Dealing with stem rot on a Phalaenopsis orchid

Occasionally Phalaenopsis orchids may fall foul of a type of rot. There are many different types that can affect orchids, but this time, we appear to be dealing with stem rot. At the base of this Phalaenopsis orchid there is a small patch of black tissue, which appeared after the bottom three leaves turned yellow and fell off. One leaf at a time is normal – but three? No.

Mini Phalaenopsis No ID
Stem rot has developed on this Phalaenopsis.

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‘Tis the season: For orchid growth

The days are getting longer and, surprisingly for England, warmer and sunnier! It’s also the time when orchids spring into their growing season. Sundays are usually a watering day for me and this morning I found that my orchids are putting their energy into lots of new growth. Even one of my species orchids has created a new root and has the beginnings of a new leaf!

Sarcochylis Hartmanii
A new leaf being produced by Dino (Sarcochylis Hartmanii – a species orchid).

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Choosing your first orchid – what to look for

Purchasing your first orchid can be both exciting and a little daunting. What’s the best one to buy? What care does it need? Should the flowers be an indicator of its overall health?

For a beginner, simple and easy to care for orchids are best. For your first orchid, I’d suggest a Phalaenopsis orchid as they are fairly tough and are the most widely available. They are forgiving plants so long as you provide the right care.

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Orchid Keikis

It’s time to tackle another new term: keiki (pronounced Kay-kee). In a previous post I briefly mentioned keikis but did not go into too much detail about them.

From the Hawaiian for ‘baby’, a keiki is a way for some orchids to create a copy of themselves. Keikis are normally produced by Dendrobium or Phalaenopsis orchids as a way for them to ensure their survival. These tiny plants develop from a node (an area from which leaves, or flowers grow) on the parent plant. A keiki is an exact copy of the parent plant when it reaches maturity.

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