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Old 07-23-2015, 07:17 PM
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Exclamation Need help; orchid noob, completely clueless!

Hello orchidgeeks!

Excuse me if I mess something up here, I'm not great at formatting. I'll preface with this note; I am completely clueless about orchids and almost all aspects of orchid care. My orchid story is this: I got my orchid as a birthday gift 3 years ago, already in bloom. (this was around April.)

I want help with taking proper care of my orchid, and would also like to know if it is time to repot it. It's beautiful and I love it. I'll bullet some info about it to make things easier to look at.
  • Water once per week with a shot glass full of lukewarm tap water
  • Fertilize with orchid spray once every few months
  • Has bloomed every year since I got it
  • I remove dead/rotting leaves and roots
  • Sits in sunny room with lots of windows, only gets direct sunlight when the sun is setting.
  • No idea what type of orchid it is
  • Grows a new branch/stalk? every year, and that stalk is the one that grows blooms
  • Has never been repotted from original vase
  • Blooms happen about mid summer and tend to last about 3 months.

That being said... Usually, when a new stalk grows, I tie it to the support stick to hold it up. This year, the new stalk grew out of an OLD stalk... At an odd angle. When I tried to move it, I cracked it a little. I tied the area around the crack with a twist tie tightly to support it, let it heal, and not worsen the crack. No idea if this was the right thing to do. It seemed to work because it bloomed anyway. There are lots of new roots that have grown since I got it spilling over the edge of the pot, and lots of new leaves too. The blooms are still there. For record the flowers are white and the leaves dark green. I will post a picture below in hopes that it helps you guys to identify it/help me make good decisions for my plant. (I also hope this isn't against the rules!)

This is a picture with the flowers well in view
http://i.imgur.com/Yz9hFxX.jpg
Here is a better view of the roots and leaves
http://i.imgur.com/Qy95eOD.jpg
A close up of a flower...
http://i.imgur.com/qOeWH6S.jpg
My hand for size reference.
http://i.imgur.com/aJhtUGS.jpg

That's about it, please let me know how to help my plant be healthy and if I'm taking good care of it! Would love some advice on repotting!

Last edited by angallia; 07-23-2015 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:19 PM
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hoping bumping isn't against the rules..
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:21 PM
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bump!
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:23 PM
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buuump
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:24 PM
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hopefully last bump before I can post my pics.
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:46 PM
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Very nice looking Phalaenopsis. It obviously likes the way you have been caring for it. I will not offer tips, I will leave that to more experienced people who will jump in, however, those striations on the leaves indicate it would like more water than you are giving it. It will probably need repotting when it is done blooming. It is not unusual for a Phal to develop a new bloom stalk part way up on an old bloom stalk. Enjoy your extra blooms.
I'm sure some more knowledgeable people will jump in with some potting advice.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:44 AM
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Thanks so much for the advice. Should I water it more frequently, or give it more water than a shot glass amount 1x a week?
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angallia View Post
Should I water it more frequently, or give it more water than a shot glass amount 1x a week?
Yes, flush the pot well when you water, many even submerge the pot into tepid water and let the roots soak for 20 minutes or so...it will not harm the plant. I would try that once a week to start, see how the plant responds...and if that doesn't seem sufficient perhaps water twice a week.
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:10 PM
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Some of the leaves look a little bit dehydrated - either from not enough water(ing) or it could be due to root issues......
As noted above - run a lot of water through your media - hold under a faucet for a couple minutes or soak as noted above. Running water through the media helps eliminate mineral buildup on the media and roots which can be a problem. The frequency will vary depending upon time of year (temps, humidity, air movement, etc.) and type and condition of media.
This plant needs to be repotted soon. Media breaks down and the plant then suffers from root rot issues - what happens is that as the media breaks down it becomes more sponge-like and looses it's porosity and the roots begin to get less and less air movement. In the wild these plants live off trees like ivy.....and their roots need air to breath......
You have lots of options on new media - the most common for newbie orchid growers is a bark based MIX obtained at many big box stores or garden centers. Soak for 24 hours before using and then after repotting you may have to water more frequently for awhile until the mix starts to retain water well. After lifting your plant out of the pot check the roots and remove all that are hollow, black/mushy, dried up, etc. Only the thick fleshy ones should remain. If you soak it for awhile ahead of the process the roots that are currently AIR roots will become pliable and can gently be eased downward into the media as well.....Do not overpot - you only want to use as large a pot as needed to get all good roots to fit into - in many cases the same one as you start with. Good luck!

Last edited by mayres; 07-24-2015 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:46 PM
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Also worth a mention, if you are flushing or soaking, be sure to dry up any water that may be in the crown of the plant as Phals are very prone to crown rot. That would be the end of your plant as it cannot grow any more if the crown rots.
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:02 PM
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Hello and welcome! I don't really grow the Phals any more so I am glad that others gave you some good advice.
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:42 AM
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You are also making the common mistake of almost all Phal growers. Actually growers of any plant

Three years and your plants have not had the growing medium changed. All plants, garden plants, trees, annuals and of course orchids can not absorb micro nutrients when the potting medium gets past about 7.5 alkalinity. Flushing slows down the alkalinity rise but re-potting (not necessarily in a bigger pot) if necessary for living pot plants.

Phals in sphag must be re-potted every 2 years and in Bark every 3-4 years. The same goes for all orchids. Phals are especially bad in that they may have been in the same medium for 3 years before it was sold the first time.
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