Stick a Fork in It.

Yeah…I could tell this was coming. I had to call time of death for the plant from Trader Joe’s formerly known as The Orchid That Won’t Die.

This is what it looked like last night before I tossed it into the garbage (ouch, it hurts to say that):

Sad Orchid
Just a shell of its former self
Close-up of dead orchid

Sad FaceTM. This orchid put such a valiant effort over the last six months. I can’t believe this plant held on for so long!!

So, to the beautiful little orchid that could: RIP. Thanks for trying so hard.

White and pink orchid in bloom
Orchid in happier times

My Official Orchid Kill Count is now up to 5. More Sad FaceTM.

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.  🙂

My Orchid Rescue Update

A month and a half ago, I blogged about a couple of my Phalaenopsis orchids that were in sad shape. I write today with both good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news first: one of these two orchids now appears to be on its way out.  :/

Dying Phalaenopsis orchid
Not much life left in this one

When that leaf on the right started going yellow, I still had hope for this orchid. But when the leaf on the left started turning too, my hope started to fade. I think I will take it out of the potting mix and see if there’s anything left that can be salvaged but I’m wondering if there’s just too much rot under there. 🙁

And now for the good news: the other sad Phal (the one on the left on the photo, in the green bowl) seems to be making a comeback! Last time I wrote, there was just the teeniest root nubbin starting to poke out of the base of the plant. Since then, that root has grown and another two have started to come in. Even better, which I just noticed a moment ago, the plant is beginning to grow a new leaf out of the top of the crown—a definite sign that it’s recovering after all!

A second piece of good news is that my biggest Phal is about to bloom! There are eight buds so far and one of them is just beginning to open up today. I’m super excited about this one – its blooms are GORGEOUS. You better believe I’ll post photos when its blooms open up!!

UPDATE: OK, so I just realized that the dying orchid is a Doritaenopsis, not a Phalaenopsis like I originally thought. The tag says “Dtps. Sogo Kitty” and for some reason this whole time I just ignored those four letters “Dtps” because it looked like a Phal. Doritaenopsis is a hybrid of Phalaenopsis and Doritis, but they need basically the same conditions as Phals. I just removed the dead leaf and some more rotted roots, and repotted the plant with a mixture of sphagnum moss and bark, hoping the mixture will help it get more air circulation and will rot less. We shall see…