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Old July 5th, 2005, 12:33 PM
kandy kandy is offline
Hazel's Personal Servant
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wyoming
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Need Help with an Orchid

I am hopeless when it comes to houseplants. The only thing I can't kill are philodendrums (sp?) and it's not from a lack of trying. Anyway, I haven't owned houseplants for a long time because I can't stand to watch them wither away. My old boss knew that I killed plants, but since I have a new boss, he didn't know that and he gave me an Orchid for Administrative Asst's day. As soon as I saw it I'm thinking - Oh Crap! I can't even keep a normal houseplant alive and he gives me a frickin orchid????? Anyway, I've been following the directions that came with it but it's still not doing very well. It started out with 5 blooms and two more buds. One of the buds fell off within the first week, and it's been losing blooms at about one every other week. I came home from being out of town for the 4th and it had lost two more blooms. It only has two left, and one of those isn't looking really good. I hope someone can tell me what to do for this stupid plant. I am watering it once a week and it sits on a windowsill that doesn't get much direct light, but it is bright. It's got some kind of wood chips instead of soil. Any help would be appreciated. I'd hate to have tell my boss that I killed the orchid if he asked!
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Old July 5th, 2005, 01:02 PM
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Luba Luba is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 7,303
They are persnickety things! LOL

They need to be able to fully drain their bark chip soil LOL they can't sit in ANY type of water at all or kurplunk!

Some tall ones need something to support them. Dont' fertilize if it's sick and not healthy right now or u will kill it for sure.

Very warm sunny window is essential. Take the container to the sink let the water thoroughly flow through it and drain out the bottom. It will absorb moisture from the mulch type soil.
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Old July 5th, 2005, 05:36 PM
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raingirl raingirl is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,804
they like warm days, indirect sun, and cool nights. My sister puts hers under her umbrella outside on the porch in the day, and in her AC super cool basement in the night. They need a temp difference of at least 10-20 degrees (F) to grow well. They don't need a lot of water, and probably once a week is too much. They need to fully dry out between waterings. Many people in the south put theres in trees either hanging in baskets or between branches. NEVER repot into soil, they need air around their roots. Only bark. Can you see thick green roots? If they are brown or pale they are rotting. Try removing a little of the bark and tell me what colour the roots are. Most Orchids are blooming when bought, and then need to be repotted after they are done flowering.

When was admin asst's day? Flowers usually last a few months. What exactly is happening to the buds? Did you look closely at them? Where they any bugs on them? THere are these small tiny bugs called spider mites which infest houseplants EASILY which will cause bud drop.

Orchids also like humidity. Inside with AC will not be good for them at all. They should be outside in a shady/partial shade spot. Make sure they don't get stuck in the rain. nights outside are ok. The temp change is also needed for them to bloom again, but they won't do that again until next year, so you can probably leave it outside until Mid september. Do you have a covered porch area maybe where you could put it so it doesn't get rained on, but is out in indirect light in the heat outside?

And because they like humidity, they love to be misted. The buds could have droped if the plant was too dry. Try getting a water bottle and misting it daily.

What kind of orchid is it?
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Old July 7th, 2005, 01:50 PM
kandy kandy is offline
Hazel's Personal Servant
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 1,742
Ok, I looked at the roots and some of them are green and some are pale green and a couple are almost white. Should I take it out of the bark and cut off the white roots? I have no idea what kind of an orchid - it has (had) purple flowers if that helps - as I said, I am totally inept when it comes to houseplants! The blooms each started to curl in on themselves, and then dropped off, didn't see any bugs. I see that the end of the stem is now drying up - should I cut off the dead part there too? I had been watering it once a week, and putting the water in the bowl so it had been sitting in water most of the time. Adm. Asst's day was in late April, so actually I've kept the thing alive for quite a while - even though it only has one flower left. I did water it thoroughly yesterday and let it drain in the sink. I also put it back in the kitchen window where it'll get the most light and heat. As far as the temp difference every day - it's been 85 during the day and 50 at night, so I hope that helps it. Should I put it outside for a few days and see if that helps it?
Thanks and sorry it took me a couple of days to come back to this - I was taking care of Parker after his neuter.
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