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Old 01-16-2018, 11:22 PM
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Help with orchids

Hello! I live in northern Georgia (USA) and I have two phalaenopsis orchids. The large, older one blooms white and the smaller, more newly acquired one flowers a light purple/pink. I have a few questions as to whether or not my orchids are moderately healthy and what I can do to improve to make sure they live happily. Iíll be attaching pictures below of each! Iíd be greatly appreciative for feedback, suggestions, or critiques that will benefit the plants. I do have two main questions- do I need to cut the spike off above the new branches on the large orchid and (also on the large one) how can I revitalize the limp leaves or promote new leaf growth?

As for background info: both sit in a SE (mostly east) facing windowsill and are never turned or moved until when I water them, once a week. For the white pot, I set it under the tap and let the water fill to the brim. I let it sit for about 3 minutes before I drain out all of the water (by flipping the pot upside down and filtering the water through with a paper towel to keep the media and plant in place). For the airy open pot, I let the plant sit under the tap and let the water run over the roots and media for 5-6 minute intervals as I rotate the pot to get all the roots watered (I avoid getting the crown wet). I have never bought fertilizer for either and I use a brand of media called ďFerti-lome: Orchids.Ē

If anyone needs more info, please let me know. Also, the pictures below were taken on Sunday, the big one before watering and the little after watering.
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:29 PM
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DE0_C9896_A673_4_D3_F_8_B72_9_D0_E84_EF15_CB
1818_EA12_1_D20_4887_9595_A29_E90_D61082
67_B2_F2_C7_7151_4124_BC77_624204_BACB75
C7_B89646_270_C_4373_9_CCD_41_FEFB766_AC6
ABAD91_D3_EC91_4472_A8_C6_ED24_BA24_CDDF
A28_F1236_B347_4742_87_B8_5_DCA0_A2_A28_FD
7_EB7_CBEC_A269_4_A60_B29_E_337744251_BE0
08668_B9_F_B5_ED_4295_9826_39_A09_F208_ABF
get a photo url

Last edited by OrchidsAtUni; 01-16-2018 at 11:31 PM. Reason: Trying to get picture links to work
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Old 01-17-2018, 11:59 AM
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It looks to me like they may be getting too much light. The yellow-brown line on the leaves of the larger orchid looks like burning to me. I would move them a few feet from the window, or put them on a direct south facing windowsill if you have one. Unfortunately those limp leaves won't ever perk up again, but I think if you move it to slightly lower light and keep up with your watering it should make new crisp leaves and eventually you can cut off those limp leaves (don't do this until you have several new leaves, though, since the plant needs them to photosynthesize! This will likely take a 2-3 years). I might also put a little more potting media in with the larger one, or a top dressing of good quality sphagnum, to keep the moisture up around the roots. Fortunately the little one still looks good, but I would still recommend moving to slightly lower light so you don't get the same problems later.

The other issue I see, and I may be wrong here since I have never had it, is it looks like you might have some crown rot on the larger orchid. When you water does the top get wet? If so, dry it off when you are down watering and make sure there is good air circulation around your plants so they dry thoroughly. Someone else here may have more advice for you.

As for cutting of the flower spike, it should be fine to cut off above the lower branch. It won't really do anything for the plant, but it'll look nicer at least when those new buds open

Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:38 PM
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Thanks for the advice! I donít have another windowsill but I think limiting light to few hours instead of the whole day is feasible! And Iíll add some more media to the larger one! Thanks again!!
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:14 PM
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The strength of light matters more than the time, so just try to keep them on the windowsill during periods when the light is more indirect. Hope the do ok, and that you get some nice blooms from those buds soon!
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:41 PM
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The color looks pretty good to me actually, but if the window doesn't get some shade in the spring/summer it may be a bit much.
The yellow streak probably is because that leaf is going to drop soon, and the plant is using up the chlorophyll for energy. I think that plant may need to be watered more often than the other since it looks to be in large bark in a very open pot. With how open and airy that pot is means the bark dries out very quickly, and especially if that is new bark, which does not hold water very well. The leaves may perk up a bit with more water. I would cut the spike where it has turned reddish brown since it is dead.
The smaller one, depending on how large the root system is, looks to be overpotted. Does that pot have drain holes? I would worry that the roots would rot in that pot with how large it is compared to the size of the plant. If the roots mostly fill that pot, it is okay, but if the root system is much smaller, I would repot in something smaller. And if there is no drainage it definitely needs to be repotted.
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