The Orchid That Won’t Die

Alright, my poor Doritaenopsis is hanging on for dear life. Since my last update, my Superthrive arrived in the mail so I soaked the plant in a mixture of that and warm water for an hour, then put it back into its ziploc baggie with damp sphagnum moss.

A few days later, the stem started to mold. Shocker. Moist environment + organic material = fungus.

Oddly, the one-and-a-half remaining leaves haven’t deteriorated in awhile, so I feel like there is still a glimmer of hope for this thing. It’s actually become a little bit hilarious that I haven’t unceremoniously chucked this plant in the garbage. I mean, look at it, it literally has ZERO root growth and hardly any stem left:

Rootless Doritaenopsis
Rootless wonder
Orchid soaking in Superthrive
Soaking in Superthrive

After discovering the mold, I took the plant out of its fungus-inducing environment and scraped off the moldy bits. I’m giving it another hour-long soak in Superthrive right now and will then put it back into the baggie with sphag like before. This time though, I’m not going to seal the bag all the way, which will hopefully discourage mold growth. For this reason, First Ray’s recommends dipping a sphag-n-bag plant in a disinfectant before bagging, but I don’t have any disinfectant so we’re gonna go with allowing some air flow instead.

Each time I do something else to try and save this pathetic-looking plant I think, “Seriously?” but then I think “Well, maybe this will actually work! It’d be the most amazing orchid rescue ever!” Although the poor orchid is probably screaming “Enough!” I think I will only give up when either a) it gets too moldy or b) its leaves shrivel and die. If this plant actually starts to grow roots I might have to throw a party.  🙂

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    1. Yeah! That’s why I think it has potential. I mean, if it were really going downhill the leaves would just turn yellow and die. I’m pretty sure that’ll happen anyway but I’m gonna keep at it for now.

  1. powdered cinnimon or powdered activated charcoal is a good antiseptic.
    By the way, I noticed in another post you corrected yourself about the name. Actually you are correct about it being a Phalaenopsis. Doritis was removed from Phalaenopsis many years ago by Taxonomists. In the last couple of years they have decided that it is a Phalaenopsis and moved it back, so your plant is rightfully called Phalaenopsis. Due to nomenclature rules, plants registered prior to this latter name change retain the generic name of Doritaenopsis for registration purposes, ie to register a cross with a Doritaenopsis and Phalaenopsis you have the choice of naming it one or the other, but any doritaenopsis registered after the change has to be named Phalaeopsis.
    Just thought I would add to the confussion 🙂

    1. Oh wow, I didn’t know that. Thanks for enlightening me!

      I did actually mix a little cinnamon in with the damp sphag the other day. No idea if that will help, but it can’t hurt. I didn’t want to apply it directly to the stem because I didn’t want to dry it out too much. So we shall see. 🙂

  2. haha the orchid that won’t die. lol i had three like that and it eventually died while I was experimenting with water culture, and sphag and bag. good luck with this guy. keep us updated!

  3. If the orchid that won’t die is still alive, I had good luck putting my rootless orchid in loose sphagnum moss in an unglazed ceramic pot. I give it water every week and leave it in a warm area. It is now growing a new leaf and has two small new roots growing. The sphag and bag did not work for me, and I think that the increased air circulation helped keep the plant fungus free.

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