Saturday, January 16, 2010

False Phalaenopsis Accusations

Everyone knows by now that Griffin is a little untrustworthy. Naturally, when I saw the first bloom fall off of this Phal. 'Homedepot' I blamed Griffin.  She was probably looking for goodies, perhaps crying to the Phalaenopsis in her constant quest for treats.  When more blooms fell, we increased our questioning of relevant witness and, while Griffin was still the primary suspect, Trixie and I had no definitive proof Griffin was the culprit. 

I blamed Griffin, in part, because Phals were supposedly one of the easiest orchids to grow.  If my other orchids were thriving, how could this basic orchid, sold to masses, suffer blasted blooms?  It must be Griffin.

Then, I saw signs of crown rot and I discovered that the roots were packed in sphagnum moss.  There was no other growing medium except sad soggy moss that was undoubtedly drowning the plant and cutting its oxygen.  I do not doubt that one can grow phals successfully in sphagnum, but it definitely wasn't working for me or the kitties.  What to do?

I read this helpful entry in from an orchid owner (Vivian) struggling with a similar situation.  The resident expert (Wayne) encouraged Vivian by noting, "You were right to get the plant out of the sphagnum and into a fir-based orchid potting mix."  I wanted to do the right thing, too, so I bought special phal. bark at Sunrise Gardens and repotted it.  A week later, it still looked miserable.  Thinking back to it, I probably didn't let it dry out enough for it to stage a full recovery.

After the final leaf dropped, I cursed the Phalaenopsis genus, threw the plant in the backyard to decompose, and gave Griffin a sincere apology. 


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