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Are my orchids worth saving?

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Mindjin, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. Mindjin

    Mindjin New Member

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    I've been watching some YouTube videos on re-potting orchids. As I've come to realize that my poor orchids have been pretty neglected throughout the years. I've started with these following ones. My question though is are these savable in the first place, or would you say: "girl, go and buy yourself some new ones!" ? :smile: Maybe they're way too old? My problem has always been: I forget to water them, I've never re-potted them, I don't use fertilizer.

    Hmm, I'd like to attach some pictures here, but I don't know how to do it. (When I click on image it says URL: I don't know how to use that. I've just got the pictures saved on the computer.) So let me try to describe the first two orchids that I've started with.

    How long I've had them, I don't know, but many many years. Sort of orchid: Phalaenopsis. Most roots were dead so after cutting them away, there are not that many roots left. In fact, the roots left on one of the plants are all aereal roots, or the ones that were sitting on top and not under the bark. Underneath it there's a long black thing looking like a piece of trunk (like a tree trunk) also many old flower stems (can I call it that?) that had died off and I cut off there's like little stumps of that too underneath.

    I have to say that it looks like my orchids have been pushing themselves upwards, and they were very high above the flower pot. Like a long trunk (like on a tree). Is this normal? Maybe it is if the orchid is old, right? Like after it's had many flowers and leaves come and go.
     

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  2. Mindjin

    Mindjin New Member

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    Oh I see that I managed to attach a picture after all...
     

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  3. Mindjin

    Mindjin New Member

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    I've got another question, in regards to the stuff you plant it in, what's it called? Orchid material? Anyway I mean the stuff with the bark in it. See I've got two pretty big bags of this that I bought many years ago but never used, can I still use it or is it too old? See, I just thought it had a lot of loose dusty stuff in it in addition to the bark.
     

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  4. DanaRaluca

    DanaRaluca Active Member

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    Hi,

    I wouldn't throw away any orchid. As long as there is some life left in in, there chances it would recover. Your orchids don't look so bad. They are not happy, but they are certainly alive. I would keep them. I would clean them, and plant them in fresh media ( :) I call the "orchid material" "substrate, or "growing media", but I'm not a native English speaker, so maybe there are other terms that fit better). I don't know how old is your substrate, but if it's not rotted, I would use it.

    :) I hope this helps.
     
  5. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    Then first thing I would go with that potting medium is rinse all of the "chaff" out of it.

    Orchids do much of their respiratory gas exchange through their roots, and if those fine particles clog up the spaces between the bark bits, when you water, you end up suffocating the roots and they die.

    Then, pour HOT water over the remaining bark, wait 30 minutes and repeat. That'll cause the particles to swell and absorb more water. Once it is cool, it's ready to use. By doing those two steps, you'll have a far better root zone for the plants than you would have.
     
    ALGreens and DanaRaluca like this.
  6. Mindjin

    Mindjin New Member

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    Thank you for your comments and tips. That's what I will do.

    I've already repotted one orchid. I've got one that I'm going to try and get it to grow more roots, and I've got 8 more orchids to go!