Monday, January 04, 2016

How to rescue an Orchid

You probably have seen Phalaenopsis orchids that look a bit sad at you local supermarket. People buy them when they are in bloom to enjoy beautiful flowers for months and after that they usually get abandoned or discarded. I always feel sorry for heavily discounted orchids as they can be rescued.


So I got this pink beauty from Woolworth and it completely lost all its flowers. It was packed tightly Sphagnum moss and was very very dry.


As a bonus it came in cute ceramic pot.


You can see how wrinkly and dehydrated leaves are. I soaked it in water for about 10 minutes. Then I gently removed Sphagnum moss.


I used sharp scissors sterilized with rubbing alcohol to cut the spike off just above the first nodule. I sprayed roots with Hydrogen Peroxide to prevent mould and inhibit bacterial growth.


...and left it sit in water. It is called Full Water Culture method. Note that water shouldn't touch the base of the plant, just tips of the roots. I change water weekly, keep an eye on rotting roots and trim them off as required if they go mushy and brown (it is normal to lose a few after changing from media). Also once per week I let it stand for a day or two without water. I use this method on all my Phals and they are doing great. Several are growing new roots, spikes and leaves. They love not very bright diffused light so right now they live in the garage and come upstairs when they are on bloom.

Two weeks later we have a secondary spike forming. It will take months to bloom again but I am sure it will be well worth the wait.

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