my orchid
my orchid  
whats wrong with my orchid one of lefts are starting to turn brown and two roots that look sliver are breaking there is one flower that's still on the plant i know nothing about orchid's please help i don't want my orchid to die.

Thanks for your question Micaela.  One of the most common problems in growing orchids is to keep the potting mix too wet.  I recommend that you locate some orchid potting mix.  If you live near Elmhurst, take your plant to Hausermann's Orchids where they will not only repot your plant for you but provide some good growing tips.   Short of that, you will need to repot the plant on your own. Use a commercial grade of orchid potting mix which you can purchase at Lowes' or Home Depot Garden center.  Be sure you have a pot with lots of drainage holes in it. Unpot your plant and you probably will notice that some of the roots are mushy (this is known as root rot).  Leaf wilt is usually the result of root damage.  Once you remove the plant from its pot, remove any damaged roots or parts of roots prior to repotting. Fresh orchid potting mix often comes quite dry.  Before using it to repot your plant, sift out the fine particles.  Then, soak the fresh orchid potting mix for an hour prior to use.  Then, carefully insert the remaining healthy roots into the new pot, adding fresh orchid potting mix as you do so.  Since the potting mix has been soaked, set the repotted plant aside to drain away the excess moisture.  The, let the pot stand for a week before watering.  An east window sill where the plant can get morning sunlight is ideal.  Do not let the pot stand in water.

Since the plant has sustained root and leaf damage, you may lose a leaf or two before the growth of new roots and leaves begin.

Remember, that growing orchid in a pot is very different from growing other house plants. In nature many orchids grow on tree limbs in moss where the roots can be aerated.  They don't like to be potted in a soil-like potting mix that restricts air flow to the roots.  It may take a while for you to feel comfortable and confident with this new way of growing plants.  Once you get the hang of it you could become an orchid addict.   You need a lot of patience unless you are a person with a green thumb.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Wayne King


Any question about orchid culture. I have thirty+ yrs of growing experience,president 2x of our local Orchid Growers Guild,held a position in most all other offices associated with the Guild at one time or another. Head of Orchid judging team for local club meetings and some shows. Member of two Orchid Socities and local Rep.for Mid America Orchid Congress for several yrs.I have in my collection about 800 Orchid plants of all types.


Past/Present clients
Previously an expert on expertcentral.com.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.