Question and Answer

name = B S
comments = Hi there, I was given an orchid with thick elephant ear like leaves and a white round petal led flower on the 10th of Nov. last year. it was a birthday gift and it has been just fine but it has suddenly decided to drop 2-3 of it's leaves leaving only 2 including one new one it has grown since I have owned it. The leaves it dropped are yellowing at the base.

What have I done wrong and can I correct it? The roots are exposed to the air and their is not a lot of potting mix in the pot. Maybe it has existed long enough on meager soil rations!?

I have had it inside all this time. Does it need to be outside for a stint perhaps?

I hope you can identify and help me with this plant as I have been enjoying it's company.

Thank You.
 I assume the plant you have is what is called a mule eared oncidium from your description. These are desert plants that get long periods of dryness, surviving just on the air humidity.

My impression for your description of the symptoms is that it may have been over watered, OR water has lodged on the leaves surrounding the bulbs, and some rot may have got in.

Allow the plant to dry out for a week or so, just mist the plant if the foliage looks like shrivelling. I would doubt that it requires to live
outside unless the area you live in is tropical. The fact that there are little media is not really a problem, they are usually exposed in
nature; we just constrain them in a pot under culture so I would not worry about that too much. They require very good drainage, and it sounds as if it should be getting that.

I trust this answers your questions


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