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A Day In The Life of My New Phalaenopsis Orchids

I was meaning to write this post days ago, but as all of you are aware, there are challenges of trying to figure out everything that you have to learn in order to write and keep up with having your own blog. So days later, I’m finally making myself stop, and take the time to share this post. I am the owner of 5 Phalaenopsis orchids,  4 of them which I got for a really good price because the store they were at were not properly caring for them, so they were in very bad shape. I had learned somewhere while researching their care, that some places would be willing to give you a discount on these types of plants after a while due to them not being in tip-top shape.  These were not any different,  sometimes the people who look after the gardening department are not able to give the best care to all the plants, and then the plants suffer. After convincing the guy that the plants should be sold to me for even less than 50% off, I was able to get all 4 for less than half of what I had paid for my first phalaenopsis! I paid only $3.00 each! I do admit, I was shocked at how easy it was to get all 4 plants for only $12.00. At first sight, you could tell they were a little in distress, due to the leaves being leathery and dehydrated looking, but a true phalaenopsis owner knows that it’s not until you are able to get home and inspect the media in which the plant’s roots are living in that really will disclose how bad off the plant is.
Most of the time,  stores will put Phalaenopsis orchids in a certain type of living situation that is bad for the plant itself, and it is only intended to be in this media until the customer buys it and gets it home. If not removed from the current situation,  the roots can end up being damaged and the plants may end up dying. Once I was able to investigate the roots, or lack of, I was able to determine that it was definitely going to be a challenge to save these orchids. But it was a challenge that I was up to. First, I took all of the orchids out of the potting and media that they were currently housed in, noticing that there were even some types of sponges and other things that I knew did not have any reason for being there. After throwing out the old, it was time to replace it with the new.
Because of my research of learning how Phalaenopsis orchids thrive, I knew that I needed a certain type of media that contained bark. Phalaenopsis orchids are epiphytes, which means that they grow on and need another plant for support, but not for its nutrients or food. Epiphytes get their nutrients from the air and rain in order to live, and they also do not grow in soil, but yet on tree trunks in a forest. Most people do not realize this, and they put them in soil, due to no airflow, and lack of the nutrients needed to live, death is almost imminent. Another interesting thing I found out is that within the bark mixture, phals also like charcoal and coarse perlite. All of these ingredients mixed together help to receive exactly what is needed for these types of plants to thrive;  the bark provides maximum airflow, charcoal cleans naturally, and the perlite helps to drain fast to stop crown rot and root rot, which comes from sitting in water.

Phalaenopsis have both aerial as well as their regular roots. Aerial roots, as you might have assumed by their name, are airborne roots that grow above the plant media and aid in absorbing carbon dioxide and moisture that they need in order to live. They normally have a grayish tint to them, while the regular roots, if healthy, will be a bright darker green. When I took a look at my newly purchased phals, this was also a concern of mine. These phals were smushed into small containers, within the wrong media, and the roots were there, but almost all were dead and needed to be trimmed off. I knew that this could be a very bad sign for these precious plants, and so I trimmed them off and now, I am just waiting to see what happens next! I’ve learned with Phalaenopsis, the one thing that you must have is patience.

Does It Only Grow In Florida?

So after trying and trying to grow a pineapple from using just the top of a used pineapple, I am happy to present to you that It has finally happened. It seems as though all of my plants like it much better in Florida, rather than when we were in South Carolina. I have a lot of plants, and honestly, I have never been known to have a “green thumb,” Ever! Over the years I have probably killed more plants than any plant company sells within a five year span,(and I am talking about big stores, not small ones!) But maybe this wasn’t my fault, maybe it hade a lot to do with the weather. Everyone knows that Florida is known for its sunshine. However, SC is totally opposite; some days it’s cold, then some days it’s hot, but almost all the days are with an overcast which does not seem to be very healthy for plants. Unless of course you have a green thumb, and then I’m pretty sure you can grow anything, anywhere. And for that I envy you! I think I tried to grow a pineapple plant from 2 or 3 different pineapples before moving back to Florida, non of which had any success, until now.

All of my plants seem to love this sunshine! They are all doing really well. Just growing, growing, growing! Mostly I have pathos plants: I have a lot of pathos plants. I initially, only had one big pathos; but I then decided that I would try to grow a few from using just the cuttings, and I am happy with the results. Actually I now have 12 plants all from just the cuttings of one pathos! These plants, I have found are easy to care for, and that is great for my struggling green thumb! Oh well, enough of the pathos!

Back to the pineapple plant, it is crazy, as I said, this is about the 3rd time I have attempted to grow one from the left over pineapple top. Normally the top seemed to just rot away after I would plant it in a planting pot, but this time, I not only have a new growth from it, yet I have two new plants growing on both sides of the one pineapple top that I first planted! I’m a little confused by this, I thought that the pineapple top that I planted would possibly continue to grow, but it really has not grown much at all, it instead grew two new sprouts, one on each side of the old pineapple top? Oh well, I may not understand it, but I’m still content! Has this happened to any of you? Or am I the only crazy person who took on this challenge?

20160720_162022 - Copy20160720_162012pineapple plant