My Updated Orchid Setup

Last week I made a few changes to the orchid setup in my apartment. I did some reading up on Phalaenopsis orchids and determined that mine might be getting too much light in my very bright southern-facing windows. A couple of them have a red tinge around the edge of the leaves, which is a sign of too much light. And as I recently posted, a couple of my Phals are in pretty bad shape.

I decided to do a little rearranging and see whether the altered light source helps at all. According to some orchid experts, eastern exposure is acceptable for Phals. I don’t have a straight up eastern-facing window, but the northern-facing window at the front of my apartment is actually a bay window that gets some pretty good light from the east in the morning. So I moved four of my Phals to my desk in the front room:

Eastern exposure phals
Continue Reading

NYBG Orchid Show Ends This Sunday

Epidendrum Orchid

If you haven’t yet made a trip to the New York Botanical Garden for this year’s Orchid Show, there are only 3 days left (including today)! The final day for Limp phal leaf is this Sunday, April 11.

The show was so breathtaking that I went not once, but twice. There are more than 5,000 orchids to see — an amazing array of color and variety! The $20 admission fee is well worth it; I highly recommend that you check out the show before it’s too late.

Also, the show curators change out some of the orchids every couple of weeks, so even if you went to the show early on you may still see a whole bunch of different orchids if you return this weekend.

Get your tickets now! I command you. 🙂

More Sad Orchids in Need of Help

I have a couple more Phals that are not looking very happy, so in another rescue attempt I repotted them this morning.

But before I tell you about those two orchids, I want to show you a photo of the tiny root nubbin that I discovered on my recovering Phal that I wrote about yesterday. I would have posted the photo yesterday, but to be honest I didn’t want to do an import of just one photo to my computer. Anyway, have a look:

Orchid root growth

I’m not sure what that brown speckling is on the base of the crown but it’s been there for quite awhile and hasn’t spread, so I’m guessing it’s not a problem. But, let’s forget about that and talk about the more important element. Look at the new root growth! I’m excited because this poor orchid has been looking really sad for some time, probably at least three or four months now.

So. Being that this orchid is finally starting to turn around after I repotted it in spaghnum moss (not packed too tightly), I decided it was time to switch out the potting medium for my other two sad orchids.

Continue Reading

Update on Phal Rescue Attempt

Remember awhile back when I tried the ‘sphag-n-bag’ method of rescuing a Phalaenopsis orchid, but aborted the effort after a couple of days? After I had removed the orchid from the bag, I potted it in a terracotta pot with sphagnum moss. Based on the advice I got on the Orchid Board, I then decided that the orchid would be better off potted in something that would get better air flow, so I bought a black plastic net pot like this:

The pot only cost me $.80 at a local gardening supply store. Win!

I took the risk of repotting the poor plant yet again (I had been effing with it a lot lately) and placed it into the net pot with moist sphagnum moss. It’s been doing ok like this for the past few weeks – at least, no turn for the worse – and just the other day I inspected it to see if there was any new root growth. Lo and behold, I found a tiny green nubbin at the base of the crown, so it appears that a new root is growing! I may have saved this poor sad plant after all.

I hope I haven’t jinxed the orchid’s health by posting about it just now. More updates to come, whether good or bad.

How to Make a Humidity Tray

Orchid Humidity Tray
Photo credit: beautifulorchids.com

Updated October 23, 2019

I went out of town for five days this past week to visit my sister and nieces in Austin, so I had to abandon my orchids for the first time in awhile. Because I’ve gotten used to checking on them daily, leaving them made me a little nervous. I wanted to make sure my orchids didn’t dry out too badly; a bunch of them have aerial roots that I mist about once a day. What many orchid growers recommend if your home is on the dry side are humidity trays [paid link]. A humidity tray is a shallow dish lined with stones or pebbles and filled with water almost to the top of the stones; the plant sits ON TOP OF the stones and reaps the benefit of the water as it evaporates.  You just have to make sure that the plant is not sitting IN the water – something that can lead to root rot. More details on humidity trays can be found here.

Continue Reading

How to Water a Phalaenopsis Orchid


Phalaenopsis orchid in bloomNOTE: I recommend reading my updated post about how to water orchids. 

Phalaenopsis orchids are the most readily available orchids and tend to be an orchid newbie’s first; however, many of these beauties don’t come with instructions. Proper watering is key to maintaining a healthy and happy orchid plant, so I’m here to offer up some advice on how to water a Phalaenopsis orchid.

First, let me explain the issues with improper watering. When an orchid is over-watered its roots will rot, which prevents the orchid from absorbing water and nutrients; as a result, the plant will die a lot sooner than you’d like. Conversely, under-watering dehydrates the plant and slows its growth, meaning the plant won’t offer up as many of those beautiful blooms. And the blooms are why we buy orchids, right?!

Continue Reading