Thursday, December 6, 2012

Propping up drooped phalaenopsis leaves

Dtps. Jungo City

     While I was away during Thanksgiving weekend, someone (there are only two posible suspects) knocked my Dtps. Jungo City partly out of its pot.  The orchid dried out, and its leaves wilted as a result.  I righted the poor plant as soon as I came home, and its leaves soon regained their firmness... but they remained flopped over.  I was worried about the leaves developing breaks at the flex points, so I'm trying to right them by propping them up with wooden stakes.  
     In particular, I want to protect the leaves from breaking while I'm away again for the holiday season.  All my orchids will experience a "drought" of at least 2 weeks with no watering.
     The flower spike is now 5 inches tall, and growing fast.  I'll probably stake it up as well if it gets past 10" or so in height.


  1. I enjoy growing orchids but one of the down sides to it is going away for more than a few days since some of them require frequent watering. It's always a challenge for me to find someone to do the watering. Usually I'll bring one or two of the more water intensive plants to work and ask a colleague to water them. But I always feel guilty about pestering people too much.

    I don't grow any of my orchids under lights as you do. My apartment faces the southeast and has plenty of windows so I grow mine on the window sills. One thing that I discovered last summer is that placing them in a location away from the windows (and therefore the sun) when I am gone makes a big difference in how much the plants dry out. I have to be careful when putting them back that they don't get burned by the sun as they become re-accustomed to the higher light levels.

    1. That's an interesting comment about light levels. I've been wondering whether I should turn off the lights for the two week period when no one will be watering them over the holidays.

    2. I don't know. The reason I move them from the window sill is that the sun (which on a sunny day would last from about 6:30 am until about noon) can heat up the pots and the bark quite a lot, (or peat) causing the culture to dry out very fast. I suspect your lights don't generate quite nearly as much heat on the plants - but of course they are probably on longer than 6 hours, which confuses the issue.

      The other thing was that I still had them near a window - just away from direct sun. If your set up would be fairly dark without the lights would that be a good thing or a bad thing for plants not getting water?

      One thing I can tell you is that a friend of mine's wife has plants scattered throughout her house - almost none on a window sill and they seem to be doing fine. (but of course they are not orchids)