Laura (aopansaa) wrote in orchidculture,

Salutations and Questions!

Hello everyone, new member here! Thought I would introduce myself and pose a question or two to you all, regarding a few new acquisitions.

See, in the past, I was never much for plants. Sure, I loved them well enough, but I was horrible at keeping them alive. One year, I even rescued an orchid from a local Walmart... That.... that didn't go so well...

But a few years later and much wiser, I'm happy to say that I have quite a few plants thriving in my home! Among them, I have a miniature rose with the most gorgeous orange and pink blossoms (I call her Aurora), a sassy little spider plant named 'Jezzebel', a philodendron clipped from a friends years-old plant (Persephone) and an orchid I purchased just two days before my birthday, which rewarded me with a new blossom ON my birthday. I call her 'Odette'.

A few days ago, I was wandering Lowes and spotted three orchids from the Susan G Komen 'Plant for a Cure' line. I was amazed to find them on clearance for only $3.25 a piece! Total score, right? Two of them had gorgeous purple blossoms and I was having trouble deciding which I would get when I noticed the leaves. We are talking majorly dark green, wrinkled, limp (I can curl them around my finger without fear of breaking them) and the scent of rot was on the potting medium. I mentioned it to one of the workers, who suggested I take them up to the customer service desk and request an additional discount on them if I wanted them.

So I did. And about five minutes (and an explanation of why the plants weren't half as healthy as they looked later), I walked out with three phalaenopsis orchids for a grand total of $4.50.

Upon getting them home, my worst fears were realized for two of them. The root system was almost completely rotted away. I'm really not certain I can save them at all (Sadly, these were the two with the gorgeous purple blossoms on them). For now, I've removed them from all potting medium, I've trimmed back all the roots that were damaged beyond use and I'm going to be soaking them tonight (now that they've dried out) and then hanging them in cheesecloth sacks from the shower rod so they get some moisture, but not too much. The bloom spikes were also cut back so they can concentrate on the root system.

My real question is... Is there anything more I can do for them? Should I repot them in fresh medium or leave them for now to absorb moisture directly from the air? Is there a rooting hormone I can use on them, like with other plants? I'd really love to find out what company Lowes got these particular orchids from so that I can contact them directly. But I'm having trouble even finding that information out.

In either case, the third orchid is actually in much better shape than I originally thought, and I'm leaving its empty bloom-spike because it is still healthy and there is a bud forming at the tip. I can't wait to see what color it is!

And for being such good sports, here is a picture (or three) of Odette!

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