I’ve been asked a question by one of my readers about how to clean and dry Phalaenopsis orchid leaves when it is in full water culture. Whilst I currently have no experience at growing Phalaenopsis orchids in full water culture, I’d like to offer some advice about how to ensure the orchid is sufficiently dry after cleaning the leaves to reduce the likelihood of rot.
It looks as though stem rot has taken another Phalaenopsis from my collection this week. Recently, the plant has been dropping leaves, but these were yellow. Nothing out of the ordinary, I thought it was part of a natural process. This morning, when I was checking the orchid over, a green leaf came away in my hand. Not good.
Phalaenopsis orchids are one of a few species that produce aerial roots in addition to their own root system. Aerial roots on Phalaenopsis orchids are those roots that grow away from the pot or growing media and have a thicker, silvery appearance. These roots also have a green tip at the end. These roots serve a purpose, and do benefit the orchid.
I’ve been asked this question a lot lately: “what do I do with the flower spike on my Phalaenopsis orchid now the flowers are gone?” It’s a fairly easy answer, but sometimes explaining it can be overwhelming to people new to growing Phalaenopsis orchids.
A few weeks ago, a Phalaenopsis orchid began showing signs it had stem rot. Although it had been given some treatment, it was unclear whether it would pull through. Sadly, the stem rot was more advanced than I thought, and it gave up. I came home from work to find this…
Every once in a while, my path crosses with my favourite orchid nursery. I recently visited their premises in Devon with an idea in mind of the orchid I wanted to add to my collection. Problem is, I couldn’t stop at one…so I bought two!
Over time you may notice that your orchid leaves lose their shine a little bit due to dust build up, water deposits or treatments with insecticides. It is important to keep the leaves clean to allow the plant to breathe and for efficient gas exchange to take place.