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Orchid challenge


By meanie


My first blog.
I’m getting into Orchids, having bought several since moving to a place with a small garden.
What has really spurred this on is getting them to reflower.

So, I was given this sorry looking specimen by my sister who seems to have done her best to kill it by standing it in a bowl of water! We’re pretty sure that it was/is a Paphiopedilum.

The roots had rotted to such a degree that the plant wobbled when you picked the pot up!
So got I it home & repotted it, cutting off dead roots. This made the process a lot easier, as there were few roots left to clean & repack.
I put it in a cool room that is not too bright & left it to settle in.
After a couple of weeks I’ve given it a drink, & whilst inspecting it I was surprised (not to say delighted) to find a new leaf coming through (see pic below).

Having taken advice from an orchid forum, I’ll commence misting the plant tomorrow.
Although it looks a bit of a mess at the moment, I can live with the dead foliage as long as the plant is putting out new growth & hopefully fresh roots.

Will let you know how we’re getting on in due course.

3rd November;

Having repotted the very sad specimen, it seems to be reasonably happy. The plant has become pretty firm in the pot, indicating to me that there is some root growth going on, but I do regret not putting it into a clear pot.
I’ve pulled several of the dead leaves off, and went mad at the weekend by cutting off the worst of the dead leaves.

If you look closely at the pics, I now have three new leaves forming!
I’ve also bought the book ‘The Orchid Expert’, which doesn’t recommend the misting of Paphaedeliums. Instead it says to wipe the leaves with a damp cloth, which is lucky, because in my ignorance that is what I’ve been doing.
I will continue to keep it in a darker & cooler room of the house as it seems reasonably happy in there.
I’m a little unsure as to wether I should give it a feed yet though – any ideas?

Thanx for reading.

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Do hope you succeed you desrve to good luck.

5 Oct, 2009


Well done for persevering, I hope it continues to thrive.......

5 Oct, 2009


Well done you...hope it comes good...Gorgeous leaf markings. Just one word of warning....I found that too much misting when an orchid is a bit "poorly" can have a detrimental affect...especially in the winter months. Good luck with it...

5 Oct, 2009


Thank you Amlbealice - perhaps I should start off by misting lightly every few days.
As an orchid 'virgin', any advice is welcome!

5 Oct, 2009


I'm glad you rescued the orchid. I hope it grows well for you.

6 Oct, 2009


Blodyn - what I like about orchids is that nothing happens quickly & they can be stroppy little sods!!
Fancied something a bit more challenging than Phalaenopsis, & this seemed to fit the bill. My thinking is that it was in such poor condition that I can only succeed - if it dies then my sister killed it!!!

6 Oct, 2009


Just checked my "Paphi" and its got a flower stem just starting to peep out. I find orchids thrive on neglect...I'm always surprised when I see a new stem growing.
I meant to ask you if you checked the roots? sometimes the top appears to be recovering and the roots are quietly rotting away. You are probably best just sticking to misting until it has made a full recovery......I

6 Oct, 2009


Amblealice - I feel a bit of a clot for just sterilizing the old pot & putting it back in there!
A clear pot would have been a much better idea in these circumstances so that I could check on the roots, but what is done is done.
Rather than misting the plant (which still has a lot of dead leaves attatched), this morning I gave the healthy leaves a gentle wipe with a damp sponge.
The pot is sat on a bed of gravel with water up to about half the gravels depth.

6 Oct, 2009


Thats a good idea Meanie....a gentle sponge down a few times a week.....ahem...the orchid not you (sorry..its my sense of humour!) especially if the pot is on a gravel bed.....

6 Oct, 2009


If people have an interest in orchids this is an interesting site.
You can get lost in the photo section!

6 Oct, 2009


I wish you well with you Orchid growing , you certaintly are very patient. I grow Tropical Orchids and most of mine are tied onto tree branches, or in plastic net baskets. I don't do anything but place them in the right position in my garden , never feed them as, they get leaf litter from the rainforest trees.and water when it rains, I live in tropical rain forest , it helps.

13 Mar, 2010


I love to photograph Orchids but have never been tempted to grow them, well thats apart from one that was given to my wife three years ago and flowers every year, after it flowers it is neglected on a lower shelf in the greenhouse till the next year. Keep up the good work with yours and take my advice and don't start with Streptocarpus because they take over your garden and house, just like the proverbial, "Triffids".

30 Jul, 2010


Glad you rescued the orchid. We love orchids too! Ours seem to have flowered for months and still look as fresh as the day we bought them, the flowers are beautiful, they look so delicate yet feel really tough. We had a few disasters with some in the past when they had white mealy bugs in the soil, thought it was mould at first till we noticed something wriggling yuk!

15 Sep, 2010


What orchids do you have Kittens?
My Habeneria has just flowered, so I'm just about to post some photos of it!

15 Sep, 2010

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