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What am I doing wrong with my orchids?

(19 Posts)
ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Thu 08-Sep-16 08:59:40

I have a few orchids and when they stop flowering I cut them back to just above a node. But then the top of the cut node just goes woody and I'm left with sticks that never seem to sprout again. Am I doing something wrong? I've got a lovely display of woody sticks in my kitchen at the moment!

Am attaching pic to explain what I mean.

FadedRed Thu 08-Sep-16 09:03:23

Mine grow a new shoot from between the leaves, I cut the old shoot off completely.
Are they in transparent pots? The roots need to be in the light.

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Thu 08-Sep-16 09:07:48

Ah, they're not...well, they're in transparent pots but then in ceramic pots. Is it best to just have the root pots out and on a saucer maybe?

cariboo Thu 08-Sep-16 09:10:19

I didn't know the roots need light! Why aren't they all sold that way?

cariboo Thu 08-Sep-16 09:13:41

Faded, I think all you're missing is patience. It can take well over a year for a new orchid stem to start. Just make sure they're in a well-lit space (no direct sunlight) and give them just dribbles of water. They hate over-watering.

cariboo Thu 08-Sep-16 09:15:07

Oops, sorry - not Faded, but ItsNice!

flamingnoravera Thu 08-Sep-16 09:16:54

Transparent pots are good. Repot if get are potbound and use orchid compost. The new stems come from the leaf base. Don't overwater, keep them quite dry, they will produce new flowers.

Greengager Thu 08-Sep-16 09:28:28

Honestly I've found I've you can fine the right spot for them. Lots of north light absolutely no drafts than they are super easy. If you can't get that quite right then they are a lot harder!

paap1975 Thu 08-Sep-16 09:34:05

I've been getting better with mine. Here's what I do: Water once a week only and never leave them standing in any water (some people soak them, then drain then before putting them back in the pot - same idea). They like lots of light. They absolutely love bathrooms, where they get steamed every time anyone has a bath or shower (they are tropical plants, after all). But, you may find that it takes a year for them to put up a new flower shoot. The flowers can last several months, but it's a long wait in between. I rotate mine round the house so the flowering ones are downstairs.

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Thu 08-Sep-16 11:32:44

Thanks so much all!

Cariboo you are indeed right that I lack patience!

Mine don't get on in the bathroom, I don't think there's enough light there.

I've got two that have flowered almost continually in the kitchen for the last year and I think they have spoilt me. I will give my wooded ones more time! I have moved them all to the kitchen though as it's the lightest room and the ones there from the start have seemed to do well.

puzzledleopard Thu 08-Sep-16 11:53:27

I've had one for 9 years got it on one of my special birthdays so easy to remember.

Patience is the key can be every 6 months or every year mine flowers. Im on my last flower it's about falling off now and it's been flowering for about 4-6months :D each time it seems to go on longer and longer but there is still a long wait till it flowers again.

When it first died off my mum was convinced it was dead and so disappointed as it was expensive but the leaves were green so I refused to believe it.

I dont think the roots need light in 9 years mine never seen the light it's in a ceramic pot I would have thought it would just evaporate the water from the roots faster or possibly risk scorching them.

Paap Is correct in her watering technique, I have wood bark in the bottom I fill mine up to the top of the bark with water for 10-20 mins then then drain it and the plant takes the moisture from the bark. Most plant deaths are either from being over watered or not having enough, when you water plants too much they start to die so people give it more water because it's wilting when quite often it's dying due to having too much water in the first place.

Mines in a well lit area but not in direct sunlight if i put it in direct sunlight the leaves get scorch marks and damaged.

Qwebec Thu 08-Sep-16 19:55:02

Puzzle is absolutly right about the watering, I would just add: it is important to water orchids in the morning. Core rot is the most frequent death of orchids and occurs when the core is still humid after nightfall.

I made tests with the drible of water and notices I needed to water them much more often to obtain the similar results (quality and durability leaves and bloom wise) than the soaking method. I have way too many of them to make several times a week watering sustainable and the roots did not look as nice either. An orchid can last a long long time with insufficient water, but it will not thrive.

It is normal that the top of a node dries out. Sometimes the whole stem dries. Generally orchids make new stem (as mentioned above) leaving the stem is just in case your plat decides to produce extra blooms.

Orchids bloom once a year normally (sometimes more sometimes less)
to help them you can keep a cooler temp. at night (approx16C) for a few weeks in the fall. A few months later you should see a new stem.

Some of my orchids are in opaque pots, other transparent pots. The roots have slightly different colors but I have soon no other difference.

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Thu 08-Sep-16 20:30:02

Thanks again- so helpful. If we're on a year cycle then a few of them should hopefully be due this autumn.

OdinsLoveChild Thu 08-Sep-16 20:43:45

Hmmm, I do it completely different to you all.

They need to be in a transparent pot because the green on the roots is another type of plant/algae thing that the orchid uses as food. It needs lots of light to grow properly hence the transparent pots.

I shower my orchids in the bath every 10 days or so with warm water. Never let them stand in cold water.

I never cut them back. They flower constantly. I feed twice a year in the spring and autumn with an orchid food. They need to live in a constant above 15 degrees temperature ideally somewhere like the bathroom where they get a steam. Keep out of draughts.

I currently have 4 in flower, 3 of them have flowered constantly (different stems) since I bought them probably 2 or 3 years ago.

AnUtterIdiot Thu 15-Sep-16 12:22:45

I run lukewarm water into the soil of mine until they're absolutely waterlogged and then leave them to drain for 10 mins or so. I also have them in pots where I can get a couple of inches of space between the bottom of the inner pot and the outer pot so that if they have more draining to do they don't get waterlogged. I keep them on the kitchen windowsill so that they get the steam from the hot tap and the kettle. The white phal has flowered constantly over the last year, the pink one hasn't yet thrown out a second flowering shoot after I cut it back but has grown new leaves so I assume it knows what it's doing.

I do cut the flowering stalks back because otherwise you get a very unwieldy plant, but not until all the flowers have died and the stem has started to go yellow at the top.

AnUtterIdiot Thu 15-Sep-16 12:24:37

Oh, I also use a bit of diluted orchid food round the base whilst they're flowering.

VestalVirgin Fri 16-Dec-16 13:43:18

If they seem otherwise happy, but don't grow flower shoots, try keeping them at lower temperatures at night. About 16°C, I have read, but people I know who are successful with their orchids just turn the heating out at night.

It is also recommended to put them at lower temperatures for about four weeks in autumn, but I know many people who get their orchids to blossom who never bother with such things.

SeaRabbit Mon 26-Dec-16 06:03:09

I keep mine on a south facing window sill in a 'nursery' between flowering and they are fine. A friend has grown them for years in a very sunny window, not realising they were 'meant' to be out of direct sun. I am a bit of a novice but have more success not cutting back the flowering stem.

FreeButtonBee Mon 26-Dec-16 07:35:23

Mine are on a bright window sill in yr kitchen but it gets very cold at night/in winter. I don't cut them back and often get new flowers on the old stalk (sometimes they die off 2/3 of the way up and once it really starts to yellow off I do then trim that bit.) I make up orchid food in a 2litre bottle and give them a good glug every 2 weeks. It's not in a transparent pot but a big ceramic one with very loose orchid soil. It has thrived amazingly well! I think you do need patience and the right spot for them and after that they are pretty hardy.

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