Question and Answer

 I wanted to ask some questions. I bought four small phalaenopsis. But two of them died. Their leaves bacame soft and mushy, seemed like full fo water, and the stem have black color, and the roots were tiney, also having black colors. Not thick and fleshy. What happend to my plants?

The other two is still alive but does not look healthy. Their leaves are not shiny and also have black color on stem. What can I do? I don't like to see my plants dying. I really love orchids.

Thank you very much and more power to you!


The description of your problems appears to indicated over watering, possibly associated with temperatures too cold.

Phalaenopsis require plenty of water, but air must be able to reach the roots. If the mix is old or unsuitable, the media will stay wet, and
this type of problem will occur. allow the media to dry out slightly before watering again. Remember overwatering is applying water too often, not too much at any one time. If the media and roots are wet and it gets cold, then the low temperatures can increase the roblems. They should not drop below 15 degrees c. ideally - if they do go colder, then ensure the plants are dryer during the cold spells. Often you can allow the plant to dry out to some degree, but ensure there is humidity around the plant by growing on a tray filled with stones, with the plant above the water surface. The moisture in the stones will evaporate, and the plant will appreciate these conditions.

Sometimes the potting mix is too fine, and that it holds too much water. Usually a quite open pot5ting mix is best - this may require more
frequent watering, but will dry out between waterings. The use of bark chips or similar is usually recommended.

I trust these comments assist. Good luck with your plants, - no one likes loosing plants


 Thank you very much for your advice. It really helped a lot! At least I am now more confident in dealing with my orchids. Can I ask some more questions? What should I do with the dead back bulb of an orchid? Will it do any harm if I cut it off? I don't know what kind of orchid it is so i attached a picture of it.

I attached another picture of an orchid which i don't know what kind of orchid also.

Hope u can help me with my problem and also identify the kind of orchid that I have. They were given to me as gifts.

Thank you and more power!
Hi Jenn

You can cut off the old pseudobulb, and must do so when it becomes soft. Allow the cut surface to dry out, or you can use a pruning paste of dust with something like flowers of sulphur, a good fungicide, to prevent infection.

I am sorry but I cannot identify the plants just from the bulbs and leaves. If you can get them to flower, then identification should be possible



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