sphagnum moss. This is a huge no-no. But here's where economics and pessimism come in. A bag of spaghnum, a small one, is no less than $5. I paid 25 cents for this very sickly orchid. I figured the sulfur dust will have to do its stuff. I did not put all the removed moss back in because it was too packed to start with and the roots(roots to be) need to breathe. I did not water it and will not for perhaps 2 weeks. Many people moisten the spaghnum when repotting. In this case, I think there is mositure in the spagnum already, and I'll let it be for 2 weeks. The pot is in the basement near a south window, but it will not get sun directly on it. So, I'll let you know in maybe up to 6 months if it grows. But that's the basic SOP for a sick bargain orchid as I undersatnd it.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  2. #2
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    Cathy,

    I have purchased sickly orchids before, and it does take them awhile to recoup. Purchase some good orchid food and media. Mist the little things like crazy, and it won't hurt to get that long haired spahgnum moss drenched but squeeze out the excess moisture before repotting. The orchids are usually stressed from lack of water, not too much even though they are in plastic pots.

    You did good to remove the plastic stuff. But get that teracotta wet.

    Orchids like humidity. They just do not tolerate sitting in water.

    Let us know how it goes for you. I had to give up on my orchids do to lack of space and time, but they do enjoy being fed from time to time. A little goes a long, long way.

    Again, the like humidity in the air, not in the pot.
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  3. #3
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    I don't want to burst your happiness bubble, but Phals are very difficult to bring back. Mist it every day and if there are any viable "eyes" left on the main stalk, it could generate new growth. Warmth and humidity and no drafts are the key factors.


    Good luck! And don't forget to use the Superthrive!

    Rebecca
    Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.
    - R. Buckminster Fuller

  4. #4
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    Ann/Rebecca- Thanks for the info. I’ll give it a shot. Funny that Superthrive was mentioned. This whole orchid thing started with SuperThrive. I bought a bottle on Ebay and looked to see what else the seller sells. Turns out the seller grows and sells orchids. So, my Superthrive purchase turned into that plus 2 orchids. The 2 are going to Florida. I don’t think I could grow orchids here. Yesterday though when I saw that poor little orchid clearly out of place way up on the top of an outdoor rack of distressed plants, with the wind buffeting it and the sun beating down on it, I thought what the heck. I also thought that if this thing grows I might get hooked ! I was disappointed to see the roots—or lack thereof. I hope I get the ST real soon as I have some other plants that need it too. It is really great stuff for dying plants and even some you might think are already dead.
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




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