Flowers, Orchids

The Story of Two Orchids

March 20, 2016

It’s story time.

I’ve had these two white phalaenopsis orchids for about a year. Neither has an ID tag, but they look very similar with long thin leaves and large white blooms. So I assume that they are the same hybrid. By the way, if anyone knows the ID for these girls, please let me know.

Here they are in all their glory:

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My two pretty white phalaenopsis orchids

I repotted both of them into bark chips around May 2015. They were two of the few orchids I’ve rescued that were properly potted in barks and looked relatively healthy. Granted, there were quite a few dead roots in the middle and the media was severely broken down. Their spikes were already chopped off, most likely to be used in some pretty floral arrangements.

After a few months, I noticed that the one on the left in the picture above adjusted really well to the new pot. It was growing new root tips and two new leaves. The one on the right, however, showed no sign of new root growth. The leaves were getting increasingly droopy, two of the lowest leaves yellowed and fell off, even though it received the same amount of water and light as its sister. Four months after repotting, I decided to put the sad plant into semi water culture in hope of reviving it. I went through the usual cleaning process, snipping away dead roots and picking out as much debris as I could.

After only a couple of weeks in water, the plant showed significant improvements. Its leaves became plump again, its roots getting fatter, and there were new root nubs sprouting everywhere. I didn’t fertilize it, and it stayed in the same spot that it always had. The little girl was just happy to swim.

Fast forward to six months later, both have rewarded me with gorgeous white blooms. The one in bark chips have one flower spike with 10 blooms, while the one in water has two long spikes with a total of 17 blooms.

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Ten large blooms on this one.

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The roots look fantastic.

I didn’t stake the flower spikes up because I like their natural drape.

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Two long spikes with 17 buds and blooms.

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My gorgeous girl.

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A close up shot of the blooms. The camera doesn’t pick up the shimmering effect on the petals, but they are absolutely gorgeous in real life.

If anyone still doubts water culture, I hope that this story would give you some peace of mind before taking the plunge. If your orchid is currently happy, by all mean don’t change its growing media. If, however, your orchid is not very happy in media, you might want to consider water culture as an alternative way to revive your orchid. I sure am glad that I switched this girl.