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Does this orchid have a chance?

Posted by velamina (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 25, 10 at 2:04

My friend brought me her orchid since it was dying, and I repotted her with only the most basic knowledge that I possess. The pictures that I'm posting are 'post surgery'.
From the looks of the roots, do you think this orchid has a chance of survival?

I am new to the forum and gardening in general, not to mention orchids. I appreciate your comments. Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: Unhealthy Moth Orchid I


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Does this orchid have a chance?

Hopefully this is the right link...

Here is a link that might be useful: Unhealthy Moth Orchid I


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RE: Does this orchid have a chance?

i have nop doubts that the orchid can live a long happy healthy life.! =) just read up on phal orchids and take good care of it. i may also suggest maybe using a little super-thrive and diluted fertilizer more often until healthy roots develop. this has worked for me in the past.


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RE: Does this orchid have a chance?

Thanks for the boost! I thought she was a lost cause since most of her roots simply slid off and I cut away much of them (hence the name "velamina"). I sprinkled some cinnamon and purchased the Phal mix. I will start fertilizing soon (I wanted to give her a week).

I am going to invest on some supplies (Physan antifungal and Superthrive as you suggested) since I would like to purchase another one. My kitchen scissors (which I disinfected before using) were definitely not suitable and rather blunt for cutting the spike down. I'm not sure what kind of pruner I need.

Any ideas when I will start to see some growth? Haha, I know I have to let her be for a while but I check almost twice a day.


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RE: Does this orchid have a chance?

haha, im the same way with my dracula and vanilla orchids. i dont really have an answer for that question. i apologize for that.


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RE: Does this orchid have a chance?

Yes, orchids have a strong will to survive.

I just had a root-rotted phal that lost all its roots. I almost gave up on it, until it began sprouting a tiny new root. I sprayed the plant with fungicide and placed it in a small pot with damp sphagnum moss wrapped lightly around the base of the plant. Then I put the plant in a plastic bag, misted gently, closed it, waited a few weeks, and now its leaves have plumped up and it has 3 new roots and a new leaf.

Just give it good care--don't keep the mix too wet, and keep the humidity up (so the plant doesn't too much lose water through leaves).


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RE: Does this orchid have a chance?

thats excellent advice orchid_123. thats what did for my paph that rotted. (bad watering experiment gone wrong...)but yes, orchids are TOUGH for the most part and do have a strong will to live... if worse comes to worse for a phal and it doesnt have the will to live... it normally will pot off a keiki if im not mistaken. (which that alone is a very interesting and special treat) i may be wrong about the keiki though... i kinda skipped over phals and went to paphs and phrags, than vanilla, than masdies and dracs... all the ones that are recommended for beginners i kinda skipped stupidly. but i got lucky and it all works for me. =)
key point is, my experience with phals is at a low, and a second opinion should be taken more seriously.


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RE: Does this orchid have a chance?

Orchid, what you did is beautiful and makes a lot of sense; it probably felt like it was in a tropical rain forest where it has been raining for days on end, with the kind of humidity that humans can't normally breathe in :)

I will have to get over my aversion to moss, which quickly set in as soon as soon as I held my new orchid, stagnant of rot. I was not happy, untangling its roots from that very tight spongelike mass :P

I have her in a pot outside on the porch and the humidity has been really high for days. As soon as it drops, I will do something with a bag to increase the humidity level for a while. I'm wondering if I can sneak in a little physan near the roots since she is already potted.

Dark moon, I purchased "All About Orchids" by Ortho, slightly used from Amazon which was already on its way at the time I posted this message. I thought you'd want to know :)


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RE: Does this orchid have a chance?

I would like to sneak in a few drops of Listerine (regular) near the roots since I won't be ordering Physan for another week or so. Any ideas on how much? I don't have a dropper yet but I think I can make a good guesstimate using the capful, with your help.

I noticed that the leaves have developed a slight curl, but they are strong, green and healthy. I think I may have drastically cut back on the watering because of the rot and it is in a very bulky phal mix which I like. I'm hoping that all it means is that I must increase watering because of the new mix and moisture. I appreciate your advice!


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RE: Does this orchid have a chance?

JMO where i live in the NE, USA i take a judicious approach to messing with a sick phal, the "less is more" philosophy you could call it.
i don't bag them as most of my phals like loads of air movement, also i never use fertilizers, or any other boosts until i see some effort at recovery from the plant.
don't get me wrong i have loved several phals to death, now i back off and let nature lead the way. by not messing with them i use the extra cash i save to buy more of the critters.


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RE: Does this orchid have a chance?

I must admit, that bringing a plant to recovery is quite a trip for me. I like your school of thought as well, but I felt a real need for a fungicide and used a minute quantity of Listerine.

I also prefer airy mixes that require more frequent watering in general, and I'll probably stay on that route with orchids as well since approaches vary. I'm also not fertilizing or doing much else for a few weeks.

My newly planted shrubs and container annuals barely survived this year because of the erratic dips in temperatures. I had something to do with their recovery, but much more than half of it had to do with their foundation. You are right kw, I think their will to survive is probably determined by how good their foundation is prior to showing any signs of illness.

I'm motivated to see some signs of recovery because I would like to start a small collection now. Let's hope you're right and she'll give me something to work with.


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RE: Does this orchid have a chance?

I have a similar question. Lowe's has several clearanced orchids that appear to be dead. All the leaves are brown except for the bottom two which don't look very healthy. They want a dollar for each of them but I don't even know if it is worth the effort since they are sitting in water logged soil. The roots (that I could see) looked like they were still alive, but can the orchid come back after such abuse and without healthy leaves. Just wondering if it's even worth the dollar to try.


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RE: Does this orchid have a chance?

I gathered from some of the threads that some collectors feel there is an emotional expense and not worth it. But if you are new to this as I am, it's just a small investment in some basic supplies, and it can be a fun and rewarding experience. I learned a lot from taking apart the stagnant orchid.

If the dollar orchids are still there, I would probably smell the medium; you'll have better chances with the ones that "reek" the least. I thought I read somewhere that if the very bottom of the plant (that lies right on top of the soil, the stem underneath the leaves) is somewhat plump or swollen that it's a good sign. A more obvious indicator could be better leaves, but this could be misleading I think.

If you're motivated and have some room, why not?

On another note, I am very excited; is this new growth??!
(Notice the almost perfect white circle, about the size of a pencil point). This points directly to a stream of indirect sunlight early morning.

Here is a link that might be useful: Orchid Progress


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